Hunting Associations of South Africa

A professional hunter

The majority of South African Professional Hunters belong to one or more of three main hunting associations operating in South Africa. Many of these Professional Hunters are also members of Wild Ranching South Africa which is not a hunting association but plays a very important role supporting role to this industry. 

Here is some information about these Associations:

custodians of professional hunting and conservation south africa


Mission Statement

The Association has been established to:

  • promote ethical and responsible hunting;
  • demonstrate and enhance conservation and ecologically sustainable development through the responsible use of natural resources in order to ensure that South Africa’s biodiversity and conservation heritage is protected for the benefit of present and future generations; and to
  • enhance and promote the contribution of professional hunting to the livelihood and socio-economic development of all South Africans.

Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of the Association are to:

  • uphold to the highest standards of ethical and responsible hunting conduct whilst in the field and to promote the traditions of responsible hunting;
  • promote and improve the image and integrity of professional hunting and hunting in general by supporting sound and socially acceptable hunting and conservation principles that generate incentives for conservation and social-economic benefits for wildlife stewards and people co-existing with wildlife;
  • promote broad based black economic empowerment in the hunting environment in order to contribute to redressing the imbalances of the past;
  • ensure, in fulfilling these objectives, and while recognising that the economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged Members is a crucial component of the broader spectrum of transformation that is imperative in South Africa, that:
  • the initiatives of the Association through its transformation strategy are carried out with integrity, whilst being developmental and representative of the interests of all South Africans;
  • the Association contributes to the existing and future developmental and empowerment programmes within the field of hunting in South Africa;
  • promote an ethos of integrity, transparency and accountability within the structures of the Association;
  • collaborate with governments and other conservation-orientated non-governmental organisations, and to assist them in the execution of their duties, aims and missions in all matters relating to hunting and conservation;
  • engage with and educate civil society and policy makers through the press, social media and any other mechanisms that become available regarding the true value and benefits of hunting within the realm of conservation;
  • promote and safeguard the interests and welfare of its Members in relation to the aim and objects of the Association;
  • cooperate with and assist (where possible) other associations that share similar values and goals to the Association;
  • promote brand South Africa as a hunting and tourism destination within the local and international hunting and tourism industry;
  • observe and promote the obligations in, and purposes of, the Firearms Control Act, Act 60 of 2000 (“the Act”); and
  • to procure funding for the promotion of the goals and objectives of the Association.

Professional hunters' association of south africa


PHASA was formed in 1978 by a group of pioneering men — men who became icons in the fields of both hunting and conservation: ‘Uncle Stevie’ Smith, Basie Maartens, Coenraad Vermaak, Norman Deane, Nico van Rooyen, Bill Daly, Gary Kelly and Bertie Guillaume, to name but a few.

The PHASA founders were all true visionaries; firm in their belief that hunting, and the trophy hunting industry, in particular, has a significant role to play in conservation in South Africa. Today, PHASA is the largest association of its kind in the world, with more than 1 200 members.

PHASA is the only association in South Africa with the core and sole business of serving the professional hunting industry. Our expertise and vast network in the global hunting fraternity are unparalleled in South Africa. We continuously work with government at all levels, including ministerial level, and across a number of departments, to shape the future of our industry.

We actively interact with most leading role-players in the professional hunting industry, including international hunting and conservation associations, local and international government agencies and NGOs, other professional hunting associations from around the globe, PH training providers and local recreational hunting associations. PHASA is recognised, by government and by these role- players, as the mouthpiece for the South African professional hunting industry!

‘PHASA’ is actually comprised of two separate entities, each with its own identity, rules, aims and objectives. The original association, PHASA, is a non-profit body corporate governed by a formal Constitution, a strict Code of Conduct and disciplinary procedures. Its main purpose is to look after member issues and industry-related matters. The PHASA Conservation and Empowerment Fund (the Fund) is a separate, non-profit company through which PHASA meets its social responsibility commitments.

