Countries South Africans can visit without a visa
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Countries South Africans can visit without a visa

Anyone who does regular international travel on a plain old green bar-coded South African passport knows that it can be very challenging to obtain a visa.

Before entering most countries around the world, we are required to undertake and pass one daunting test – Visa application. Yet, the South African passport is one of the most powerful African passports according to the latest data published by the Henley Passport Index. The report shows a list of world passports, ranked from the most powerful to the weakest, based on how many countries one can visit with the passport visa-free or visa-on-arrival (e-visa)

Effective January 2019, South African passport holders can travel to 101 world countries without the need to apply for a visa before departure.

South African passport holders can enter 67 countries in the world without any type of visa.

They can also enter another 34 without a visa and apply for a visa upon arrival.

Three Asian countries Japan, Singapore and South Korea, followed by the EU/EEA countries. are at the top of the overall global list

PLANNING YOUR TRAVEL: See a detailed Guide for each of the visa-free destinations for South African travellers here

Overall there are 101 countries around the globe south Africans can visit with our passport alone. While they may not be the US, Canada, Australia or most of Europe, there are some great and exciting places to go.

Here is a round-up of all the countries South African passport holder can either visit without a visa or apply upon arrival:

Most SADC countries are accessible to South Africans without a visa, as long as the visit is for vacation. Any work-related visit even volunteering requires some form of a visa, so make 100% sure that you know what the rules are beforehand.

Here is the list of African countries we can enter or visit without a visa:

Angola, Benin, BotswanaDjibouti, KenyaLesotho, MalawiMauritiusMauritaniaMozambiqueNamibia, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Senegal, SeychelleseSwatini (formerly Swaziland), SomaliaZambia and Zimbabwe.

For the following you get a visa on arrival:

Cape Verde, ComorosEthiopiaGabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Tanzania, Togo Tunisia, and Uganda.

South and Central America

The good news is that the greater part of South and Central America is accessible to us with a passport only, except for others, Suriname, French Guiana, Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.

Here is a list of the South and Central American countries we can enter or visit with our passport only:

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bolivia Cayman Islands, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay and Venezuela.

North America

Visa is a must for this area. Check out what you need for the US Visa application process.


The most part is closed to us, but there are a few surprising destinations we can enter without a visa.

Ireland, Kosovo, Russia, Georgia and France’s Reunion Island.


Hong Kong, Macao, MalaysiaMaldives, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Visa on arrival:

Armenia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, CambodiaIndonesiaKyrgyzstan, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, South Korea, and Timor-Leste

Middle East

Iran, IsraelPalestine, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar

Free E-visa



Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. 

Check out the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s comprehensive list of visa requirements for ordinary South African citizens.  

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