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Visa Free Countries for South African Passport Holders and Citizens: Visa-Free, Visa On Arrival, ETA, eVisa What’s the difference?

Visa Free countries for South African Passport holders are countries that do not require a visa for entry. You may however, be given an entry stamp on your passport on entry.

Visa on Arrival countries for South African Passport holders are countries that will issue you a visa when you arrive at a port of entry (either land, sea or air). The visa may simply be a stamp on your passport, a visa document pasted on your passport, or a small slip of paper stapled to your passport.

eVisa countries for South African Passport holders are countries that require a visa on entry but the visas can be applied for online. The visas are then issued without the traveler visiting a consular office, diplomatic mission or embassy of the destination country.

ETA countries for South African Passport holders are countries that require an electronic authorization to travel. These must be applied for online before travel and must be shown to the travel provider before travel.

Visa Required countries for South African Passport holders are countries that require you to apply for a visa in person. This can be done at the destination country’s diplomatic mission, consulate or embassy in your country of residence or your home country. You must obtain this visa before travel or you will be denied entry to the destination country.

South African Passport

HOW MANY COUNTRIES CAN SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS TRAVEL TO WITHOUT A VISA

South African passport holders can travel to 101 countries or territories without a visa or are eligible for Visa on Arrival. This is up from 100 last year. South Africa is a large country with over 57 million people. South Africans love to travel but most like to spend their holidays traveling in South Africa. One of the reasons for staying in country is that the South African passport is ranked as average in terms of the passport mobility index. is granted visa free travel to a limited number of countries. Due to the hassle of visa applications, many South Africans who want a relaxing holiday rather than dealing with diplomatic paperwork choose to stay in South Africa. Those that do like to travel further afield are generally more adventurous people. The most overseas popular destinations are the United Kingdom, United States, Thailand and Italy.

HOW MANY COUNTRIES REQUIRE AN ENTRY VISA FOR SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS

Canadian Passport  Chinese Visa In Canadian Passport

Chinese visa in south african passport

There are 127 countries or immigration regions or territories that require South Africans to obtain a visa before traveling. We’ve summarized the visa requirements of countries below and categorized them into geographic areas.

SOUTH AFRICAN PASSPORT VISA GUIDE FOR ASIA

South African Passport Visa Free, Evisa, Eta, Visa On Arrival Countries In Asia

We’ve divided Asia into 4 geographic regions. East Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and West & Middle East Asia.  This division makes it easy for travelers if they’re planning to visit multiple countries in these areas. We’ve also included the length of stay allowed in each country for ease of planning the length of your trip.

East Asia

VISA FREE or VISA ON ARRIVAL:

  • China (Hainan Island Only) – 15 days – Visa on Arrival
  • Hong Kong – 30 days
  • Macau – 30 days
  • South Korea – 30 days

VISA REQUIRED:

  • China 
  • Japan
  • Mongolia
  • Taiwan

TRAVEL RESTRICTION:

  • North Korea – special permit required

Central Asia

VISA FREE:

  • Kyrgyzstan – 30 days Visa on Arrival or eVisa
  • Uzbekistan* – visa free transit for 5 days if arriving in an international airport but must show an onward ticket – apply for an evisa

VISA REQUIRED:

  • Kazakhstan – 30 days
  • Tajikistan – 45 days eVisa for travelers. EXCEPTION: if you are arriving from a country with a Tajiki diplomatic mission, such as the US,  you have to apply for visa from the Tajiki Diplomatic Mission. To Apply for an eVisa click here
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan – eVisa – apply for an evisa

Southeast Asia

VISA FREE OR VISA ON ARRIVAL:

  •  
  • Cambodia – 30 days, Visa on Arrival – eVisa also avaialble Apply for an eVisa here
  • East Timor / Timor Leste: 30 days, Visa on Arrival, must arrive by air
  • Indonesia – 30 days 
  • Laos – 30 Visa on Arrival – eVisa also available – apply here
  • Malaysia – 90 days 
  • Philippines – 30 days or a visa on arrival for 59 days for $50
  • Singapore – 90 days
  • Thailand – 30 days, EXCEPTION: if not arriving by air, maximum of 2 visits per year.

