I am planning to travel to Zimbabwe from Australia on South African Airways.
Can I carry a vintage Hawke scope (telescope) and pellets for a pellet gun?
SAA regulations regarding ammunition are:
A maximum of 5kg securely boxed ammunition per passenger will be permitted for carriage either as a separate piece of baggage or within checked baggage in the hold of the aircraft. Screening authorities may however delay baggage containing ammunition, if such ammunition was not declared at check-in and is therefore not marked with an appropriate tag indicating that such ammunition was already security inspected.
Upon arrival passengers are required to proceed to the allocated firearm desk to collect firearms.
Checked baggage containing ammunition may be collected at the normal airport baggage carousel.
Ammunition handed in separately may be collected at the firearm desk.
These are clearly not intended to cover non-explosive airgun pellets but since dictionary.com for example defines ammunition as:
the material fired, scattered, dropped, or detonated from any weapon, as bombs or rockets, and especially shot, shrapnel, bullets, or shells fired by guns.
it would probably be a good idea for you to liaise with a SAA official to confirm (in writing) that what you propose is allowed, in so far as it does not meet the above requirements, so that you have something to counter anyone who might challenge you.
There is no issue with a Hawke sight.
I'm curious about the gun itself. I wonder why carry the ammunition rather than buy it at your destination, if the pellets are not matched to the gun.