Safari Preparation: KOWAS Timeline for pre-planning

Kowas Hunting Safaris

Tel:  (940) 440-8998

Safari Preparation:  KOWAS Timeline for pre-planning

At Kowas, our team are driven by a passion to enable you to experience Africa, Namibia, the natural way in all its complexity.

To inform. To inspire. To share.  To create.

All for the sake of creating memories to cherish… forever.  Make the right choice!

Look ahead, think differently, envision what’s possible so that you have faith to invest in the future, and then plan and work accordingly.

Considering a safari to Namibia, Africa, and you do not know where to start?

Allow Kowas Hunting Safaris to show you how easy it really is…


Book your African hunting safari with Kowas Hunting Safaris:

We are sometimes booked long in advance, even several years in advance (for specific months) depending upon the preferred time period, species availability and rarity – especially taken into consideration the school holidays.  Be aware that the more limited you are about the dates you desire the sooner you should be looking at booking your African hunting safari with us.  The months of May, June, July and August have a tendency to be the most popular for hunting safaris and tend to book up earlier so that should be taken into consideration.  Contact us with your preferred dates to block out your preferred dates to prevent disappointment (

Purchase insurance:

When you book your hunting safari, we recommend that you consider purchasing various insurance specifically designed for hunters.


Purchase your airline tickets:

Tickets typically go on sale a year in advance, Kowas Hunting Safaris recommend purchasing tickets sooner rather than later to ensure that you have a seat.  Many African destinations have few airline options and have limited airline capacity.  Many routes sell out months in advance during peak season which varies according to the destination.  We highly recommend African Odyssey, Gracy Travel or Travel Express, hunting travel specialists.  Ensure that you choose a travel agent that is dealing regularly with clients traveling with rifles.  They have experience to assist you with all aspects of your hunting travel planning from airfare, entry visa’s, firearm permits, etc… (As us for our travel agent list, we will be glad to provide it to you.)  (

Make reservations for accommodations pre/post hunt, touristic travel and excursions:

If you will need reservations for accommodations pre/post hunt for your extended trip on your way to Kowas Hunting Safaris, you may ask your travel agent to assist you with this.  It is a good idea to take care of this once you have your airline tickets and your hunting dates secured.  If you plan to do any touristic travel, photographic safari excursions, these should be planned at this time.  Some touristic destinations can be fully booked as much as a year in advance, especially for desirable dates so early planning is highly recommended.




Get a passport if you do not have one already or check your existing passport.  Ensure that your passport will be valid for at least six months after your intended date of departure from your safari destination, as most African countries require, otherwise you will need an extension or new passport.  You can get a new passport through your local post office, which is more convenient than going to the nearest passport agency.  You can download the form and instructions at the USA Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website  For existing passports, you should have at least three fully blank pages left in your passport for your entry visa(s) and stamps, as they can take up several pages.


  • The agency in charge of passports has recently been      experiencing a tremendous backlog due to recent changes in the law and      therefore passport turn-around times have been running as long as six      months.
  • If you will be needing a new passport AND an advanced      entry visa, you will need to apply for your passport many months earlier      because you may be required to send your passport to the embassy or      consulate of the country you will be visiting to get your visa and that      can take a few months.

Entry visa:

Some countries require that you obtain an entry visa prior to your departure from your country of origin, while other countries will issue you with an entry visa at the airport upon your arrival. If you are required to get an entry visa prior to your departure you may need to send your passport to the appropriate embassy or consulate for issuance which can take a few months, so doing this early is imperative.

To find out if you need to apply for a Visa in advance, a great resource with free information is Travel Document System (TDS) at  TDS is a nationally recognized leading authority in the field of international travel documents, they help international travellers easily understand what is specifically required of them in order to gain passage into another country and provides visa services for USA citizens to most countries for which an entry visa is required.  It may be worthwhile to use a company such as TDS to handle your entry visa paperwork as the process for some countries is a bureaucratic nightmare best relegated to those who are familiar with the territory.

