Getting ready for a hunt is an exciting time. I was fortunate to go on a safari trip to South Africa this September and as the days to leaving for hunting camp drew closer, the anticipation definitely got higher. But, packing for a 10-day hunt all the way across the world can be daunting. Here are my must-haves when heading to Africa.
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Before heading to Africa, it’s important to find out from your outfitter what type of weather to expect, so you can pack appropriately. I went in September, which is the tail end of their winter and it’s actually getting warmer most years (while I was there was in the 80s). You also want to ask if there is place to do laundry at the lodge, so you don’t have to pack too many sets of camo. I decided to pack 2 sets of Sitka Equinox Pants and the Sitka lightweight hoodies. I could fit my 2 sets of camo in my carry-on. I highly recommend doing this, because if your main luggage gets lost, at least you can hunt. I also packed the Sitka Jetstream jacket for the early morning and late evening truck rides.
I packed 2 pair of boots. I put one pair of the Danner Mountain 600s in my backpack and a pair of Wayfinders in my bow case with my bow. Next time, I would just pack 1 pair of boots and keep it in my carry-on bag.
Other hunting essentials I packed included a good pair of binoculars and a rangefinder. I took both with me on the plane in my carry-on because I did not want to lose these essentials. I also brought a hunting pack with me and used it as a carry-on, which worked well to carry more of my hunting gear. Something that people may not think about is clothes to wear in camp. I brought a couple of T-shirts and long sleeve shirts to wear around camp and around the campfire. In addition, I packed a headlamp and first aid kit. Something that I wished I had packed were snake gaiters.
For the hunt, I also brought along my Primo’s trigger sticks. Having a stable and steady rest that you are comfortable with can make such a big difference, especially when you are spot-and-stalk hunting. I recommend these trigger sticks for any hunter that spots and stocks, as it is easy to adjust its height while also staying leveled to shoot off. It’s great to use whether you’re standing, sitting, or kneeling.
If you are bringing a rifle for your safari trip, I would also bring a rifle cleaning kit like Remington’s Field Cable Cleaning Kit. This is great for cleaning your rifle during and after your hunt.
When looking at bringing a rifle to South Africa, I would start the process of talking with your outfitter about the permitting process for bringing firearms into the country as soon as possible, along with a recommended caliber. That way, when you arrive to your destination, your permits are complete. Remington’s product manager for rifles, Eric Lundgren, recommends these 3 models for hunting big game in Africa:
700 AWRs in 7mm Rem, Mag 300 Win Mag, 338 Win Mag, 300 Rem Ultra Mag, 338 Rem Ultra Mag
700 Sendero in 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win, 300 Rem Ultra Mag