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How do I get a hunting permit and other hunting advice

Firearms and Firearms Guardian is well aware of how many of our readers are keen and very skilled hunters. However, as with anything firearm related, it is of utmost importance to be fully licensed in any and all endeavours to avoid unnecessary future headaches.  

Hunting in South Africa is heavily regulated and these constraints are revised every year, which makes it even more complicated to keep abreast of the latest laws. 

Obtaining a hunting permit in South Africa involves a few steps, and it’s important to comply with the country’s regulations. Here’s a general guide, but keep in mind that regulations may change, so it’s essential to verify the latest information:

Furthermore, Firearms wants our readers’ hunting experiences to be hassle and stress-free, to enjoy your outdoor expeditions to their fullest. Here is a general guide for hunting in South Africa. 

Hunting permits:

According to SA Hunters, the availability of permits varies from province to province, but should be available at provincial offices of the state veterinarian, magistrates orifice, post offices, hunting associations and firearms dealers. Some provinces issue licences and permits online.’

A special permit is required to transport the meat of warthogs and bush pigs. Permits are issued per carcass. The meat of cloven hoof animals may not be transported from certain areas.

Owning a firearm for hunting and sports-shooting falls under Section 15 of the Firearm Control Act of the South African Police Service and reads as follows. 

A person may possess four firearms for the purpose of this section, which is a handgun not fully automatic; a rifle or shotgun, which is not fully/semi-automatic; or the barrel, frame or receiver of such a handgun, rifle or shotgun, which is regarded as a firearm and must also be licensed.

If a person is in possession of a firearm licence for self-defence in terms of section 13, he/she may only apply for three firearm licences for the purpose of this section. Applications in terms of sections 13 and 15 collectively may not exceed four firearms.

The licence, which is issued in terms of this section, is valid for 10 years, unless it is cancelled or terminated in terms of the Firearms Control Act, 2000.

Hunting seasons/letters of permission to hunt/

Exempted firearms:

Landowners in each province may apply for exemption from the province’s hunting regulations with the relevant environmental authority. Some provinces refer to this as an exemption certificate while others refer to a Certificate of Adequate Enclosure

Letters of permission to hunt:

All provinces of South Africa require hunters to obtain a letter of permission to hunt from the landowner or his representative on the property. The letter of permission also allows hunters to remove the meat of hunted animals.

Choose a Hunting Outfitter:

Find a reputable hunting outfitter or professional hunter (PH) in South Africa. They often assist hunters with the permit application process and guide them during the hunt.

Compile Necessary Documents:

Collect the required documents, which may include:


  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residence

A letter of motivation for the hunt:

  • Firearm documentation (if bringing your own firearm)
  • Application for a Hunting Permit:
  • Apply for a hunting permit through the South African government’s relevant authorities. The Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries (DEFF) is usually involved in regulating hunting permits.

Comply with Regulations:

Ensure that your hunt adheres to South Africa’s hunting regulations, including quotas, seasons, and permitted species. This information is subject to change, so check with the local authorities for the latest guidelines.

Pay Fees:

Be prepared to pay any applicable fees associated with the hunting permit. These fees may vary depending on the type of hunt and the species involved.

Firearms Permit (if applicable):

If you plan to bring your own firearm, obtain a temporary firearms import permit from the South African Police Service (SAPS). This process can take some time, so plan ahead.

Wait for Approval:

After submitting your application, you may need to wait for approval. The processing time can vary, so it’s advisable to start the application process well in advance of your planned hunt.

Preparation for the hunt:

 Every hunter needs to consider the following when planning the nex

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, contact the relevant South African authorities, such as the Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries or the local provincial conservation agencies. They can provide specific details on the application process, fees, and any recent changes to regulations.


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