GOT QUESTIONS? WE’VE GOT ANSWERS!
At Spiralhorn, we firmly believe that african safris must be carefully adapted to theeach client's need, and particular client behavior specific to each country. We feel this is paramount to creating positive, and truly interactive, brand and customer experiences online. Spiralhorn’s cross-cultural nature and approach take the localization needs of its global clients to the next level.
Our hunting expertise allows us to accurately interpret our clients’ objectives, and develop an informed strategy that will maximize the value of their hunting experience in Africa. We at Spiralhorn understand that knowledge matter.
Is it safe in Africa?
South Africa is very a safe place for international travellers. However, it's sensible to take normal precautions while travelling, particularly while in the city. Our hunting guests and their families are normally only in a large city when we meet you at the Customs exit at Johannesburg Intl Airport. Spiralhorn Safariss recommends the use of travellers checks or credit cards rather than large amounts of cash just as when you travel to other adventure destinations. Remember that every one of the staff at Spiralhorn Safariss is committed to the health and safety of you and your family while you are in our care.The Spiralhorn staff will be with you and your family the entire time of your safari, from picking you up at Johannesburg Airport until dropping you off at the airport for your departure. The areas where we will be hunting are typically quite rural and crime is not a significant problem at all. Your Professional Hunters will see to it that you don't get into any questionable situations on your safari. No visiting hunters or their families have ever been harmed while in the care of Spiralhorn Safariss. We invite you and your family to relax and enjoy the sights, the sounds, the wonders that are Africa.
Where will I hunt?
Your African adventure for you and your family will take place in the Republic of South Africa located on the southern tip of the African continent. It covers approximately 1, 227, 000 square kilometres of differing terrains from desert to mountains to bushveld to lush green tropics.Spiralhorn Safariss primary hunting camp is a 200 mile drive from Johannesburg International Airport and is situated just northwest of Thabazimbi in the game rich Limpopo Province. Our base camp property is on the Limpopo River on the border with Botswana. If you wish to hunt species not located in this area, we have concessions located throughout the country to serve your trophy needs.
How do I get there?Well, you don’t want to swim, that’s for sure. From the US, we use and highly recommend Custom Travel Africa, our prefered travel agent. If you have frequent flyer miles, you’ll need to deal directly with your specific airline. Plan ahead at least 6 months for this as the frequent flyer seats go very quickly
What do I need to enter South Africa?You and your family members will need a passport that is valid 6 months beyond your departure date. Make sure you have at least 2 blank pages in each passport for visa stamps, more if you are adding stops to other countries in your itinerary. In 2004, the South African Passport control required you to have a front and back page blank that is titled Visa. Don’t check that when you are on the airplane filling out your immigration form. Citizens from the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain do not require a Visa.
What type of guns and how many guns should I bring?
You don’t need to run out and buy a new rifle unless you really want one. Plan on bringing a maximum of 2 sporting rifles into South Africa. The rifle that you use for hunting any deer species and other large game will work very well here. We recommend any of the following: 270, 308, 30-06, 300 Magnum, 7MM Magnum. These calibers are used with success frequently.
How much and what type of ammunition should I bring?
The airlines restrict how much ammunition you can carry by weight. You are allowed by South African law to bring in 100 rounds. We don’t plan on you shooting that much. Most hunters bring 40 to 60 rounds of ammunition. The best bullets we have seen are Premium type ammunition loaded with Barnes X, Swift A Frame or Nosler Partition bullets. We recommend you shot a 150-180 grain bullet, whichever your rifle shoots most accurately.
What type of shooting practice should I do to get ready for my safari?
Make sure your rifle is shooting consistently and accurately with the ammunition you choose. If it’s not, get different ammunition. The number one rule for practicing after that is: GET OFF THE BENCH! Go to your deer lease or find a rifle range that will allow you to practice OFF THE BENCH. Shoot from the sitting and kneeling positions. Shoot off a tree limb or a tree trunk. Get a good pair of shooting sticks and shoot from those. The biggest challenge is getting your scope on the target and getting the shot off quickly.Many trophies have gotten away because a hunter waits more than 2 to 3 seconds getting everything perfect before they shoot. These trophies don’t get big and old by standing around looking at you aim at them. The best way to help yourself is make sure your rifle fits well, your rifle is shooting accurately and learn to shoot very quickly after the crosshairs are in place.
What kind of gun case should I ship my gun in?
Your gun should be packed in a crash resistant plastic or metal case that locks. Don’t use the plastic case that’s on sale at the end of hunting season for $19.95. In the US, you will need to make sure you get to the airport early enough to have your gun inspected by TSA before it is placed on the airplane. Call your airline about details of packing guns and bullets. They are the final word.
How do I ship my ammunition?
Your ammunition needs to be packed in a lock-box. The lock-box and the ammunition together can not exceed 11 pounds/5 kilograms. You can only import 100 rounds of ammunition for the caliber of rifle you are importing and most importantly, your ammunition AND lock-box cannot exceed 11 pounds/5 kilograms. You are NOT ALLOWED to import ammunition that does not match the caliber of the rifle you are importing.
