Travelling in South Africa - Entry Requirements

We have many years of experience and with consultants who have lived in the country for over a decade, we guarantee that we will be able to assist you with any queries you may have for your holiday there.

Visa Requirements

Overall, South Africa is a safe place to travel, even as a woman alone. Common sense is all you really need to get by without any problems. There are some basic requirements needed to enter South Africa, which we have listed below for your ease of reference. We have many years of experience and with consultants who have lived in the country for over a decade, we guarantee that we will be able to assist you with any queries you may have.


If you are visiting South Africa for tourism or business purposes for a period of up to 90 days, you do not need a visa.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for at least 30 days beyond your intended date of exit from South Africa, in line with South African immigration regulations. However, some immigration officials still request that a passport should have at least 6 months validity on the date of entry to South Africa. To avoid problems at the airport on arrival, you are advised to ensure your passport is valid for six months.

Travelling with children

There are specific requirements for travelling to South Africa with children under the age of 18. There are different requirements for unaccompanied children entering South Africa.


Valid passport


Valid passport


Valid passport


  • copy of his /her birth certificate

  • parental consent letters

  • copy of the passport(s)/identity document(s) of the parent(s) / legal guardian(s)

  • contact details of the parent(s)/ legal guardian(s)

  • letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his / her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will reside

  • copy of the identity document / valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic

  • where applicable-

  • copy of an adoption order

  • copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent/ parents or legal guardian.

  • copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child


  • valid passport

  • letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides authorising his or her departure from the Republic as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).

Dual citizenship

If you hold South African citizenship, you must enter and exit South Africa on your South African passport. It is an offence for a South African citizen aged eighteen or over to enter or leave the country on a foreign passport.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

  • South African authorities advise that UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, transit and exit from South Africa.

  • ETDs should have a minimum of 6 months validity for entry, transit or exit.

Biometric capturing

South Africa has implemented biometric capturing at all ports of entry. This may result in some delays at land borders. You should allow additional time for border crossings.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

South Africa requires all travellers journeying from yellow fever risk countries to show proof of yellow fever vaccination by means of a valid yellow fever certificate.

This also applies to those who have transited through a yellow fever risk country. The certificates, which are valid for 10 years, must be approved by the World Health Organization, and should be administered at a yellow fever approved vaccination centre at least 10 days before departure to South Africa, as the vaccine only offers protection 10 days after administration.

Failure to produce a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate at a South African port of entry could lead to refusal of entry, or quarantine until your certificate becomes valid. Quarantine will not be longer than six days.

If you have exemption certificate due to medical reasons, you will be allowed entry, but you will be required to report any fever or other symptoms to the health authorities, and you will be placed under surveillance.



A wonderful 7 night break to South Africa

We have just come back from a wonderful 7 night break to South Africa. We were incredibly well looking after from the second we stepped off the plane, by a lovely representative of Best of South Africa Travel - who met us and escorted us through customs and immigration literally behind the pilots. It was very efficient, and we felt …

M Hemsley

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