Visitors Info: Arriving to South Africa

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Passports & Visa

Passports valid for at least 6 months beyond date of departure from South Africa required by all.

For full details of requirements, please see the following.

Required by all except the following for business and tourist purposes:
(a) nationals of Britain, EU countries, USA, Australia, Japan, Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland for visits of up to 90 days;
(b) nationals of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Jamaica, Malta, Paraguay, St Helena, Swaziland, Uruguay and Venezuela for visits of up to 90 days;
(c) nationals of Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Comoros Islands, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Gabon, Guyana, Hong Kong (SAR), Hungary, Jordan, Korea (Rep. of), Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, Peru, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Thailand, Turkey (except holders of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus passports, who do require visas) and Zambia for visits of up to 30 days;
(d) transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport

Note: Holders of Visitors visas are not allowed to take up employment in South Africa. Unaccompanied children must hold written consent from their parents when travelling alone.

Application to: Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy or High Commission). Applicants in countries where South Africa is not represented may send their applications direct to the Director-General for Home Affairs, Private Bag X114, Pretoria 0001.

Application requirements:
(a) Passport valid for 6 months beyond date of departure.
(b) 2 passport-size photos with signature on reverse side.
(c) 1 completed application form (failure to complete the application fully and in detail may result in visa being delayed or refused).
(d) Proof of sufficient funds to cover visit.
(e) Onward/return ticket and, if in transit, proof of sufficient documentation for admission to the country of destination.
(f) No criminal record.
(g) Visitors should be of sound mind and body.

For study permits: (a)-(g) and, (h) Official letter of acceptance from South African academic institution.

For work permits: (a)-(g) and, (h) Official letter of employment from South African company stating salary and position.

For business visas: (a)-(g) and, (h) Letter from employer.

Note: In the case of failure to comply with any of these regulations, visitors may be required to leave a cash deposit with the Immigration Officer.
Working days required: Applications should be made well in advance.
Temporary residence: Certain nationals can obtain a temporary residence permit free of charge on arrival. For more information, contact the Embassy.


Duty-free allowances:
Cigarettes 400
Tobacco - 250g
Alcoholic bev.'s - 1 liter
Cigars 50
Wine 2 liters
Perfume 50ml
Eau de Toilette - 250ml
Gifts, souvenirs and all other goods - R500

Green Channel
No commercial or restricted goods and within duty-free allowance.

Customs Charges
Pay duty (an average of 20%) on items over allowed limit before leaving Customs hall.


South Africa has the best developed transport system in Africa, but not as well-developed as in Europe or Japan. Major cities have bus services and inter city bus transport is readily available. Taxis are available on call. The air transport system is well developed with a large number of local carriers. More than 60 international airlines operate to and from South Africa. Car hire services are available in all cities and most of the larger towns. Drivers must have an international driver's license and a minimum of 5 years' experience. Cars can be hired from airports or arranged through travel agents.


There are 11 official languages.

The English speaking tourist will experience no difficulties, neither the Dutch nor Flemish speakers. Most of the larger institutions and operators cater for German, French and Japanese groups.


You'll find a Police station in every town.

The South African Police are listed under Government Departments at the back of the telephone directory as "SA Police Service".

Facilities for the Disabled

All the airports, major hotels, some rest camps in the Kruger National Park and lately built shopping centers provide facilities for the disabled. The larger car hire companies can provide vehicles with hand controls.

In general, however, facilities are still lacking.

Electricity and power

The supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 Hz with three-point wall plug. US-made appliances may need a transformer.


South Africa is 2 hours ahead of GMT, one hour ahead of Central European wintertime and 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard wintertime (USA).