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Hunting Laws & Rifle Importation

Hunting Laws

The trophy hunting season stretches from 1st February to 30th November. During December and January the hunting season is closed to trophy hunting. February may still fall within the rainy season and November may still be too hot.

Hunting Guides

Hunting shall be conducted exclusively in the company of a registered hunting guide, master hunting guide or professional hunter.

Hunting guides (HG) may only conduct hunts on their own farm(s), duly registered as a hunting farm(s).

Master hunting guides (MHG) may only conduct hunts on their own farm(s) duly registered, plus two additional duly registered hunting farms.

Professional hunters (PH) may conduct hunts on all farms, provided they have written permission from the owner of the property independent of whether the farm is registered or not.

P H with big-game licence - only these PH's may conduct hunts with guests for elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo and lion.

Bow hunting - only hunting guides/ master hunting guides/ professional hunters in possession of a valid bow hunting licence may conduct bow hunting and guide bow hunters.

Hunting permits

A hunt shall only commence if the HG / MHG / PH has obtained a valid hunting permit (trophy hunting permit) from Nature Conservation prior to the start of the hunt. For cheetah and leopard an additional hunting permit has to be obtained prior to the start of the hunt.

Wing shooting

A hunter may take no more than two members of the permitted bird species during the hunt, which will be listed in the trophy permit. During the official "wing shooting season" more of each species is allowed.

Hunting clients

A hunting guide, master hunting guide or professional hunter shall accompany only two hunters to hunt simultaneously.



As per the Nature Conservation Ordinance No 4 of 1975:

No person shall use a revolver, pistol or automatic firearm when hunting game or use a firearm of which the bullet has an energy at the muzzle of the barrel which is lower than the following when hunting a species of game indicated there under:

Small Game:
(e.g. Dik-Dik; Steenbok; Duiker; Springbok)
Minimum caliber: .243 (or equivalent caliber in mm)
Energy: 1350 Joule 

Medium Game:
(e.g. Hartebeest; Oryx; Wildebeest; Kudu; Eland and all exotic species)
Minimum caliber: .270 (or equivalent caliber in mm)
Energy: 2700 Joule

Dangerous Game:
(e.g. Elephant; Hippo; Rhino; Buffalo; Lion)
Minimum caliber: .375 (or equivalent caliber in mm)
Energy: 5400 Joule

No solid point cartridge is allowed to be used as per the Nature Conservation Ordinance No 4 of 1975 on any other species than pachyderms (Elephant, Hippo, Rhino).

Handguns, Automatic and Semi-automatic weapons are prohibited in Namibia for trophy hunting purposes.

Hunters visiting Namibia may import 60 cartridges per caliber.

The below table is a recommendation, keeping the minimum energy requirements in mind. Table 1: Bullet Efficiency Index  Small GameMedium Game,  Large Game &  Heavy Game
Caliber   Bullet weight Momentum   Cross Sectional Area   Sectional Density Joule E0 Bullet Efficiency Index Max Game weight
17 Rem 25grs 2.0 14.64 .121 1280 4 13 kg
223 Rem 55 grs 3.53 24.28 .158 1738 14 46 kg
243 100grs 6.07 28.27 .242 2845 42 138 kg
7x57 150grs 6.72 38.48 .266 2700 73 240 kg
7x57 175grs 8.63 38.48 .310 3237 103 340 kg
7mm Rem Mag 175 grs 9.85 38.48 .310 4762 117 386 kg
30-06 180 grs 9.82 45.6 .271 4128 115 380 kg
30-06 220 grs 10.46 45.6 .331 4160 148 488 kg
300 Win Mag 180 grs 10.30 45.6 .271 4516 127 419 kg
300 Win Mag 220 grs 11.68 45.6 .331 4773 176 528 kg
300 Weatherby 150 grs 10.66 45.6 .226 5349 110 363 kg
30-378 Weatherby 180 grs 12.08 45.6 .271 5479 149 491 kg
8 x 68S 180 grs 11.58 50.26 .246 5735 144 475 kg
8 x 68S 224 grs 12.62 50.26 .307 5484 195 643 kg
338 JH Exp 250 grs 12.64 56.74 .313 4928 222 732 kg
338 Win Mag 225 grs 12.39 56.74 .281 5237 200 660 kg
338 Win Mag 250 grs 13.15 56.74 .313 5314 233 769 kg
35 Whelen 250 grs 11.84 63.62 .279 4334 209 689 kg
358 Norma Magnum 250 grs 13.93 63.62 .279 5990 245 809 kg
9,3x62 293 grs 14.06 67.93 .312 5199 298 983 kg SP* 2622 kg FJ**
9,3x64 293 grs 14.91 67.93 .312 5857 316 1042 kg SP 2780 kg FJ
375 H&H 270 grs 14.35 70.88 .274 5884 279 920 kg SP 2455 kg FJ
375 H& H 300 grs 14.98 70.88 .305 6054 324 1069 kg SP 2851 Kg FJ
378 Weatherby 300 grs 17.34 70.88 .305 7734 375 1237 kg SP 5625 kg FJ
416 Rem Mag 400 grs 18.84 86.59 .330 6697 548 1808 kg SP 4822 kg FJ
10.75x68 350 grs 14.88 90.66 .279 4898 376 1240 kg SP 3308 kg FJ
404 Jeffery 400 grs 17.63 90.66 .319 5993 510 1638 kg SP 4488 kg FJ
458 Win Mag 500 grs 19.63 105.68 .341 5950 739 2438 kg SP 6503 kg FJ
460 Weatherby 500 grs 26.67 105.68 .341 10973 966 3188 kg SP 8500 kg FJ
470 N Exp 500 grs 21.22 111.22 .317 6951 748 2468 kg SP 6582 kg FJ
500 NE 510 grs 21.48 129.22 .280 7087 777 2564 kg SP 6873 kg FJ
500 Jeffrey 510 grs 23.33 129.22 .280 8455 827 2729 kg SP 7278 kg FJ
505 Gibbs 525 grs 23.98 126.67 .295 8616 914 3016 kg SP 8043 kg FJ
577 N Exp 750 grs 29.65 167.41 .314 9043 1558 5142 kg SP 13710 kg FJ
600 N Exp 900 grs 34.7 182.41 .334 10324 2114 6976 kg SP 18603 kg FJ
*SP = Soft Point         **FJ = Full Jacket Alphin, A,B. (ed). (1996) Any Shot you want. The A-Square Handloading and Rifle Manual. USA: On Target Press. Hoffmann, J. (2013) Minimale Energiewerte für Jagdpatronen in Namibia. Erongo Verzeichnis für afrikansiches Jagdwild: 1/13.

