General info 2017-12-22T10:30:50+00:00

General Information

Information is essential for planning your safari in South Africa. On these pages you will find the general information needed to start your safari planning. Below are links to 18 pages containing information regarding different categories relevant to hunting with Royal Karoo Safaris in South Africa.

Afton Guest House Accommodations in Johannesburg

If your flight arrives in the afternoon or evening, we recommend that you spend your first night in Johannesburg. After the long flight to South Africa there is nothing better than getting a good nights rest and beginning your safari completely fresh.


Telephone: +27 11 391 7625


Airlines are constantly changing their procedures concerning transporting firearms and ammunition. Be sure to check with your airline before you book your flight for their baggage requirements and be sure to allow plenty of time between flights in case an unforeseen issue comes into play.


Airline transportation to South Africa is not included with any of our safaris. Your local travel agent can assist you with these arrangements; however some of them are not familiar with Southern Africa and traveling with your hunting rifles.


For hunters from the USA we highly recommend South African Airways as they have direct flights daily via Dulles (Washington D.C.) or New York (JFK). South African Airways is the National carrier, distinctively a class above other African airlines in terms of service and reliability with a 99.8% take-off record. You can visit South African Airways web site at for flight schedules and information.  They are also the only airline that carry firearms from JNB to PLZ.

  • Camouflage clothing is legal in South Africa (except military style) and is widely used by many of the residents.
  • Comfortable boots or walking shoes are a must.
  • Three changes of comfortable, cotton bush clothes are recommended.
  • Bring at least one warm jacket for those cold mornings and a pair of gloves.
  • You will also need a hat for protection from the sun and branches while stalking.
  • In the evening, camp is very informal.
  • Other miscellaneous clothing:
    • Casual clothing for use prior to and after your safari or for those side trips
    • Belt and a cartridge holder
    • Four sets of underwear
    • Gaiters
    • Comfortable shoes and socks for wearing around camp
    • The Chalet floors can be cool in the mornings and you might want slippers or shower shoes
    • Swimsuit in season
    • A lightweight waterproof jacket

The international code for South Africa is 27, which should be preceded by the international prefix of 011 if calling from the U.S. In South Africa public phones are available and are either coin or card operated.

Exchange codes must be dialed when calling outside metropolitan areas. A zero always precedes dialling codes but falls away when calling from overseas. For example locally the dialling code for Steytlerville is 049, but calling from outside South Africa, it would be 2749.

Directory Information-1023International operator-0009Police emergencies-10111Ambulance-10117

The unit of currency in South Africa is the Rand (R), which is divided into 100 cents. Notes are in R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10. Coins are in denominations of R5, R2, R1 and 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c and 1c.

Customs and Immigration Passport Requirements

All visitors to South Africa are required to carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of stay. There should be sufficient blank pages (a minimum of 2) for entry stamps upon arrival. Visas are not required for citizens from USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Spain. Visitors can stay for a maximum of 90 days. You may be requested to show a return ticket.

You will need an invitation letter from ourselves.  Contact Royal Karoo Safaris for further details.

Importing Hunting Firearms and Personal Items

You are entitled to import into South Africa a personal allowance of 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 9 ounces of pipe tobacco, 2 liters of wine, 1 liter of alcohol, other gifts up to a value of R500 and any amount of foreign currency as long as you declare amounts over $20,000 to customs upon arrival.

Sporting firearms may be readily imported into South Africa. You may bring up to 3 firearms per hunter (however most airlines limit you to 2) and 200 rounds of ammo per firearm but again airline regulations allow only 5 kgs or 11 lbs of ammo per passenger. The average weight of factory loaded ammo boxes of 20 shells per box runs from 1 lb 4 ounces to 2 lbs.

SAA is the only Airline that carries firearms from JNB to PLZ. It is recommended that you use an agent to meet you at the airport on arrival to assist you through the firearm importation procedure. Contact Royal Karoo Safaris for further details.

Temporary Hunting Firearm Import Procedures in South Africa

Upon arrival in South Africa you must have filled out a SAP Form 520 (click HERE for the form) for the South African Police in order for a temporary firearm import permit to be issued to you.