Consult with your doctor:

Some countries require certain inoculations and proof that they have been completed, you may need a document formerly known as an International Health Certificate or Yellow Card / Carte Jaune which has been renamed the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.

Take note that Kowas Hunting Safaris is situated in a malaria free zone.  You do not need to take malaria medication when hunting plains game with Kowas Hunting Safaris.

It is important to go to your doctor several months prior to your trip as some vaccinations take a few months for the series to be completed or several weeks before immunity is developed. It is important to know that a typical doctor’s office will not have some travel vaccinations in stock, your doctor may need to order them or he may send you to a county health department where you can receive them.  To find out what vaccinations are required as well as those that are recommended, it is best to refer to either the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  It is a good idea to make a copy of the vaccination recommendations from the WHO and/or CDC and bring it along with you to your doctor’s visit, or you may even wish to let them know what vaccination(s) you will require prior to your appointment so that they may order it and have it available for you at the time of your visit.

If you will be visiting an area where malaria is present you should discuss this with your doctor as well as any other health concerns that you or your doctor may have.  It is important to know that most anti malaria medication needs to be commenced a few weeks prior to entering a malaria area for full protection, your doctor will let you know the requirements of the drug you should take, as the various antimalarial drugs work differently.   Always be reminded that Kowas Hunting Safaris is situated in a malaria-free area.


  • You may also want to consider having your doctor give      you a prescription for antibiotics that you can take with you in case you      get sick during your safari.
  • You may wish to talk to your doctor about the possible      benefits of a gamma globulin booster, especially if you are a bit older or      prone to getting sick easily. It’s an injection that can temporarily boost      you immune system and help to your body better fight off possible disease      including viruses such as hepatitis.


Complete paperwork:

Complete and return or get paperwork from Kowas Hunting Safaris (all of these may not be required for all clients)

 Paperwork for:

– Hunting license

– Hunting permit (list of game desired)

– Weapon permit

– Ammunition permit

– CITES permit (see section below)

– “Letter of Invitation” if traveling to or through South Africa to Namibia.

– Personal preference and requests (medical conditions, physical limitations, food and drink preferences)

– Supply emergency contact information (medical or evacuation insurance coverage, allergies, blood type, family info, etc.)

– Copy of itinerary

– Find out if required and get airport transit permits for weapons from countries you will be traveling through

– Taxidermist details

– Trophy shipment details

Ensure to communicate with Kowas Hunting Safaris to obtain answers to your questions you still might have regarding your upcoming trophy hunting or photographic safari.  Ensure to keep us informed of any possible changes in the flight schedule.  (

Apply for CITIES Permit(s) – if needed:

CITES:  Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

The importation of particular sport hunted trophies requires a CITES permit (i.e. African Elephant, White Rhinoceros, Leopard, etc.), you will need to submit an application to the USA Fish & Wildlife Service.  Visit their web site at

Allow for at least 60 days for your CITES permit application to be processed, some CITES permit applications may take longer than 90 days to process.

CAUTION: Applying for your CITES permit too early can backfire on you as they are issued with an expiration date. I know of people who have had their CITES permits expire before their trophies were even exported from Africa, extensions can be applied for however it is best just to avoid this situation.

Get into shape:

There are only advantages – you can only benefit from this tip…

Get yourself into shape, you will benefit and enjoy your African hunting safari all the more for it. There is a vast range of how demanding a hunting safari can be, that is why it is essential that you make the effort to fully understand what the physical requirements of your hunt will be and prepare yourself accordingly.  We have heard of too many hunts that have been unnecessarily unpleasant due to lack of awareness of the physical demands or lack of physical preparation for the hunt itself.

Aspects to be taken into consideration are as follows:

– How many miles will you be walking everyday on average?

– What is the terrain like?

– For those with back problems, how many miles will be travelled everyday by car and what are the road conditions?

– Are the weather and altitude factors that will physically affect you?

