No visa required!

Securing a visa to visit an international country can be an exhausting, time-consuming and expensive exercise. Here are ten countries that South Africans don’t need a visa to visit. 

Graphic: Samantha Camara

Graphic: Samantha Camara

Most young people dream of adventuring across the world but getting a visa can often be a frustrating, time-consuming and expensive process.

Luckily, South African citizens are able to travel to over 40 countries without a visa. (This list excludes countries that offer a visa on arrival).

With a valid South African passport, these are some of the countries that you don’t need a visa to visit.


1. Namibia

As one of our neighbouring countries, Namibia is a short two-hour flight away. It is home to one of the largest coastal deserts, the Namib and part of the Kalahari, the fifth largest desert in the world. Namibia is also known for its incredible wildlife.

2. Seychelles

La Digue Island, Seychelles. Photo: Dider Baertschiger

La Digue Island, Seychelles. Photo: Dider Baertschiger

The archipelago of 115 islands called the Seychelles sits off the east coast of Africa. Scuba-diving, snorkeling, sunshine and lazy beach days on an island paradise – no visa required.

3. Tanzania

Tanzania is best known for Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Countless hikers and mountaineers visit Tanzania every year to climb the mountain’s peak and explore the natural beauty this country has to offer. The annual migration of animals through the Serengeti National Park, the area where Disney’s The Lion King is based, is also popular.

4. Zanzibar

Bwejuu Beach, Zanzibar. Photo: Chris Huh

Bwejuu Beach, Zanzibar. Photo: Chris Huh

Off the coast of Tanzania is the island of Zanzibar. Like the Seychelles, the archipelago is a perfect destination for scuba-diving, snorkeling and water sports. A trip to another continent is not needed when we have paradise so close to home.


5. Brazil

Copacabana Beach (Praia de Copacabana), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Bisonlux

Copacabana Beach (Praia de Copacabana), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Bisonlux

Vibrant and beautiful, Brazil is host to one of the biggest annual parties in the world, The Rio Carnival. The stretches of beaches and the Amazon Rain forest are also popular tourist attraction for those wishing to escape the city. The best part is that Brazil, and most of South America, do not require a visa.

6. Costa Rica

The small, rain forested country of Costa Rica is a perfect place to experience the best of tropical life. Beaches on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea are a perfect place to surf and the rain forests provide an adventure of their own.

7. Caribbean Islands

Jerusalem, Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica. Photo: Greg Walters.

Jerusalem, Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica. Photo: Greg Walters.

Jamaica, Barabados, Bahamas, Haiti and Dominica are Caribbean Islands that welcome South Africans without visas. Whether you want to envelope yourself in the laid back island culture of Jamaica or provide humanitarian aid to those in Haiti, the Caribbean Islands are a paradise waiting to be explored.


8. Thailand

Tropical beaches, ancient ruins, magnificent temples and a modern cities. Thailand is a world of it’s own and a mecca for the adventurous spirit who enjoys learning about different cultures.

Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Mike Behnken.

Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Mike Behnken.


9. Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is one of the only places in Europe that you do not need a visa to visit. Lush green hills, old castles and “real” guinness are on offer as you navigate the country side.


10. New Zealand

Glaciers, snow capped mountains and incredibly blue lakes make New Zealand an awe inspiring place to visit. Fans of The Lord of the Rings can take a tour through Middle Earth, as most of the franchise was filmed in New Zealand and special tours to the sets are available.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand. Photo: Alan Iam.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand. Photo: Alan Lam.


10 things South Africans abroad miss most

South Africa is an undeniably beautiful and unique country. Those who have left the country can’t help but miss the many small things that make South Africa home.

1. Being able to watch live South African sports games at a reasonable time, not 2am.


When you are too tired to watch the game because it is on at 2am your time. Image: Disney / Via


2. Cosmos blooming at the end of summer to show that winter is coming.

Cosmos Jack Holloway

Cosmos grows along most roads to signal the start of lowered tempretures. Photo: Jack Holloway


3. South African Sunsets and Sunrises.


Sunset silhouette of Johannesburg. Photo: Samantha Camara


4. Buying fresh biltong hanging in the butchery.

Cape Town, South Africa

Biltong selection. Photo: fabulousfab


5. Supporting South African Sports teams with other South Africans instead of being the only South African fan in the room.

Peter baker

A lonely South African Supporter. Photo: Peter Baker


6. The diversity of the South African nation.

chrisna herbst

A small representation of South African cultural diversity. Photo: Chrisna Herbst


7. Simple South African foods.

vaiz Ha pap

Simple South African food menu offered at the Kruger National Park. Photo: Vaiz Ha pap


8. Having people understand your South African accent and slang.

9. The Abundance of natural beauty.

Blyde River Canyon - 019

The beautiful Blyde River Canyon. Photo: Fiver Locker


10. Finding South African sweets easily.

Yumminess 101: South African Goodies

An illustration of favourite sweets that many South Africans abroad miss. Image: Dimitra Tzanos