They will then issue you a Temporary Import Permit. You must retain a signed copy of this permit and it must be in your possession while you are hunting.

You will need to present your Temporary Import Permit on your departure from South Africa.

Suggested Optional Activities and Site-seeing

While on safari in South Africa, you or a non-hunting companion may wish to take some time out from hunting to see some sights and take in a little more of Africa.

  • Any medical prescriptions
  • Eyeglasses & Sunglasses
  • Sun protection lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Band-aids and mole skin
  • Insect repellent 35% DEET works best
  • Shaving and Cosmetic kit
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Small sewing kit and extra buttons
  • Small pair of scissors
  • Pocket knife
  • Locks for luggage (while in transit)
  • Diary and pen (so much happens that you will want to make notes)
  • Binoculars
  • Video equipment, spare battery and charger
  • 220-110 volt converter (for personal items)
  • And Don’t Forget Your Camera, extra battery and charger!

South Africa is basically a safe place for international travelers. However, it’s sensible to take normal precautions while traveling, particularly when spending some time in built-up urban areas. Avoid the unnecessary display of valuables, such as jewelry, cash or audio/visual equipment. The use of travelers’ checks or credit cards is more advisable than large amounts of cash.

Standard time in South Africa is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the winter and 6 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time in the summer.

Europe experiences a one to two hour time difference.

South Africa has no daylight saving time changes.


The World’s Most Trusted Source of Travel Supplies

The most uncomfortable portion of your planned safari is the actual flight to and from South Africa. To help make this portion of your trip a little more comfortable and worry free we offer the following tips.

Carry anything remotely valuable with you such as jewelry, medicine, fragile items and even irreplaceable photos.

Ask your airline what their baggage limitations are in advance. These may differ airline to airline as well as airplane to airplane. Also, some airlines may calculate excess baggage based on weight and not number of pieces.

Double check baggage claim tickets immediately before your luggage is whisked away to ensure the numbers match your claim stub.

If checking luggage, learn the three-letter city / airport code for you destination in advance and be certain that the tag applied to your baggage is correct. You can learn the three-letter code by looking at your ticket or asking your travel agent. This helps to ensure that your luggage will go to the same city as you. The 3 letter code for Johannesburg is JNB.

Everyone has black luggage it seems so make yours distinctive by using bright or unique luggage tags. Better yet, purchase luggage in a different color than black.

Even if you aren’t normally a gum chewer, pack some in your carry-on. If you experience ear discomfort while you are flying, chewing gum can relieve the pressure.

Sitting in an airline seat for several hours straight is dangerous. Even if you aren’t at risk for blood clots or phlebitis, it is a good idea to take an aspirin before flying to keep the blood thin enough to help prevent circulation problems. Check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have any aspirin sensitivities.

Flying is tough on you body so make sure you get up and move around often.

A good neck pillow makes all the difference when flying. Once you try one, you will never go back to those tiny airplane pillows.

Moleskin can be a life saver. Because you tend to walk more than usual as well as wear the same shoes over and over, blisters are almost inevitable. Be prepared by bringing packets of moleskin with you and hopefully, you won’t need it.

Be sure to pack in your checked luggage some sort of compact multi-purpose tool that includes a screwdriver, scissors, tweezers, etc. Once at your final destination, keep it with you at all times.

Travelers tend to walk more than normal because it’s the best way to see the sights. Pack new socks with well-cushioned soles rather than older socks that have become thinner with wear and the most comfortable, well-broken-in shoes you own no matter what they look like. Comfort comes first!

Make sure you pack a sewing kit so you can make quick repairs on the fly. Safety pins and rubber bands can be very useful as well.

Pack a few plastic bags (preferably the zip-top kind) for storing damp items such as laundry that hasn’t dried yet, washcloths and wet shoes.

Make copies of all travel documents including passport, front and back of credit cards and plane tickets. Leave a copy with an emergency contact back home and either give a copy to your traveling companion or place it in a different place than the originals.

