Going on a mission trip to Rwanda next month and need advice on how to proceed

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Thread: Going on a mission trip to Rwanda next month and need advice on how to proceed

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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    Going on a mission trip to Rwanda next month and need advice on how to proceed

    Hi DC family!

    My wife and I are going on a mission trip next month to Rwanda to do some pastoral training for some pastors there. I am really excited to go, because it will be my first trip to Africa!!! To top it off, the village we will be in is situated in what used to be a game preserve, and it sounds like (no joke) I might get to hunt some big game while I am there.

    So...never having been overseas, and certainly never having taken firearms overseas, can any of you fine people with experience tell me if the process is even worth it or able to be accomplished? I would really appreciate any input from those who perhaps have been on safari or have hunted in Africa on how to bring an appropriate rifle in to the country. I seriously have no idea even how to start that kind of process, so I am in need of help.

    To complicate matters some, our flight goes from Phoenix to Frankfurt, Germany (yeah, LOOOOOOONG flight!! like 16 hours), then from Germany to Belgium for a 2-day layover. (mini vacation with my wife in Europe! WIN!) From there we fly to Kigali. The return trip is the reverse without the long layover.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
    Christianity and Self Defense from a Biblical Perspective

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  3. #2
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    I can't help you with the importation of firearms, but you might want to contact the US Embassy in Kigali - Home - Embassy of the United States Kigali, Rwanda - for starters. Ask for the Regional Security Officer for the rules and regs regarding importing a firearm, though since you are only planning to bring it for a specific purpose and short time limit there may be a specific program in place. I am fairly certain that you'd be able to rent a firearm if you were to book a big game hunt.

    I was actually just reading about the "turnaround" that Rwanda has experienced since the genocide; it is apparently now one of the more peaceful, stable, and economically growing countries in the region (that said, watch your six). I'm sure you're going to have the experience of a lifetime.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Even so, I'd invest in a machete-proof vest and insect repellent for botflies, etc.
    Retired USAF E-8. Avatar is OldVet from days long gone. Oh, to be young again.
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    Member Array 1911srule's Avatar
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    Might be easier to hire two armed guards. See local police chief for them, inquire about sidearm "rental"???A bottle of Jack Daniels would go along way as a gesture...

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    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    Pepto Bismal. It could quite literally save your life.

    I would believe, but am not sure, that the layover in Germany would cause problems with bringing a firearm to Africa.

    However, it is Africa after all, and I am pretty sure some amount of US currency would get you anything you needed.

    If you can't get a firearm try to find either a machete or a Sjambok.

    A Sjambok is basically a type of whip that is made of a solid piece of hippo hide. Very strong, very accurate and somewhat easy to learn to use. it is primarily used for killing venomous snakes. The type that will kill a man without any trouble. With a bit of practice it can be quite effective for stopping people.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinistrMalic View Post
    Hi DC family!

    My wife and I are going on a mission trip next month to Rwanda to do some pastoral training for some pastors there. I am really excited to go, because it will be my first trip to Africa!!! To top it off, the village we will be in is situated in what used to be a game preserve, and it sounds like (no joke) I might get to hunt some big game while I am there.

    So...never having been overseas, and certainly never having taken firearms overseas, can any of you fine people with experience tell me if the process is even worth it or able to be accomplished? I would really appreciate any input from those who perhaps have been on safari or have hunted in Africa on how to bring an appropriate rifle in to the country. I seriously have no idea even how to start that kind of process, so I am in need of help.

    To complicate matters some, our flight goes from Phoenix to Frankfurt, Germany (yeah, LOOOOOOONG flight!! like 16 hours), then from Germany to Belgium for a 2-day layover. (mini vacation with my wife in Europe! WIN!) From there we fly to Kigali. The return trip is the reverse without the long layover.

    Thanks in advance for the help!


    First off, hunting in Africa is generally highly regulated. With so little time before your trip I would guess that your opportunity to make solid arrangements for bringing firearms to Rwanda (even if permissible by local laws) is extremely narrow.

    I would start a net search for professional hunters and guides who work in Rwanda and look for customer recommendations as well. There may well be agents in the US who book hunts over there who can advise you. Invest in a few long distance calls and speak to a couple of PHs over there to see if there's time to arrange a hunt; chances are they will be able to provide firearms for you, which will enormously reduce the complexities of international travel with guns and the risk of loss or damage. The downside is that if you succeed, you may be hunting with an unfamiliar gun.

    Since you're here in AZ maybe contact Gary Reeder (Gary Reeder Custom Guns) up in Flag for some advice. He usually organizes an African hunt about each year, and he might be able to give you some contacts or some advice.

