TOPS Permits

Know before you go!!

Blue Duiker taken with KMG Safaris in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

If you'r planning a Safari to South Africa there is some vital information you will need to know and learn before hand if you want to hunt a few key species.

There is a permitting for select species to be hunted throughout South Africa.

BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF TOPS: On 1 February 2008, the South African Government’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) included some species in a Threatened Or Protected Species List, mainly referred to as the TOPS List. This regulation was put in place for Government to regulate the specie numbers of certain species. Although this list includes species of Fish, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals and Flora, we will only list the most common mammals and reptiles, as set out in the TOPS List. HOW TOPS WORKS: Below is a list of the most common mammals and reptiles as listed in the TOPS Regulation with regards to the hunting industry. (You will note that some of these species are also on the CITES Appendices). Should you want to hunt ANY of the mentioned species, you will need a special TOPS Hunting Permit for each of the species listed on the TOPS List (below). Your Hunting Outfitter will have to take out a TOPS Hunting Permit PRIOR to you hunting the mammal or reptile. This permit needs to have the following details listed:

  • Hunter’s name

  • Hunter’s full physical address (NO POSTAL ADDRESSES)

  • Farm where activity will take place

  • Period when the activity will take place (usually valid for one month)

This original hunting permit must be signed by the hunter, before leaving South Africa. Should this permit not be signed by the specified hunter, the export permit will not be issued. Please make sure all your details; spelling of name, spelling of address, name of town, etc. are correctly captured on this permit. Should this information differ in any way from other documentation, an investigation will be conducted into your hunting safari. This might delay your consignment by anything up to six months! The TOPS-regulation is currently being re-drafted as some provinces in South Africa has not yet implemented the regulations to the full extend, which is currently causing a lot of uncertainty in the industry. As soon as the new regulation is gazetted, we’ll update this page with the new regulations. Herewith the list of the most common TOPS Species:

  • Black Wildebeest

  • Bontebok

  • Cape Fox

  • Blue Duiker

  • African Elephant

  • Sharpe’s Grysbok

  • Honey Badger

  • Brown Hyena

  • Spotted Hyena

  • Leopard

  • Lion

  • Nile Crocodile

  • Oribi

  • Common Reedbuck

  • Black Rhinoceros

  • White Rhinoceros

  • Roan Antelope

  • Serval

  • Suni

  • Tsessebe

  • Cape Mountain Zebra

  • Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra

If your Outfitter does not have a specified hunting permit with your details on hand, DO NOT hunt this listed animal as it is against the law!

So guys and gals please make sure you contact the outfitter you are planning on going hunting with with enough time for them to square away a tops permit for any of these species you'd wish to hunt.

Note: The black Rhino, Bontebok, Lions hunted in South Africa, Elephants hunted in South Africa and Mountain Zebra are non importable into the US

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