Visa/Passport Information – Southern Africa Region
Part of your African Adventure is making sure you have the correct travel documents in place. The United States State Department website will guide you on the document requirements for each country.
Be sure your passport is valid for six months after your return date and has sufficient blank pages for each country’s immigration stamps and visas requirements (some countries such as South Africa and Mozambique require at least 3 blank pages; these do not include the “Amendments and Endorsements” pages at the back of US passports). You may be denied entry without this.
Note: At times there are backlogs at the U.S. Passport Agency, thus best to allow at least 4 months to get or renew a passport or to get additional pages. If you need your passport sooner, consider hiring an expedite company such as Passport Visas Express.
Getting your visa upon arrival: For countries requiring a visa, getting them upon arrival can be quite easy although lines can be long at times. It is best to have exact change with you and some additional USD in your pocket in case there is an unexpected increase in the cost. If arriving at an airport, it’s beneficial if you quickly proceed to the Immigration counter and try to position yourself as close to the front of the line as possible. And have a good book in hand in case there is a slow moving line!
Yellow Fever Certificate: Some countries require a Yellow Fever (or other) vaccination to enter their country. Be sure to ask your doctor/travel clinic to provide you with an “International Certificate of Vaccination” and carry this with you. If proof of vaccination is required and you do not carry it with you, you may be denied entry into the country.
SOUTH AFRICA- *Valid passport and return/onward ticket are required. U.S passport holders are not required to hold a visa. IMPORTANT: Foreigners intending to visit South Africa are informed that their passports must have at least three consecutive blank visa pages for the purpose of endorsement. New special requirements for parents traveling to South Africa with children under 18, please see below.** For additional information, consult the Consular of South Africa at (202) 274-7991 or online at www.southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/index.htm
**From May 31, 2015 and onwards: Parents traveling to South Africa with children under 18 years old will now be required to provide an unabridged birth certificate of all traveling children. This applies even when both parents are traveling with their children. When children are traveling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from parents proving permission for the children to travel. YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN UNDER 18 WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BOARD YOUR FLIGHT TO SOUTH AFRICA WITHOUT THE CORRECT DOCUMENTATION. Please click on the following link to learn more: www.dha.gov.za/files/Brochures/Immigrationleaflet.pdf
BOTSWANA- *Valid passport and return/onward ticket are required. U.S. passport holders are not required to hold a visa.
**We have been advised that Botswana Immigration are now enforcing similar regulations to South Africa, applicable to all minors entering and exiting Botswana. These have apparently been in place for some time, however, they are only starting to really enforce them now to support the regional anti-child trafficking efforts. The key difference between SA and Botswana is that SA requires the unabridged birth certificate while Botswana does not, and Botswana will accept both the original or a certified copy. Botswana Immigration have acknowledged that they have not made this clear enough to date, and are in the process of amending their available documentation plus communicating this message to the public. For additional information, consult the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana at (202) 244-4990 or online at www.botswanaembassy.org/
MOZAMBIQUE- Valid passport and visa required. You can obtain a single entry visa upon arrival or in advance. If purchased upon arrival, the cost will vary, depending on what airport/border you arrive. The cost can change without much warning so be sure to have additional USD available. For those arriving into the Vilanculous airport, the current cost of a visa is USD $75. For additional information, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Mozambique at (202) 293-7146 or online at www.embamoc-usa.org.
NAMIBIA- *Valid passport and return/onward ticket are required. U.S. passport holders are not required to hold a visa. For additional information, consult the Embassy of the Republic of Namibia at (202) 986-0540 or online at www.namibianembassyusa.org/
ZAMBIA– *Valid passport and visa required. You can obtain single and double entry visas upon arrival or in advance. If purchased upon arrival, currently the cost is USD $50 for single entry and USD $80 for double entry. Day trip visas are USD $20. It is best to purchase a double entry visa if you plan to leave and re-enter the country during your visit. If also traveling to Zimbabwe, please see below ** For additional information contact the Embassy of the Republic of Zambia at (202) 265-9717 or online at http://www.zambiaembassy.org.
ZIMBABWE- *Valid passport, return/onward ticket and visa required. You can obtain single and double entry visas upon arrival or in advance. If purchased upon arrival, currently the cost is USD $30 for single entry and USD $45 for double entry. It is best to purchase a double entry visa if you plan to leave and re-enter the country during your visit. If also traveling to Zambia, please see below ** For additional information contact the Embassy of Zimbabwe at (202) 332-7100.
**As of December 1st, 2014, a new uni-visa system has been implemented at Zambian/Zimbabwean borders. Visitors to both countries will now require only one visa. This applies to all 40 countries that currently require visas for either country. The new visa system is being applied at Livingstone and Lusaka airports and the border posts at Victoria Falls and Kazangula. This new visa is being called the Kaza visa. It costs US $50 and lasts for 30 days.
For assistance with obtaining passports and visas, contact: www.PassportVisasExpress.com