CURRENT ENTRY RULES IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) - Updated 12 November 2020: International borders into South Africa reopened on 12 November 2020. International air travel is currently restricted to Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, Durban's King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport. All land borders are fully operational. Tourists are now permitted from all countries.
On arrival, travellers need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result (paper copy). The test must have taken place no more than 72 hours before your departure. We strongly advise taking multiple copies of the test with you. It is also possible to transit South Africa and travel onto another country but you must still show a paper copy of your negative Covid-19 test. If you cannot produce a negative COVID-19 test, you may be required to quarantine in a government-appointed quarantine facility for 10 days, at your own cost. Travellers will also be asked to download the COVID Alert South Africa Mobile App. You will need to provide proof of accommodation upon arrival in case you need to self-isolate during your trip.
Screening processes have been introduced at all major ports of entry, including airports, for arrivals, departures and transit passengers. Additional screening may include temperature measurements and check on recent travel to affected areas.
It is expected that these rules will be lifted and that the entry requirements will revert to normal as soon as the government of South Africa deems it safe to do so.
Normally, holders of the following passports do not require a visa to enter South Africa when travelling as a tourist for stays up to 90 days: United Kingdom; United States of America; Canada; Australia; Ireland; Belgium; Netherlands; Italy; France; Germany; Spain, Switzerland.
If you are a passport holder from another country, please contact your local South Africa High Commission or Embassy for up-to-date visa requirements, as citizens of certain countries (including New Zealand) are required to obtain visas before travelling. Please note that if you are applying to the Embassy for your visa, some visas can take a long time to be processed so please do take this into consideration, as it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa in place before you travel.
Please note that anyone travelling to South Africa should have a valid return ticket and a valid passport. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of exit from South Africa. However, some immigration officials still request that a passport should have at least 6 months validity from the date of entry to South Africa so to avoid problems on arrival, we advise that your passport meets this requirement instead. The passport must also have sufficient pages for entry/exit stamps - AT LEAST 2 BLANK PAGES.
TRAVELLING TO/FROM SOUTH AFRICA WITH CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 18 YEARS OF AGE AT DATE OF TRAVEL: It has been recently announced that the immigration laws for children travelling to South Africa who do NOT require a visa are to be relaxed, however not all airlines have updated their systems at the moment to reflect this amendment. Therefore, until we have received notification that all systems have been fully updated with the new relaxed rules, we are strongly advising that all passengers still adher to these following guidelines:
Parents travelling with children must produce an unabridged birth certificate for the child, showing full details of the child's parents. If the birth certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned. If the child is adopted, the adoption certificate must be produced. If only one parent is travelling, said parent must also show consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent named on the birth certificate authorising the child to travel (the affidavit must be no more than 3 months old from the date of travel), or a court order granting full parental responsibilities to the travelling parent, or (where applicable) a death certificate for the deceased parent. Legally separated parents should also provide a court order when the other parent does not give consent. Where a person is travelling with a child who is not their biological child, he/she must produce an unabridged birth certificate for the child supplemented by affidavits from the child's parents/legal guardian giving consent for the child to travel and copies of the identity documents or passport of the parents/legal guardian PLUS their contact details. There are also additional rules for unaccompanied minors - available on request.
PLEASE NOTE: All documents must be original - PHOTOCOPIES ARE NOT ACCEPTED. In the case of foreign countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, a letter to this effect issued by the competent authority of the foreign country should be produced. For more information, contact your local South Africa Embassy or High Commission, or contact the South African Department of Home Affairs via http://www.dha.gov.za/.
PLEASE NOTE: Countries can change their entry requirements at any time. Travel Butlers try to ensure that the information displayed here is correct, but the onus remains with the traveller to verify the information with the relevant High Commission or Embassy and ensure that they can comply with the applicable entry requirements.