– Do you have any physical limitations or chronic conditions that should be considered in your decision making process?

– Do you have any health concerns that the PH should be made aware of?

– Also it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor prior to embarking on a physically demanding hunt.


Kowas Hunting Safaris recommends that you spend some time walking while wearing your hunting boots with the socks, or layers of socks, that you intend to wear during your hunting ensuring that this highly important component of your hunting gear is comfortable and that there are no obvious problems.

Practice shooting:

Practice shooting your rifle from 3-legged SHOOTING STICKS.

Practise shooting your rifle and from a variety of distances and various positions, such as with a shooting stick, resting against a tree, kneeling.  Also try to make your practice similar to the situation that you will be in by practicing quick follow-up shots, off hand shots and reloading quickly to make additional follow-up shots.  Although it may be expensive, you should use the same hunting rifle and ammunition that you plan on using during your hunting safari for at least some of your practice.  You can also benefit tremendously by doing more volume shooting practice with a smaller caliber and cheaper bullet.

Be reminded to RUN each round at least ONCE through your hunting rifle prior to arriving at Kowas Hunting Safaris.

Planning safari 4 Planning safari 5 Planning safari 6


Sometime hunters bring different grain bullets for different species, though we recommend for plains game hunting using only one type of ammunition during your entire hunt.  You never know what species may cross your path at any given moment.  If you have to fuss with your ammunition it may cause you to miss an opportunity for a great trophy.

Create or revise your will:

This is a sensitive subject that few people like to think about, however this may be a great time to consider having a will created if you have not done so already or to updated or revised an existing will.

Apply for proof of ownership for each weapon that you will be taking on safari:

Some countries (Namibia excluded) require, whether you are staying or in transit, proof of ownership for each rifle you are traveling with.  For these countries you will need a Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad (CBP form # 4457) from the Department of Homeland Security USA Customs and Border Protection.  You may download this form along with instructions at  You can fill out additional forms, one for each of your rifles and others for valuable personal items like binoculars or cameras (which can easily cost thousands of dollars) to prove that you brought them along on your trip in case they are lost or stolen and also as proof of export when re-entering the country.  Bring along the original as well as a copy for custom officials.  Even though some countries do not require proof of ownership for weapons, we highly recommend that you travel with them anyway.


Consider putting only ONE rifle on each form to be completed. 

Only one rifle reflected on each form, means that you have more freedom to choose which rifle you want to bring along on any hunting excursions to follow…

If all your rifles are reflected on the one form and you do not bring along all the rifles, you are facing a challenge.

Register your trip with U.S. Department of State:

You may wish to consider registering your trip online through the travel registration website of the USA Department of State at  especially if you will be traveling to politically unstable countries – Namibia is not one of them!

Contact your bank for a PIN:

Overseas many financial institutions are on the CIRRUS system which means to be able to use your credit/debit cards, not just at an ATM but for ALL purchases, in many cases you will be required to have a pin number.  Call your bank or credit card company to get a PIN number issued for your card(s) before you leave.  Make sure your PIN number is only four digits in length as some international credit card machines and ATMs can only handle four digit PIN numbers, also some do not recognize the “0” as a number.  You should inform your bank or credit card company in advance of your safari about your destination(s) and the dates that you will be traveling so that they can remove any automatic locks that may be put into place for your protection during your trip.

Purchase a Medical Evacuation and Field Rescue Membership:

No matter if it’s your first or fifth time hunting in Africa, unavoidable accidents do happen.  Whether a medical or security emergency, an evacuation from a remote part of Africa could cost well over $100,000. Kowas Hunting Safaris strongly recommend that anyone traveling to hunt purchase a membership with Global Rescue, the only crisis response company that provides hunters with medical and security evacuation and consultation services anywhere in the world, even the most remote areas.

Their deployable teams of paramedics and special operations veterans, backed by on-staff physicians and the specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine, will get to you wherever you are, by any means necessary, and evacuate you all the way to your home country hospital of choice.

