Visa-Free Countries for South African Passport Holders in 2023

Visa-free Countries for South African Passport Holders

The South African passport allows its holders visa-free entry to more than 60 countries.

The passport makes it possible to travel through several locations granting South African citizens visa-free entry. It gives access to destinations in Latin America and southern Africa without the need for a visa.

Read the article to learn the list of destinations where a visa is not required for people with a South African passport, as well as places that offer visa alternatives like visa-on-arrival, eVisa, or eTA in 2023.

In this article on the topic of world accessibility for South African passport owners, you will read about:
Map and chart showing the percentage distribution of visa requirements for South African citizens
Visa-Free Countries61 (31%)
Visa-On-Arrival Countries30 (15%)
eVisa Countries37 (19%)
eTA Countries4 (2%)
Visa Countries77 (39%)

How many countries can South African citizens travel to visa-free?

61 countries grant visa-free entrance to South African citizens. They can travel to several states without a visa, using only their passport.

Most of these countries are located in Latin America, and South Africa. For example, to travel to Brazil or Angola, it is sufficient to present your South African passport at the airport or at the border.

Map of countries South African citizens can travel to visa-free

What countries can South African citizens go to without a visa?

The South African passport allows you to access 61 countries without a visa. This number is relatively low compared to some of the European nations but nevertheless, it still makes traveling to many places more comfortable.

Below you can find a complete list of countries South African passport holders can visit visa-free. In the round brackets, you can find information about how long visitors could stay in each state without a visa.

In some places, South Africans can stay more than 180 days without any additional documents!

Angola (30 days)Lesotho
Antigua and Barbuda (180 days)Macao (30 days)
Argentina (90 days)Malawi (90 days)
Bahamas (90 days)Malaysia (90 days)
Barbados (180 days)Mauritius (90 days)
BelizeMicronesia (30 days)
Benin (90 days)Mozambique
Botswana (90 days)Namibia (90 days)
Brazil (90 days)Nicaragua (90 days)
Chile (90 days)Palestinian Territories
Costa Rica (90 days)Panama (90 days)
Dominica (180 days)Paraguay (90 days)
Dominican RepublicPeru (180 days)
Ecuador (90 days)Philippines (30 days)
El Salvador (90 days)Russian Federation (90 days)
Eswatini (30 days)Saint Kitts and Nevis (90 days)
Fiji (120 days)Saint Lucia (42 days)
Gabon (30 days)Senegal (90 days)
Gambia (90 days)Singapore (30 days)
Georgia (360 days)St. Vincent and the Grenadines (90 days)
Grenada (90 days)Suriname (90 days)
Guatemala (90 days)Tanzania (90 days)
Guyana (30 days)Thailand (45 days)
Haiti (90 days)Trinidad and Tobago (90 days)
Honduras (90 days)Tunisia (90 days)
Hong Kong (30 days)Uruguay (90 days)
Ireland (90 days)Vanuatu (30 days)
Israel (90 days)Venezuela (90 days)
JamaicaZambia (90 days)
Kenya (30 days)Zimbabwe (90 days)
Kosovo (90 days)

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How many countries can South African citizens visit with a visa on arrival?

South African citizens can enter 30 countries with a visa on arrival.

A visa on arrival is a visa that can be obtained after the arrival at the airport, the land, or the sea border of some states. The visa application process is therefore conducted upon arrival in the country and not before.

Once South African citizens have obtained their visa-on-arrival they must respect the validity date indicated on the document and stay in the state only during that period.

Map of countries South African citizens can visit with a visa on arrival

What countries can South African citizens enter with a visa on arrival?

Most of the countries that require South African citizens to get a visa on arrival are located in Central Africa and Oceania.