Bow hunting

Namibia has a long tradition of hunting with a bow and arrow. Practiced by various rural communities; the most well-known of these is the Kalahari Bushmen, who traditionally hunts with poisoned arrows. Bow-hunting for trophies in its modern form was legalized during 1997 and is thus a recent development.

The predominant drive behind this development was the ever-growing trophy hunting sector. Modern-day trophy hunters, who would like to hunt in Namibia with a bow, can select from a large variety of registered Bow-hunting outfitters. Due to Namibia's natural habitat, types of game and seasonal changes in vegetation, bow hunting requires the highest standard of hunting skills and ethical behavior.


  • Long Bow - being a straight, one piece or take down bow  
  • Recurve Bow - being a bow with curved tipped limbs which bend away from the archer when the bow is held in the shooting position 
  • Compound Bow - being a bow which uses a cable and pulleys to increase its power or the velocity of the arrow shot from it, by means of the storing of energy
  • Cross Bow - Illegal in Namibia

Bow-hunting in Namibia is practiced using a number of techniques. Hunters may lie in ambush in areas frequented by game, or they may stalk their prey.

Bow hunting from blinds is preferred during the Namibian winter months, June until August and the drier months September and October. The majority of hunting takes place from permanently constructed blinds i.e. ground blinds, tree blinds and temporary pop-up blinds on game trails. Animals have to be within 20 m -30 m from waterholes and salt lick stations, relaxed and unaware of the hunter. Normally only "side-on" shots are taken.

This method is preferred during the green season months, February until May as sufficient cover exists and the green bush is softer on the foot and reduces noise while stalking. Spot and stalk hunting is also used for the "more difficult" game species or those that do not frequent waterholes. Due to the difficulty of achieving the above criteria, bow-hunting in Namibia is technically a highly selective sport and requires above normal self-discipline and physical fitness. Surrounding game species are disturbed very little and are often not even aware of the hunt that is taking place. 

Arrows can be made out of

  • Wood, fiberglass, carbon or carbon compounds and aluminum   
  • The shaft must have a minimum length of 19.68 inches (500 mm)

Broadheads must

  • Consist of at least two fixed cutting blades    
  • A minimum cutting edge length and width of 1 inch (26 mm+) 

Broadheads may not

  • Have barbed or serrated edges
  • Contain poison or narcotics 

Mechanical broadheads are legal in Namibia. Special arrow points such as judo points, bird points or blunt points may be used for the bow hunting of game bird species only, a hunter may take no more than two members of the permitted bird species during the hunt, which will be listed in the trophy permit.