Member benefits include:

– 24hr medical advisory services from critical care paramedics and in-house physicians

– Specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine available in real-time

– Field Rescue from the point of illness or injury

– Evacuation back to the member’s home hospital of choice

– Global network of medical Centers Of Excellence

– Deployable medical and security teams

– Evacuation services provided up to $500,000


Order foreign currencies, traveler’s cheques and cash:
Decide what form of payment to Kowas Hunting Safaris you will be using for your final invoice and approximate how much you will need to bring for your entire trip including tips, and if applicable, entry visa fees, airport taxes and/or gun/ammo taxes (if applicable traveling through different countries).  Contact your bank well in advance to order traveler’s cheques and foreign currencies.  Keep in mind that many banks in Africa only accept American Express traveler’s cheques.


If you do choose to use traveler’s cheques, it is essential that both of your signatures match on the traveler’s cheques and a special effort should be made while signing numerous cheques at one time to keep your signature consistent, whether it is when you sign them at the bank or when you sign them to make payment.  Kowas Hunting Safaris has encountered problems cashing traveler’s cheques because of inconsistencies with signatures on them mainly due to the fact that after signing your name a multitude of times handwriting tends to get sloppy.

Send wire transfer:
Bank wire transfer, if you do not want to carry much in cash or traveler’s cheques  you may consider making arrangements to send a bank wire transfer several weeks prior to your hunting safari to cover a good portion of your estimated trophy fees.  It is a common practice and Kowas Hunting Safaris accept SWIFT bank transfers as a payment medium as long as the funds are reflected in the bank prior to your arrival.
Make copies of important documents:
Make copies of your most important documents to bring with you and to leave with a reliable person back at home who can be reached easily so you can have access to the information at any time.  For instance a copy of your passport and visa(s), identification card, airline ticket(s), itinerary, credit and/or debit card(s), numbers from your traveler’s cheques, travel insurance contacts, medical insurance contacts, medical evacuation insurance contacts, prescriptions, proof of firearm(s) and/or bow ownership and customs forms and permits.
A great idea is to scan all of these documents and send them to your own email address that can be accessed remotely so you would have the ability to retrieve these documents as long as you have access to a computer and internet connection.

Obtain trophy tags from the taxidermist you plan to use:
Get laminated trophy tags labeled with all relevant delivery information including your name, specific wildlife port of entry in the USA, and final shipping destination with full contact information (usually the taxidermist or you).  Your taxidermist should be the one to provide these readymade tags to you well prior to your trip, and they should also give you a couple of copies of this information to you on paper to give to Kowas Hunting Safaris.

Start taking probiotics:
Recommended by the World Health Organization, taking probiotics is one of the simplest and most beneficial preventatives for one of the most common complaints of people traveling to developing countries; traveler’s diarrhea and other digestive and stomach complaints.  Probiotics, naturally found in foods such as yogurt, help to build up friendly bacteria in the gut which aids digestion, can provide some protection from food poisoning and even enhance immunity.  Probiotics can be found at any health food store, however it is important to look for one with a broad spectrum of strains, at least 7 to 9 strains is best, and one that does not require refrigeration.  It should also have at least 10 to 50 billion cells to be strong enough to give the level of protection needed for third world travelers.


Stop mail delivery:
If no one will be home, stop delivery of your mail and newspaper while you are away.  You can easily request the USA Postal Services to hold mail for you through their website at

Confirm plane reservations:
Make sure to confirm, regardless of what the ticket says, your international and domestic plane reservations 72 hours prior to your departure and keep Kowas Hunting Safaris informed accordingly. (
Always remember:  Proper prior planning prevents pity poor performance…

Never forget to enjoy the planning and the travelling since it forms a huge part of your safari…!

We trust that you will gather memories to cherish forever while the employees of Kowas Adventure Safaris take very good care of every aspect of your safari…

You will arrive as a stranger, but leave as a friend…

Kowas Hunting Safari:  Ethical hunting is our pride and passion

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