A membership lists can be found at 



The Beginning

Fifty hunters met at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria on a Saturday morning, October 1, 1949, to establish the Transvaal Hunters Association. At that stage, game was shot on an unbridled basis and a hunters’ association was seen to be in a position to change the situation around. Right from the very beginning, conservation was part of the activities of the Transvaal Hunters’ Association. The authorities fully supported this development and the Administrator of Transvaal became the patron of the Association. Other honorary members included the provincial secretary, governor general of Mozambique, minister of Lands, deputy commissioner of Police, the conservator of Fauna and Flora and the head of the National Zoological Gardens.

The Association obtained hunting opportunities in Bechuanaland [now Botswana], Angola and Mozambique for its members. In 1957, the Association changed its name to the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association. Membership numbers increased to 286 with members in the Transvaal, Orange Free State, Natal, Cape Province, South West Africa and Rhodesia.

The Association made donations to the National Parks Board for “Operation Rhino”, the Hungarian emergency relief fund, Pietersburg Municipality Game Park and Wildlife Management Chair at the University of Pretoria.

Membership numbers grew systematically and when the Association reached its sixtieth year it had more than 30,000 registered members represented by 69 branches. By 2015, SAHGCA had over 38,500 paid-up members and 74 branches nationwide. SAHGCA also provides support to branches of the Namibian Hunters and Game Conservation Association.

Goal and Mission

  • The main objective of the Association is to serve the interests of hunters, sport shooters and game farmers in South Africa through service excellence by:
  • Promoting and expanding responsible hunting as an important part of sustainable use and nature conservation in South Africa;
  • Promoting responsible firearm ownership in terms of appropriate legislation;
  • Establishing a positive public image of hunting and hunters;
  • Promoting knowledge about and respect for nature, supporting nature conservation, and developing a conservation ethos among its members and the public in general;
  • Providing education in all aspects of the culture and ethics of hunting, hunting skills and the use of legal hunting equipment;
  • Encouraging and/or conducting research in the hunting and conservation industry;
  • Promoting and establishing sustainable and affordable shooting, hunting and conservation activities for its members;
  • Promoting and establishing sustainable game farming for its members according to sound conservation principles
  • Co-operating with and maintaining relationships with other associations and organisations (in and outside of South Africa) with common objectives towards establishing one voice for the hunting and conservation sector;
  • Liaising constructively with authorities and other interested parties and participating in consulting and decision-making processes; and
  • Supporting and undertaking community and development projects that complement the objectives of the Association.



WRSA is acknowledged by government and stakeholders as an organisation representing the national and international interests of the wildlife ranching industry.

This relates to the sustainable breeding, conservation, production and marketing of wildlife in South Africa. WRSA constitutes the largest collective of more than 2,000 commercial wildlife ranchers (land owners), businesses and individuals with an interest in commercial wildlife ranching.

Wildlife ranchers conduct their activities from millions of hectares of agricultural property dispersed throughout South Africa.

WRSA’s purpose is to promote, serve and protect the interests of wildlife farmers and to enhance the economic viability and growth of the industry by:

  • Influencing and guiding national and provincial regulations and policies relating to the wildlife industry in partnership with government;
  • Creating awareness of the benefits of wildlife ranching in South Africa;
  • Undertaking and directing applied research in the wildlife ranching industry that will assist members to make good decisions to follow best practices;
  • Encouraging and facilitating appropriate biosecurity measures to protect against the threat of diseases;
  • Facilitating and promoting broader participation and transformation within the industry;
  • Building a community in the wildlife industry through chambers, study groups, magazines, newsletters, website, seminars and social events;
  • Enhancing the reputation of the industry, locally and globally;
  • Providing the appropriate leadership infrastructure, capacity and capability to achieve all of the above.

South African conservation model is one of the most successful in the world. Owing to the hunting tourism, thousands of acres of agricultural land has been rewilded, and now is full not only of game animals, but of wildlife of all description. This success is in a large degree due to the work of associations listed above. When you book a hunt in South Africa, you contribute to conservation.


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