We have prepared a full list of nations that grant a visa-on-arrival to South African citizens together with the number of days it is valid for:

Azerbaijan (30 days)Marshall Islands (90 days)
Bolivia (90 days)Mauritania
Burundi (30 days)Nepal (150 days)
Cambodia (30 days)Nigeria
Cape Verde (EASE)Oman (30 days)
Comoros (45 days)Palau (30 days)
Egypt (30 days)Qatar (30 days)
Ghana (30 days)Rwanda (30 days)
Guinea-Bissau (90 days)Samoa (90 days)
Indonesia (30 days)Sierra Leone (30 days)
Jordan (30 days)Somalia (30 days)
Kyrgyzstan (30 days)Tajikistan (45 days)
Laos (30 days)Timor-Leste (30 days)
Madagascar (90 days)Togo (15 days)
Maldives (30 days)Tuvalu (30 days)

How many countries can South African citizens visit with an eVisa?

South African passport holders are required to have an eVisa to enter 37 countries.

The eVisa is an electronic visa. After completing a procedure it authorizes the person who holds it to stay in certain countries.

When you apply for an eVisa, a photocopy of the passport and other documents are required. You need to complete the procedure and obtain the visa before arriving in the country.

It is mainly intended for short stays, tourist purposes, or for work-related stays.

Map of countries South African citizens can visit with an eVisa

Which countries require South African citizens to obtain an eVisa?

Countries that expect South African citizens to obtain an eVisa are located primarily in Central Africa and the Middle East.

Below you can find a complete list of states that require South Africans to get an eVisa before entering their territory.

Armenia (120 days)Kyrgyzstan (30 days)
AustraliaLaos (30 days)
BahrainMadagascar (90 days)
Bolivia (90 days)Mongolia
Burkina FasoMyanmar [Burma]
Cambodia (30 days)Oman (30 days)
ColombiaPapua New Guinea (30 days)
Congo DR (90 days)Rwanda (30 days)
Cuba (tourist card, 30 days)Sao Tome and Principe
DjiboutiSeychelles (tourist registration, 90 days)
Egypt (30 days)South Sudan
Ethiopia (90 days)Tajikistan (45 days)
Guinea (90 days)Türkiye (30 days)
Guinea-Bissau (90 days)Uganda
India (30 days)United Arab Emirates
Indonesia (30 days)Uzbekistan
Iran (30 days)

How many countries South African citizens are required to have a visa to visit?

77 countries require South African citizens to have a visa. You would need one if you want to travel to Europe, Asia, or North America.

It is important to learn more about your destination and find out if it requires a visa before you travel. You can, for example, visit the government’s official website to get all the necessary information.

Map of countries South African citizens are required to have a visa or eTA to visit

What countries require South African citizens to get a visa?

Below you can see a list of countries that require a visa for South African citizens:

Bosnia and HerzegovinaMorocco
CameroonNew Zealand
Central African RepublicNorth Korea
ChadNorth Macedonia
Czech RepublicSan Marino
DenmarkSaudi Arabia
Equatorial GuineaSerbia
FinlandSolomon Islands
KuwaitUnited Kingdom
LatviaUnited States of America
LebanonVatican City

South African citizens can travel to 4 countries with an eTA authorization

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), is a document used by visa-exempt travelers. It’s a tool that allows tracking of the number of visitors.

You need a passport to be in possession of the eTa authorization. This tool enhances security by checking the identity of people even before they enter the country.

A form is generally to be filled out on the website of the country you wish to visit.

There are 4 countries that grant an eTA for South African passport holders:

  • Ivory Coast (pre-enrollment, 90 days)
  • Pakistan (30 days)
  • South Korea (30 days)
  • Sri Lanka (30 days)

Key takeaway on visa-free countries for South African citizens

The South African passport allows access to approximately 61% of countries in the world.

If you have this document in 2023 you can travel to 61 countries without a visa, 30 with a visa on arrival, and 37 countries with an eVisa.

4 other countries grant entry using the eTA system, and South Africans are required to have a visa in 77 countries.

FAQ: Visa-free travel for South Africans

Which countries are visa-free for South African passport holders?

There are 61 states that grant visa-free entry to South African citizens. They are mostly located in Latin America, and South Africa, and require only a valid passport to enter.

Can South Africans get a visa after arrival?

Yes, this type of visa is called a visa-on-arrival and is granted to South Africans in 30 countries.

Do South Africans need a visa for Dubai?

No, instead of applying for a regular visa, South Africans can receive an easier-to-obtain alternative called an eVisa.


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