Use a 3 x 3 index card or 2 to type all important information to keep at your fingertips when traveling. Important addresses, phone numbers, friend’s addresses, clothes sizes for gifts, international assistance information, etc., can be kept on the index card in the bottom of your purse of bag to avoid carrying a large address book.

Pickpockets are everywhere so keep your valuables in some form of money belt or pouch. You can always have a stash of mad money for smaller purchases more readily available on your person but no more than you can afford to lose.

Although it is convenient to have some local currency on hand, travelers checks are a much safer way to travel with your money. Make sure the serial numbers are recorded in a separate location and carry all valuables in a security wallet of some kind.

Voltage in South Africa is 230 – 240 volts, 50 Hz. For your electrical items you will need a voltage converter. These can be purchased at any K-Mart, Wal Mart or similar type of store.

You will also need a plug adapter to plug your converter into the wall. The universal plugs that come with some converters indicate that they can be used in Africa. They will not work with the type of plugs that are in use in South Africa.

There should be no reason to purchase a new rifle for your South African safari. The most important factor is your knowledge and comfort in your ability to shoot your own rifle accurately. The rifle you use for deer hunting is probably adequate for any type of plains game you may hunt. Being familiar with your rifle and practicing in several positions, including utilizing shooting sticks, will go a long way toward a successful safari. Accurate shot placement is much more important than a large caliber rifle.

Be sure to have a quality scope fitted to your rifle. A 3×9 variable scope is common, but the choice is left to you. All shots should be in the 50 – 250 yard range with 100 yards the average in the Eastern Cape.

Any .30 caliber rifle is adequate for most plains game, however for buffalo the law dictates a minimum of .375.

SAA is the only airline that carries firearms from JNB to PLZ. It is recommended that you use an agent to meet you at the airport on arrival to assist you through the firearm importation procedure. Contact Royal Karoo Safaris for further details.

Safari Insurance

Insurance is an important item that you should consider prior to your safari. Among the different kinds of insurances to consider are Baggage Insurance, Travel Insurance, Trip Cancellation Insurance and Medical Evaluation Insurance. Your local insurance agent or travel agent can assist you with these.

Global Rescue

Global Rescue is the premier medical evacuation service for traveling hunters. If you want to protect your health while traveling, then become a Global Rescue member. Global Rescue is the only medical evacuation provider that provides field rescue to their members. Global Rescue will evacuate you from the point of injury using helicopters, airplanes, land vehicles and whatever else is necessary. Their rescue teams are composed of former U.S Special Operation’s medics and commandos including Navy SEALs and Army Rangers. Global Rescue has performed evacuations from the world’s deepest canyon in Peru to Mt. Everest and everywhere in between. If you can get there, Global Rescue can get you back.

Why Global Rescue?

  • Worldwide emergency evacuation and field rescue
  • Choice of destination hospital should a medical evacuation occur
  • Crisis response services for individuals, families and corporations

Medical emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. When you’re away from home, how will you get to the life saving medical treatment you or a family member needs? In an emergency, you need reliable advice to make the right medical decision, and an evacuation to a medical facility you can trust. Global Rescue provides both.

A Global Rescue medical evacuation membership provides:

  • 24/7 medical advice and support from world class physicians at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
  • Medical evacuations from anywhere in the world to your choice of home-country hospital, any time you are more than 160 miles from home and need hospitalization.
  • Field rescues for medical emergencies requiring hospitalization in the event you are in a remote location and cannot get to a hospital on your own.
  • Lost medication, visa and passport assistance, legal referrals, and more.

South Africa has 11 official languages. English is the language of administration and is spoken throughout the country. The other official languages are: Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsongo, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.

The climate in Steytlerville is referred to as a local steppe climate. In Steytlerville, there is little rainfall throughout the year. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as BSk. In Steytlerville, the average annual temperature is 17.9 °C. About 299 mm of precipitation falls annually. The least amount of rainfall occurs in June. The average in this month is 11 mm. With an average of 43 mm, the most precipitation falls in March.The temperatures are highest on average in February, at around 23.1 °C. July has the lowest average temperature of the year. It is 12.1 °C. The variation in the precipitation between the driest and wettest months is 32 mm. During the year, the average temperatures vary by 11.0 °C.