Millions of people go to South Africa each year for various reasons chief among them being tourism. Whether your interest is in marine activities, culture, or classic wildlife experiences South Africa is a big country that gives and gives some more.
South Africa's tourism is very well developed and diverse, which makes it a very attractive destination for any kind of interest - common or niche.
Before you can visit South Africa, you will need a visa (unless your country is exempt). In this article, we'll look at the requirements for a South African visa, the cost, and the countries and territories which do not require a visa to enter South Africa.
South Africa Visa Requirements
- A valid passport with at least 30 days validity after your intended departure
- Two blank/unused pages in your passport
- A return or onward ticket (if you are flying out)
- A yellow fever vaccination certificate (if you are from or through the yellow fever belt areas)
- A statement confirming the purpose and length of your visit
- 2 colour passport-type photographs
- Proof of having enough funds (e.g bank statement)
- Visa Fee
South Africa Visa Process
Getting a visa for South Africa is a manual and physical process where you have to visit your local embassy to fill out the various application forms. This (of course) doesn't apply to visa-exempt countries and passports.
The best way to go about getting your South Africa visa is by getting in touch with the staff at the local embassy in your country so that you can prepare all the required documents and materials before your visit.
South Africa is working on an e-visa system that will streamline the process of obtaining a visa by utilizing the internet as many other countries have done. The system is still in the testing phase and the pilot countries are Kenya and India.
If you are a Kenyan or Indian Citizen, you could apply for the South African e-visa online and help the pilot phase along.
South Africa Visa Exemption
Many countries have visa exemptions from South Africa, and you might be one of the people who don't need a visa to enter the Republic of South Africa.
Some exemptions are for a period of 90 days while others are for a period of 30 days. Other nationalities have an exemption for service and diplomatic passport holders only.
Let's look at each group.
90-Day Visa Exemption
|Austria||Ireland||Norway||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Botswana||Jamaica||Paraguay||United Arab Emirates|
|Canada||Liechtenstein||Russia||United States of America|
|Chile||Luxembourg||St Vincent and the Grenadines||Uruguay|
|Czech Republic||Madagascar||San Marino||Venezuela|
|Denmark||Malta||São Tomé and Príncipe||Zambia|
Be sure to check whether your nationality's exemption is 90 days per visitor per year.
British overseas territories and conservancies are included as part of the United Kingdom's exemption.
30-Day Visa Exemption
|Antigua and Barbuda||Costa Rica||Lesotho||Mozambique|
Service/Diplomatic Visa Exemption
Citizens of the following country do not require a visa as long as they have a diplomatic or service passport.
|DR Congo (conditional)||Morocco||Uganda|
When travelling with children below the age of 18, here are some things to be aware of.
- A valid passport with at least 30 days validity after intended departure.
- A valid birth certificate with the names of both parents
- If the child is travelling with one parent/guardian the signed consent of the other parent is required.
- If the child is travelling with another adult, the signed consent of both parents to grant temporary guardianship is required.
These rules are intended to fight human trafficking and are strictly observed. As of October 2016, more than 13,000 people have been turned away because these requirements weren't met.
- The government of South Africa reserve the right to allow or deny you entry and having a visa is never the final authority to entry.
- Visa processing fees are non-refundable
- If your country is indicated in the above categories of visa exemption, make sure to understand the type of exemption and the granted period.
- Visa policy terms and laws can be altered by the government without any prior notice, so make sure to confirm with official government sources such as the department of home Affairs or your local embassy.
While the process of obtaining a visa for South Africa can seem hard, due to the need to talk with the embassy, a visit to South Africa is worth the little inconvenience. If you can be able to get in touch with your local embassy in your country, then the process should be easy.
In the event that your country is among the visa-exempt countries in any of the tables above, you should confirm with either your government or your local South African embassy to make sure you have official confirmation from the responsible bodies.
We try to give you the most up-to-date and true information, but these regulations could be changed at any time without prior information.