If you’re going on a hunt in Africa and have a South African Airways flight with a connection in London, then you need to read this article before departing.
Effective immediately, travelers transiting through Heathrow Airport in London may not bring any firearms on South African Airways (SAA) flights. This is due to an administrative problem South African Airways is having with their license required for transporting firearms through Heathrow Airport.
This prohibition only applies to South African Airways flights with a connection in London. It does not apply to South African Airways flights that do not land in the United Kingdom and other airlines with a connection in London.
Until the airline resolves the issue, all hunters transporting firearms to South Africa for a hunting safari in the immediate future should either plan on flying on a different airline or avoid the United Kingdom entirely.
2017 has been an eventful year-and not in a good way-for hunters bringing rifles to South Africa. First, American hunters got a rude surprise when the South African Police announced that they will no longer accept old copies of the US Customs Form 4457. Now, hunters with SAA flights booked through London must scramble to make other arrangements.
Hopefully, this problem will get resolved soon and is the last hiccup hunters attempting to bring their rifles to South Africa on a hunt will face for a while.
As always, make sure you stay in touch with your hunting outfitter to ensure you’re aware of any other updates regarding travel to and from Africa.