Hunting License Application In Namibia

Hunting License Application In Namibia

What is Hunting License?

A hunting license is a regulatory or legal mechanism to control hunting. Hunting may be regulated informally by unwritten law, self-restraint, a moral code, or by governmental laws. The purposes for requiring hunting licenses include the protection of natural treasures, and raising tax revenue.

Overview of Hunting in Namibia

World renowned for its ethical and sustainable hunting practices, Namibia has become one of the top hunting destinations in Africa. Hunting options range from trophy hunting on private guest farms to big game safaris in concession areas in the northwest, east and northeast of the country.

Namibia has strict game laws, requiring all hunting farms to register with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET). All hunting guides, master hunting guides and professional hunters are required to meet the stringent requirements set by the Ministry.

Trophy hunting is allowed between February and November. The Nature Conservation Ordinance provides for four classifications of game: huntable game, specially protected game, protected game and huntable game birds.

Huntable game includes kudu, gemsbok (oryx), springbok, warthog and bushpig. The hunting season for huntable game on farms is usually in April and August. Written permission must be obtained from the farmer before a permit will be issued by the MET.

Specially protected game such as elephant, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, hippo, impala, black-faced impala and Burchell’s zebra, and protected game such as lion, blue wildebeest, eland, cheetah, red lechwe, roan, sable, sitatunga, steenbok, tsessebe and waterbuck, may be hunted only with a permit issued by the MET.

Game-bird hunting is growing in popularity, with some farmers managing their game-bird populations to offer this form of hunting. Huntable game birds include Burchell’s and Namaqua sandgrouse, red-billed, crested and Orange River francolins, crested guineafowl, Egyptian goose and Cape and red-billed teal. The bag limits and hunting seasons for the respective species are published in the Government Gazette.

Namibia also offers bow hunting. Several farms have been approved for bow hunting by the MET, and on some of these farms, the San or Bushmen trackers who are masters at bow hunting join in the hunt

Namibia Hunting Permits & Licenses

The wildlife authorities and the government of Namibia allocates quotas by species to each hunting concession or hunting block on an individual basis. On privately owned land for the most part, the owner decides based upon his own conservation practices the quota for each species.

Your hunting license and permit will be applied for and obtained by your hunting outfitter well prior to your arrival, please check with your outfitter as to the current charges or if the cost of this paperwork is already included in the price of your hunt.

The cost of hunting permits and licenses in Namibia are minimal and are usually included in the cost of the hunting safari, although a few hunting outfitters may charge separately for it.

The following is required regarding permits for trophy hunting in Namibia:
– Permits must be issued prior to the hunt commencing.
– A separate permit must be issued for each individual hunting client.
– An additional special hunting permit is required for hunting Leopard, hunting Cheetah or hunting Lion. This hunting permit mandates a special list of conditions to hunt big cats.
– The hunting permit must be completed in full by the hunting client and the professional hunter or hunting guide (wounded or lost animals must also be indicated on the hunting permit).
– Hunting permits are issued by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) only.
– A maximum of two trophies per species may be harvested, per hunting client per hunting permit.
– Government taxes are applicable on daily rates, currently the government tax is 15% (VAT).
– No government taxes are applicable on exported trophies.
– Trophies that are not exported from Namibia, not taken in a package hunt or wounded game not recovered are subject to a government tax of 15% (VAT) based upon the trophy fee paid by the hunting client.

Prohibited Practices

  • It is illegal to hunt for trophies:
    > at night and/or with an artificial light;
    > that do not qualify in terms of the minimum measurement requirements as specified by MET’s Namibian Quality Control.;
    > in contravention of Fair Chase principles; and as stated in the NAPHA Code of Conduct.
  • Prohibited firearms are:
    > All handguns;
    > All automatic firearms;
    > All crossbows.
  • It is illegal to transport black powder and percussion caps. These items can be purchased in Namibia. Inquire with your trophy-hunting operator.
  • The immediate export of trophies from Namibia is possible only with a veterinary certificate, an export permit from the MET and the import permit as required by the country of final destination.

Requirements for Importing Firearms

There is no limit to the number of firearms that may be imported into Namibia for trophy-hunting purposes. 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. A copy of “The Rifle Import Permit” and further information about the import of weapons you will find at the end of this page for downloading.

  • The requirements for the minimum muzzle energy have to be observed:
    > The smallest calibre is 7 mm.
    > The minimum muzzle energy:  1350 Joule for Springbok, Ducker etc.
                                                        2700 Joule for Red Hartebeest, Wildebeest Greater Kudu, Gemsbok, Cape Eland etc.
                                                       5400 Joule for Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino etc.
  • Bow energy is specified as follows: 25 ft/lb for small game
                                                          40 ft/lb for medium game
                                                          65 ft/lb for large game.
  • A maximum of one hundred (100) rounds of ammunition may be imported per hunting rifle. Only ammunition for the specific calibre may be imported.
  • Solid point cartridges are prohibited in general.
  • It is legal to import bows for bow-hunting purposes. (Refer to the NAPHA website for the bow-hunting requirements):  http/
  • It is legal to hunt with black powder rifles in Namibia. (Refer to the NAPHA website for black-powder hunting regulations): http/
  • All trophies which are exported to EU-countries, have to be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the EU-regulations. Capes and skins must have a dehydration time of 14 days.

Download of “Rifle Import Permit” for rifles and ammunition and further information about the import of weapons.

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.