How do I import my gun into South Africa?
We highly recommend that you use a rifle permit import service called Riflepermits.com. This service is very inexpensive compared to the time and hassle that this service saves you. They will save you anywhere from 1-4 hours of waiting for your gun in the police office. You usually obtain your rifle within 5-10 minutes when using their service.
To use their service please visit their website at: Riflepermits.com
How do I get my US Customs Form 4457?You will need to go by a US Customs office and fill out a Customs Form 4457 before you go on your trip. The US Customs Service has offices at any large international airport. Check your government pages in the phone book to find the phone number for your local Customs office. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DAY OF YOUR DEPARTURE TO GET THIS FORM AT THE AIRPORT. GET IT AT LEAST 6 MONTHS AHEAD OF TIME!
How do I pick up my rifle once I arrive in South Africa?
Upon arrival, after passing through passport control, you will pick up your checked baggage. You then pass through customs and proceed to the meeting area. You will be met there by a Riflepermits.com representative who will provide you with your paperwork and escort you to the South African Police Service (SAPS) firearm control office.When your firearm arrives, you will then complete your import of your rifle into South Africa with the help of the Riflepermits.com representative. Make sure you don’t lose your rifle permit. Remember, if you bring a firearm in, you must take it back out with you. It is illegal to leave your firearm in South Africa. If you book your hunt with us, we will provide you with more details on what is required. Once again for instructions and forms go to: Riflepermits.com
How long will the shots be?Most of your shots will be 150 yards or less. It doesn’t always work that way, and longer shots are taken, but typically, 150 yards or less is the normal shot. It’s best if you know where your bullet will strike at 50, 100, 150 and 200 yards. We work very hard to keep all shots to 100 yards or less as we don’t want to spend your valuable hunting time chasing a wounded animal through the bush.
The most important part of shooting here is many of the shots come quickly so it’s important to be able to put your face on your rifle, look down the scope and acquire the target and shoot accurately within 2 to 3 seconds. The trophy animals here haven’t survived by standing around watching intruders in their world. They survive by fleeing and will not stand and look at you all day.
When is the best time to go hunting in South Africa?
We prefer our guests to come between May 1st and Sept 30th. This is late fall, winter and early spring for us so our weather is quite nice. If your schedule doesn’t work for those dates, we will be happy to accommodate you when your schedule allows.
How long does it take to get my heads, hides and horns back?Sometime between four and eight months depending on how fast the South African Parks officials will issue an export permit after it is requested. It also depends on when you go. Typically, if you hunt later in the season, it takes longer to get your trophies back. The one definite answer is there are no concrete answers when it comes to your trophies. Once we deliver your trophies to the taxidermist, this issue is now in their hands
Who do I pay for the dipping, packing and shipping?
You will pay the shipping company in South Africa and the receiving company/broker here in the US. It will be two different payments as they are not the same company. You will usually receive a fax, email or phone call from the shipping company in South Africa telling you your order is ready to be shipped. Once you pay them, either by credit card or bank transfer, your trophies will be shipped.The receiving company in the US will contact you when your trophies have arrived. They will hold your trophies until you pay for them. You can either pick them up personally, have your taxidermist pick them up or ship them to your taxidermist for mounting.
What is the weather like?It is almost always sunny and dry from May through September. Temperatures range from low 30s F (O C) and can warm up to the 70s F (20 C) during the day. Some days will be cooler than that. It can rain occasionally so make sure your jacket is water resistant.
What type of clothing should I bring?
The most important thing for this hunt is good footwear. We highly recommend leather boots that are well broken in as well as high quality hiking socks. This is NOT the trip to break in a new pair of boots or to wear cheap socks. You may be walking a great deal, and blisters on a safari are no fun. An extra pair of boot laces is nice to have just in case one breaks. You may want to bring camp shoes so you can get out of your boots if you like.Long pants or shorts are both good while hunting. Pants with legs that zip out and convert to shorts can be quite handy. Think layered clothing for this hunt. It will be quite cool in the morning but usually will warm up during the day. Having a nice, warm jacket, a pull over fleece or a sweater you can take off later in the day works well. You will want to bring a pair of warm gloves for the cold mornings as well. A light rain jacket is also a great idea in case you encounter an extremely rare wet day on your hunt.
As far as color of clothing, camouflage is great if you prefer. Dark clothing such as olive, dark green and dark tan also works well. It’s best to avoid light colored khaki clothing if at all possible. Don’t forget a hat or cap of your choosing for skin protection. Belt and a cartridge holder can make life much easier for you during the hunt. Your laundry is done every day except Sunday so we recommend four pair of undergarments, 4 pair of socks, three shirts and three pants/shorts for your stay.
Most of our hunting guests and their families wear their hunting clothes for dinner as we retire to the fire before and after dinner on most nights.
If you wish to have some other comfortable clothes to wear to dinner, a sweat suit, or jeans and a sweater or sweatshirt would be fine.
Can I drink the water there without getting sick?Our water supply is completely safe to drink from the tap. We also keep an abundant supply of bottled water on hand for our guests if they prefer.
