No visa required

2013-04-12 15:22

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While most of the time I'm extremely proud of my 9th-generation-South-African-of-mixed-European-descent status, sometimes I can't help but wish that at least one of my ancestors had put off their arrival for a bit... just eight generations or so.

Because, as many of you may know, travelling on a plain old green South African passport is no joke.

Before even thinking about entering most countries around the world, we are required to pass the ultimate endurance test: a visa application. Reams and reams of paperwork, sweaty-palmed interviews, exorbitant amounts of money and throbbing admin headaches later, we may or may not be allowed to hop in and out of a destination as fast as our little legs can carry us. 

And for all those endowed with a generous dollop of wanderlust, it really just is a bit of a party pooper. 

So, for interest's sake, I decided to find out which countries have mercy on our fragile little nomadic souls, allowing us to enter their territory without a visa.

Surprisingly enough, it's not nearly as dismal as expected.

Here's a round-up:

Africa 

Most SADC countries are accessible to us without a visa, as long as we're going there for vacation. Any form of work - even volunteering - requires some form of a visa, so make 100% sure what the rules are beforehand. 

Here is the full list of African countries we can enter without visas:

Benin, Botswana, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Senegal, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

And then a few where we get a visa on arrival:

Cape Verde, Comores, Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Tongo, Tunisia and Uganda

South and Central America

The good news is that pretty much the ENTIRE South and central America is accessible to us on nothing but a passport, with the exception of, among others, Suriname, French Guiana, Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. 

Here is a full list of the South and Central American countries we can enter on our passport:

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

North America

Sorry, folks, it's a no go. Visas are a must. Check out what you need for the US Visa application process.

Europe

Well, it's mostly closed to us, but there are a few surprising destinations we can enter sans visa. 

Ireland, Kosovo and, this just in, since 1 March South Africans no longer require visas to get into France's Reunion Island.

Asia

Georgia, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Visa on arrival

Armenia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and Timor-Leste

Middle East

Israel  and Jordan

Visa on arrival

Oman and Turkey

Oceania 

Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated states of Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, 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

 
Read more on:    travel international
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