EVISA ONLY:

  • Myanmar – 28 days eVisa, Visitors must arrive by air OR at land borders: Tachileik, Myawaddy, and Kawthaung – Apply for an eVisa here
  • Vietnam – 30 days eVisa – Apply for an eVisa here

South Asia

VISA ON ARRIVAL:

  • Bangladesh – 30 days
  • Maldives – 30 days extendable up to 90 days
  • Nepal – 90 days visa on arrival
  • Sri Lanka – Visa on Arrival – eVisa also available – Apply for an eVisa here

VISA REQUIRED / EVISA::

West Asia / Middle East

VISA FREE / VISA ON ARRIVAL:

  • Armenia – 120 days
  • Georgia – 365 days
  • Iran – 30 days – Visa on Arrival
  • Israel – 90 days
  • Jordan – 30 days Visa on Arrival or apply for Jordan Pass to maximize your visa fee with visits to popular places included in price – apply here
  • Palestine
  • Qatar – 30 days Visa on Arrival – eVisa also available

VISA REQUIRED/EVISA:

  • Azerbaijan – 30 days, eVisa – apply for an eVisa here
  • Bahrain – 14 days, eVisa – apply for an eVisa here
  • Brunei 
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Oman – 30 days eVisa – get your evisa here
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Turkey – 30 days eVisa available – get your eVisa here 
  • United Arab Emirates 
  • Yemen

SOUTH AFRICAN PASSPORT VISA GUIDE FOR EUROPE

South African Passport Visa Free, Evisa, Eta, Visa On Arrival Countries In Europe

Europe is categorized into Schengen states and non-Schengen states. Schengen States are signatories of the Schengen Agreement which allows freedom of movement of people across borders of countries in the agreement. This means that once you enter a Schengen state, and you get your passport stamped, you can travel freely to all other Schengen states within the 90 day period without any further stamps or border checks.

Note: During special situations such as a pandemic or refugee crisis where movement can be restricted, you may be required to show your passport when crossing national borders within the Schengen area.

Schengen States

FREE VISA: NONE.

VISA REQUIRED:

South African Passport holders require visas to enter the Schengen area. Apply for your Schengen visa here

SCHENGEN MEMBER STATES:

Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark
Estonia Finland France Germany
Greece Hungary Iceland Italy
Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg
Malta Netherlands Norway Poland
Portugal Slovakia Slovenia Spain
Sweden Switzerland    

Non-Schengen

FREE VISA

  • Ireland – 90 days, must show the purpose of travel, sufficient fund, return ticket, and accommodation booking
  • Kosovo – 90 days
  • Russia – 90 days

VISA REQUIRED:

  • Albania – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Andorra – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Belarus – Apply here
  • Bulgaria – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Croatia – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Cyprus – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Macedonia – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Moldova – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Kosovo – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Monaco – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Montenegro – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Romania – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • San Marino
  • Serbia – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here
  • Ukraine – Apply here
  • United KingdomApply here
  • Vatican City – Multiple entry Schengen Visa Required. Apply here

SOUTH AFRICAN PASSPORT VISA GUIDE FOR AFRICA

South African Passport Visa Free, Evisa, Eta, Visa On Arrival Countries In Africa

Central Africa

VISA FREE or VISA ON ARRIVAL:

  • Angola – 30 days
  • Gabon – 30 days – Visa on Arrival – eVisa also available. Note: eVisa entry only at Libreville International Airport
  • Rwanda – 30 days Visa on Arrival – eVisa also available

VISA REQUIRED/EVISA:

  • Burundi
  • Cameroon – Pre-approved visa can be picked up on arrival
  • Central African Republic 
  • Chad 
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo 
  • Republic of Congo 
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Sao Tome and Principe – 15 days – apply here.
  • South Sudan

East Africa

VISA FREE or VISA ON ARRIVAL:

  • Comoros – visa on arrival
  • Ethiopia – evisa or visa on arrival which is obtainable at Addis Ababa Bole airport – you can get your evisa here
  • Kenya – 90 days 
  • Madagascar – 30 days visa on arrival – check prices online
  • Malawi – 90 days 
  • Mauritius – 90 days
  • Mozambique – 3 months
  • Reunion – 3 months
  • Somalia – 30 days – Visa on Arrival
  • Seychelles – 3 months visitor’s permit on arrival
  • Tanzania – 90 days
  • Uganda – Visa on Arrival
  • Zambia – 90 days
  • Zimbabwe – 3 months

VISA REQUIRED/EVISA:

  • Djibouti – 31 days evisa 
  • Eritrea
  • Mayotte 

North Africa

VISA FREE or VISA ON ARRIVAL:

  • Morocco – 90 days
  • Tunisia – 90 days

VISA REQUIRED:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt –  Get your visa online
  • Libya – pre approved visa can be picked up on arrival
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan

Southern Africa

VISA FREE:

  • Botswana – 90 days
  • Lesotho – 90 days
  • Namibia – 3 months

Western Africa

VISA FREE or VISA ON ARRIVAL

  • Benin – 90 days
  • Cape Verde – Visa on Arrival
  • Ghana – Visa on Arrival
  • Guinea-Bissau – 90 days – Visa on Arrival, eVisa
  • Mauritania – Visa on Arrival only at Nouakchott–Oumtounsy International Airport
  • Saint Helena – Visitor’s pass granted on arrival
  • Senegal – 90 days – Visa on Arrival
  • Sierra Leone – Visa on Arrival
  • Togo

VISA REQUIRED/EVISA:

  • Burkina Faso
  • Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) – 3 months – apply for an eVisa
  • Gambia
  • Guinea – 90 days – eVisa
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Nigeria – pre approved visa can be picked up on arrival

SOUTH AFRICAN PASSPORT VISA GUIDE FOR THE AMERICAS

South African Passport Visa Free, Evisa, Eta, Visa On Arrival Countries In The Americas

For the Americas, We’ve divided this section into 3 geographical areas. North, central, and south America. This should help those that are planning to travel from country to country on arrival from the US.

Central America

VISA FREE or VISA on ARRIVAL:

  • Barbados – 6 months
  • Belize 
  • Costa Rica – 90 days
  • Dominican Republic – 6 months
  • El Salvador – 90 days
  • Guatemala – 90 days
  • Jamaica  – 180 days
  • Honduras – 90 days
  • Nicaragua – 90 days
  • Panama – 180 days
  • Virgin Islands – 30 days

North America

VISA FREE: None

VISA REQUIRED:

South America

VISA FREE or VISA ON ARRIVAL:

  • Argentina – 90 days
  • Bolivia – 90 days Visa on Arrival
  • Brazil – 90 days 
  • Chile – 90 days
  • Ecuador – 90 days, additional extension of 90 days possible.
  • Falkland Islands 
  • Guyana – 3 months
  • Paraguay – 90 days
  • Peru – 180 days
  • Uruguay – 90 days
  • Venezuela – 90 days

VISA REQUIRED:

SOUTH AFRICAN PASSPORT VISA GUIDE FOR OCEANIA

South African Passport Visa Free, Evisa, Eta, Visa On Arrival Countries In Oceania

VISA FREE or VISA ON ARRIVAL:

  • Fiji – 4 months
  • Marshall Islands – 90 days Visa on Arrival
  • Micronesia – 30 days
  • Palau – 30 days – Visa on Arrival
  • Samoa – 60 days, Entry permit on arrival
  • Tuvalu – 30 days Visa on Arrival
  • Vanuatu – 30 days

EVISA or ETA:

  •  

VISA REQUIRED:

  • Australia
  • Guam
  • Kiribati
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Marinas Islands
  • Papua New Guineaeasy visitor permit 
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga

TIPS FOR TRAVEL

Check out this list of websites that will help you make your travel planning easier.

Accommodations:

  • Booking.com – most of the time, your booking can be cancelled at no fee
  • Agoda – popular around Europe
  • Hotels.com – hotel search engine for the best deals
  • AccorHotels.com – hotel chain offering simplicity to luxury
  • Radisson.com – hotel chain catering to hotels in Asia, Europe and North America, airport locations.
  • Parkinn.com – hotel chain catering to hotels in Europe and North America, airport locations.
  • Marriott.com – hotel chain offering basic to luxury, worldwide locations.

Tours:

  • Get Your Guide – a tour booking site that has a wide coverage of tours for every destination
  • Viator – great for Europe and North America
  • Klook – the most affordable place to book tours in Southeast Asia
  • Expedia – tour booking site
  • Disney – your direct path to theme parks and more
  • Travelocity – tour booking site

Visa:

  • iVisa – the one and only visa processing website that I use and never had any issues

Flights:

  • Skyscanner – definitely my favourite search engine for flights to anywhere in the world; its flexible compared to other websites.

Car Rental:

  • HolidayAuto.com – rental car consolidator
  • Rentalcars.com – rental car search engine

DISCLAIMER

The Funny Beaver aims to provide accurate information as of publication date. There may be errors and omissions and we cannot be held responsible for any costs or damages arising from non-admittance to countries or territories listed above. Always double check visa information from the government of the country of intended travel as visa requirements can an do change on short notice. 

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