Namibia offers a large variety of plains game species for trophy hunting. These include the following with the minimum Bow energy restrictions:

Small game
Rock-rabbit (hyrax), Rabbits, Porcupine, African Wildcat, Caracal, Black-backed Jackal, Damara Dik-Dik, Steenbok, Duiker, Klipspringer, Springbok, Letchwe, Blesbok, Bontebok, Bushbuck and huntable game birds.
Energy less than 33.9 joules (25ft/lbs)
Weight less than 22.68 gram (350 grain)

Medium game 

Chakma Baboon, Warthog, Black-face and Southern Impala, Nyala, Spotted Hyena and Cheetah
Energy less than 54.24 joules (40 ft/lbs)
Weight less than 25.92 grams (400 grain)

Large game
Gemsbok/ Oryx, Kudu, Red Hartebeest, Roan antelope, Sable antelope, Tsessebe, Waterbuck, Blue and Black Wildebeest, Hartmann's Mountain Zebra and Burchell's plains Zebra, Cape Eland and Giraffe.
Energy less than 88.13 joules (65 ft/lbs)
Weight less than 29.16 gram (450 grain)

The following Dangerous Game species CANNOT be hunted in Namibia with the Bow:
Elephant, Hippopotamus, Crocodile, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard

It is illegal to hunt any of the above-mentioned Dangerous Game species with the bow and export the trophy on a Special (Rifle) permit from MET, Ministry of Environment and Tourism.


A Hunting Guide, Master Hunting Guide or Professional Hunter with additional qualifications for bow hunting must guide trophy hunters visiting Namibia.
Bow hunting shall be conducted exclusively in the company of a registered hunting guide/ master hunting guide or professional hunter with an additional bow hunting qualification at all times in the bush or blind, and not more than two trophy hunters per guide at any given time. Bow-hunting may only take place on special game farms and areas which are registered for this purpose with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Respect Landowners rights Bow-hunting may only be conducted for the sake of trophy hunting.

Licenses/ hunt permits for various game species may be organized by the outfitter. MET licenses/ hunt permits must clearly stipulate Bowhunting at the top of the page. 

No animal will be viable for inclusion in the NAPHA Top Ten List if said animals have been harvested with a permit not clearly displaying the Bowhunting stamp at the top of the page. The onus lies with the trophy hunter to check and ensure that the correct permits are in possession of the outfitter before hunting commences. 

No person shall without the permission of the Cabinet hunt any game or other wild animal during the period from half an hour after sunset on any day to half an hour before sunrise on the following day.

The practice of shooting from a moving vehicle is prohibited; ethical principles of hunting determine that any animal must have at least an equal chance to escape. A hunting guest may only take two animals of a kind each year, irrespective if the trophies are exported or not.

All Trophies must attain the minimum points of trophy quality.
(Exceptions are allowed only with old, setback or very abnormal trophies.) 

Bow-hunting is guided by the Code of Conduct as set out below:

  • Hunting to take place on the principles of fair chase, as defined hereunder.
  • When bow-hunting, the hunter makes use of stalking as well as lying in ambush
  • Use of correct hunting methods and equipment to harvest animals in the least traumatic way possible
  • Bow-hunters should practice and train continuously to enhance their bowman ship.
  • They have to abide by the relevant laws, other legal requirements and recognized codes of conduct.
  • They must actively enhance the survival of wildlife populations, protection of biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable utilization.
  • Ensure humane practices in the utilization of wildlife.
  • Engage at all times in fair and honest, practices
  • Educate others regarding the benefits of sustainable use, conservation procedures and the ethics of hunting.
  • Recognize indigenous rural community needs relating to sustainable natural resource utilization.

Every sport hunter should pursue an animal only by engaging in a fair chase of the quarry.

Fair chase is defined as the pursuit of a free roaming animal or enclosed roaming animal possessed of the natural behavioral inclination to escape from the hunter and be fully free to do so.

  • Said animal is to be hunted without an artificial light source, not from a motorized mode of transportation.
  • No ethical hunter while sport hunting must take female animals with dependent young.
  • A sport-hunted animal should exist as a naturally interacting member of a sustainable wild population located in an area large enough for it to breed and forage or hunt freely.
  • Hunted animals should be sustained within a natural state of balance between forage, predators and prey.


A hunting guest may only take two animals of a kind each year, irrespective if the trophies are exported or not. All Trophies must attain the minimum points of trophy quality. (Exceptions are allowed only with old, setback or very abnormal trophies.)
Minimum scoring total

Export of trophies

All trophies which are exported to the EU must be cleaned according to EU regulations. Hides need 14 days to dry .
Rifle Import Requirements
Hunters entering Namibia with a rifle(s), must complete a temporary import permit application form for all rifle(s) and/or ammunition in their possession. Download Temporary Import Permit application form The application form can be applied via e-mail ( in advance to enable the Namibian Police Force to consider the applications and issue the permits on arrival.


While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in this page is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.