    Recognize that most folks plan African hunts about a half a year in advance, so you're starting off at a disadvantage. But it's worth pulling out the stops to see what you might be able to arrange in real short order. And even if the hunt doesn't happen for this trip, take advantage of the opportunity to scout out the regs and such for your next trip. Most everyone I know who's gone to Africa has found a need to go back there at least one more time.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

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    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    No advice here, just wanted to say, have a safe trip and be blessed.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

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    Senior Member Array AlexHassin's Avatar
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    I donít know about other European nations but I do know that no firearms may go from a UK airport into Africa no matter the paper work, so check up on those too. Also a lot of African countries have caliber restrictions, so check those. Get in touch whit a PH and proceed from there.
    I have not heard anything about big game hunting in Rwanda either. What are you planning to peruse?

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    Member Array ccroom's Avatar
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    My uncle was there for a short time, he's a electrical engineer. The best thing you can do is carry a plane ticket with you in case things get ugly, hire guards when you get there. Carry lots of bribes ( Jack Daniels, etc), buy things you dont need and give them away to people who can help you. My uncle had a driver and armed guards with him at all times. He was very generouse to them and they in turn were very loyal. When he was there the suicide of choice, getting ran over by the trains running in the area. Some will butcher cows right on the side of the road and sell cuts on the spot. The funniest part was my aunt. She said lizards were all over the place in the house, they weren't bad because they ate the bugs.
    "You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." - Admiral Yamamoto

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    Member Array GlockLobster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911srule View Post
    Might be easier to hire two armed guards. See local police chief for them, inquire about sidearm "rental"???
    +1 When hunting.
    In country, you need to learn to bribe and learn when your being bribed. Money talks and makes things happen. You may be able to purchase a rifle for cheap or borrow/rent one.

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    Member Array Tint Bob's Avatar
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    Can I suggest there might be a much more dangerous foe there??
    MALARIA.....

    We have just had one of our Pop Stars (Cheryl Cole) nearly die from Malaria, I searched Google and came up with this

    Malaria in Rwanda - Rwanda DG

    Good Luck

    Tint Bob (UK)

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    Senior Member Array AlexHassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tint Bob View Post
    Can I suggest there might be a much more dangerous foe there??
    MALARIA.....

    We have just had one of our Pop Stars (Cheryl Cole) nearly die from Malaria, I searched Google and came up with this

    Malaria in Rwanda - Rwanda DG

    Good Luck

    Tint Bob (UK)
    Maybe this is just me getting complacent but, take the pills, put on bug spray, and donít sleep out in the open and you will be fine. Plus if Iím not mistaken he is asking about brining a hunting rifle not a self defense weapon.

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    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    A mosquito net is your friend, a door stopper for cheap hotels with bad locks. A tactical flashlight but not to expensive. Get the belts with hidden pockets to carry extra cash. Good shoes, North Americans generally have bigger feet than most and finding shoes in your size might be a pain. Take long sleeve shirts and pants. Shorts expose you to bugs and may be looked down at some places. Buy a times or similar watch. If you have jewelry that is sentimental, leave it at home, in fact don't wear much at all (goes for the wife also). Photocopy all of your documents and keep copies in your luggage. Bring vitimans, leave then in the container they come in, make sure you take them. A batch of medical gloves might come in handy as well.

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    Member Array VTLO910's Avatar
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    1st, you should check all the laws for airline transport in every country the airplane will land with your baggage.

    Yes, you can take a firearm into other countries, but know their laws first.

    For the U.S., you want to make sure that U.S. Customs does not think you are bringing a new (importing) firearm into the country. To alleviate this and any issues with the ATF & Customs. Call first, then go prior to you trip to a CBP (Customs and Border Protection) Office. Bring your firearm in the case it will be transported, a bill of sale or something showing ownership. You need to bring the actual firearm/s so that they can verify the serial numbers, not just something on paper. Ask them to fill out a Form 4457. This form will show that you owned the firearm prior to your departure, and will not be construed as an import upon return... You can do this for pretty much anything of significant value with a serial number, as such, you will not have to pay any duty on it either.

    If you are intending to bring any "trophy" back... You might want to check out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife web site... You can also call them and they will tell you what you need to do to bring something back that is of animal nature. If you come into the states with something, you will be referred to an Agriculture Specialist, who will then in turn most likely contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife if it is something that can not be cleared on the spot.

    Other then that. Follow the TSA guidelines for storage of ammo and firearms. Mark tons of contact information on the case for the firearm. If someone can not get a hold of you for a combo to your case, you might find your locks to be busted...


    Hope this helps...
    ::: NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, Military Veteran, Public Safety Professional :::

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