Do I need any immunizations before I come to South Africa?
No immunizations are required to enter South Africa. A tetanus booster and Hepatitis A vaccines are recommended by the Center for Disease Control. We recommend you look at the CDC web site at https://www.cdc.gov/travel/safrica.htm to learn more about health issues in South Africa. It’s a good idea to consult with your personal physician about travelling to Africa well before you leave.The primary hunting area for Spiralhorn Safariss is malaria free. If your hunt takes you to other provinces, we will inform you if a malaria medicine is needed. You will need to start taking the medicine at least a week before you come. Again, consult your doctor and pharmacist for instructions.
What happens if I need to fill a prescription or see a doctor?
Your prescription can be refilled here in South Africa. It would be best if you bring enough of your medication to last for the entire trip so we don’t take away from important hunting time. If you’re concerned about running out, have your doctor write a prescription for you and bring it with you. South Africa has excellent medical facilities and medical care. I know of one hunter in Africa who fell and broke his hip and had his hip replaced before he returned to the US. These facilities are all a reasonable drive from all of Spiralhorn Safariss hunting areas.
What about special insurance coverage?
You may purchase several types of insurance for your safari. Baggage insurance, firearm insurance, trip cancellation insurance, travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance are all areas to consider to make yourself more financially secure before you leave on your trip. Your travel agent can help you with trip cancellation, travel and medical evacuation.The best firearm insurance for the money is with Sportman’s Insurance Agency. You can reach them at 800-925-7767 or visit them on the web at www.siai.net Spiralhorn Safariss highly recommends you insure your rifle for this long trek.
You have multiple choices for medical evacuation companies. You can buy a year policy or a policy that covers just your individual trip. Here are a few companies you can check with.
• Wilderness Medical Systems - https://www.wildernessmedical.com/
• Med Jet - https://www.medjetassistance.com/
• Medex - https://www.medexassist.com/
What kind of personal items should I bring?
What you bring is up to you, but here are items that at least one hunting guest or family member has said, “I wish I had brought ________” or “I forgot my ___________.”
• Camera and more film than you think you need!
• Video Camera, tapes, battery charger and extra battery
• Eyeglasses, Contacts, Sunglasses
• Flashlight and batteries
• 220 to 110 voltage converter and adapter plug
• Good reading material. It’s a long plane ride.
• Camera and Video camera!
• Pocket knife or scissors – PACK IN CHECKED LUGGAGE
• Diary and writing pen
• Any medical prescriptions and allergy medicines
• Insect Repellent with at least 35% DEET
• Band aids and mole skin
• Lip balm with sunscreen
• Personal toiletries, shaving or cosmetic kit
• Warm jacket and gloves
• Camp shoes
• Small sewing kit with buttons
The sun is very intense here even though it may not be summer time. Make very sure you pack sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen to protect yourself while you are in sunny Africa.
What about tipping?
Tipping is never required but is greatly appreciated. Please use your own discretion according to the level of service that you were provided throughout your safari. Feel free to ask your outfitter if you have questions on tipping. They can give you great guidance in that area. We prefer that you bring US$ cash for tips.
How do I pay for the balance of my safari
We accept US$ cash. You can also make special arrangements with us to pay the balance of your safari with a personal check if you have more than 50% of your safari paid in advance. Please bring US$ cash for tips to your guide and staff.
Do I need an electrical converter or adapter?
You will need both a converter to plug your items into and an adapter to plug into the outlet. The converter will change the voltage from 230-240 Volts, 50 HZ to 120Volts. You can find converters and adapters at any electronics store like Radio Shack or department stores like Wal-Mart or Target. Spiralhorn does have a few converters and adapters in camp, but it’s best to bring your own to insure you have one. For our lady guests who need a hair dryer, we will have hair dryers in each chalet that are designed for South African electrical outlets. No need to bring along that big hair dryer.
To make sure you are getting the correct adapter, please click here.
What kind of phone service can I get on my safari?You can rent a cell phone at Johannesburg Intl Airport that will work well in the safari area. Also, if you have a GMS enabled US cell phone, you may make international calls ONLY if you have the international calls feature turned on. In most cases, this requires a visit to your carrier's store or a phone call to their customer service department.
Once you have enabled international calling, you will be able to make calls in most areas of the country, depending on your carrier and the agreements they have in place with local carriers to provide service to their clients. (Cingular works well in camp. ) Another option would be a satellite phone. If you desire one of these services, please let us know. We can connect you with a company who can serve your needs in this area.
Can I get internet access while I am on safari?
INternet and full WIFI connectivity is available. So if you really have to work or send a quick mail, you are welcome to.
What’s the time difference between the US and South Africa?
In summer in the US, South Africa is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, 7 hours ahead of Central Daylight Time, 8 hours ahead of Mountain Daylight Time and 9 hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Time. See table below for explanation.
Can I bring the meat back?
Sorry. It is against US Dept of Agriculture regulations to import wild game or meat of any kind without a proper license. The meat stays here at the ranch where it is served to our hunting guests as well as used by the staff and their families.