TRANSPORTING FIREARMS:  Airports and airlines

At Kowas, our team are driven by a passion to enable you to experience Africa, Namibia, the natural way in all its complexity. We encourage you to expand your horizons, because that will expand your influence, your possibilities, and your abilities…

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

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

Laws and regulations from countries pertaining importation and transit with weapons are constantly changing, therefore ensure that you check the latest information yourself and also with your trust worthy travel agent to ensure that the information you trust is not out dated.

Ensure to not only look at the procedures for importation into Namibia, but it is also very important to look at the countries that you may be transiting through as they have their own laws, regulations and procedures that you will have to adhere to.

Declaration Of Your Firearm(s) & Ammunition With Airlines

Anyone traveling through Europe and no matter the airline(s) that you are traveling on, you or your hunting travel agent should contact each airline at time of booking to declare that you will be traveling with firearm(s) and ammunition for sport use and get the necessary authorization if necessary.  Obtain proof of this notification and permission in writing from your travel agent.

Proof Of Firearm Ownership

Proof of firearm or bow ownership which is used also as a proof of export and sometime can replace the gun license as some countries, including the United States of America, do not issue gun licenses.  Some countries do not require it; though Kowas Hunting Safaris recommend while traveling to always carry it with you along with a copy, in case of flight delays, change of route…

It is mandatory to have for some countries that usually want the proof in the form of a custom declaration letter from the country of origin for each firearm.  You can register your firearms with the Department of Homeland Security USA Customs and Border Protection, you can download the form of the Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad (CBP form# 4457) along with its instructions directly at  Bring along the original as well as a copy that can be handed out to custom officials.

Should the link to the Department of Homeland Security USA Customs and Border Protection no longer exist please visit the home page of CBP at  and just simply browse through their website to find the link.

Kowas Hunting Safaris suggest filling out two separate forms, one for your firearm(s) and possibly one for your personal item(s) like binoculars, camera(s) and other valuables as it will prove that you brought those along on your trip and that you did not purchase of these items overseas.

Rifle cases

Checking in Your Luggage:  WDH


At the check in counter at the point of departure, insist that the agent check your firearm through to your final destination airport.  Your bag tag issued by the airline should read, for example: New York – Frankfurt – Windhoek OR Atlanta – Johannesburg – Windhoek (this is sometimes not possible if the airlines that you are using do not have baggage agreements between themselves, inquire about this before purchasing your tickets).

Physically check baggage tag issued by the airline to ensure that it has been correctly printed and attached.  Inquire if a colourful  ‘in transit tag’ is necessary when traveling through another country.

Rifle storage

How to Get to Namibia:
A majority of international hunting clients will fly directly from their country of origin via South Africa to Namibia on a major international airline, many of which offer a route via Johannesburg (Tambo International Airport – JNB) to Namibia.  A less traveled, although still popular route, is via any major European city to Namibia. Both routes then require a short flight to get to Namibia’s capital Windhoek.  Direct flights into Windhoek are available on Air Namibia through Frankfurt several days a week.

Note that the route that Kowas Hunting Safaris recommend is via Johannesburg with South-African Airways (SAA).  This airline is usually on-time, reliable, economical and renders a good service.   At an additional cost, you might want to make use of the meet and greet service to assist in clearing your rifles when it is required to overnight in Johannesburg for a connecting flight to Namibia.  (Highly recommended.)

Rifle case

Travel Advisory from The USA Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
You may obtain international travel information by country, warnings for travelers about crime and public announcements about travel abroad in addition to so much other valuable information

Embassies & Consulates
You might want to check the details of the embassy in Windhoek, Namibia, prior to travelling

– Namibian Embassy in the USA

Image of rifle case

Whatever route you choose for your travelings to Namibia, Africa, to reach your final destination, Kowas Hunting Safaris, 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

  1. Bryan says:

    Remember that almost without exception, when transporting firearms on planes it’s essential to be certain that your gun is unloaded and that ammunition is separate from the weapon itself. It’s also worth taking a spare lock for your case because customs officers may choose to cut open an existing lock to inspect the contents of your case. Having a spare makes for a simple and secure replacement in these situations.

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