Passports & Travel Visas

Requirements for South African Explorer

Visa Required: U.S. citizens must have a visa for entry into Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe visas will be granted upon arrival. Have a passport from another country? Please review the visa requirements.

Information by Destination

South Africa

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least 90 days after your return date, though we strongly recommend at least six months. Passports must have at least two blank pages for each entry into South Africa. (You will need four if visiting Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe during your trip.)

U.S. passport holders do not need a visa prior to travel to enter South Africa. Tourist visas will be issued upon arrival for stays up to 90 days. Consult the South African Embassy or the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider VisaHQ.

Children under 18 must present an original or certified copy of their birth certificate which lists both parents. If the birth certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation. Children traveling alone, with one parent, or with a third party must have written authorization and copies of the identity documents or passports from the absent parent, as well as other documents. See the information leaflet from the South African government or the U.S. State Department website for more information.

It is the responsibility of each traveler to determine passport and visa requirements and comply with them and to secure the proper travel documents. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary expenses, please carefully review the requirements so that you can obtain all necessary documents well before your trip. Requirements are subject to change, often without notice, and we suggest you verify requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate. We will not be held responsible for any charges, trip interruptions, or cancellations due to incorrect or missing visas, nor will travel insurance cover your lost expenses.

General Requirements & Guidelines

  • To travel abroad, U.S. citizens must have a passport. In general, it should be valid for at least six months after your return date, and passports expiring before then should be renewed as soon as possible. We recommend that passports contain at least 2 blank pages for each country visited. (U.S. citizens can get extra pages added to their passport if necessary.)
  • Many countries also require a travel visa for entry. Requirements vary by country. Some countries issue visas upon arrival, but in most cases, you need to obtain visas prior to travel.
  • Airlines and cruises may deny boarding and your tour may be disrupted if your passport and visa are not in order.
  • Minors (children under 18) traveling abroad without parents or with only one parent are required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to present additional documents such as (but not limited to) notarized permission letter and/or unabridged birth certificate. The U.S. Department of State has more information. Some other countries have similar requirements; check with the consulates of all countries you'll be visiting to learn more.

Getting a Visa

In general, if you are a U.S. citizen and have booked a tour or package with Scheduled Dates, we will send you complete visa instructions and application forms.

If you are not a U.S. passport holder, or have booked a package with Flexible Dates or one of our other products, you are responsible for obtaining your own visa. Please carefully review your entire itinerary (including all ports of call on cruises) to determine which countries you will visit. (Pay special attention to international flight routing, as some countries require visas for transiting through their airports, even if you are en route to another country.) Then determine the passport & visa requirements for each country on your itinerary, including whether you may need a multiple-entry visa. We recommend using an expedited visa service—see below.

Select a destination above to see more specific instructions.

Expedited Visa Service

Need to obtain your own visas? Though it is possible to obtain a visa directly from the consulate of the country you're visiting, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider for most destinations, VisaHQ. Here's why:

  • It is much easier and faster to arrange your visa through a service.
  • You can complete the entire process online, including all forms.
  • Your information is stored on a secure server and can be re-used for multiple visa applications.
  • For a nominal cost, you enjoy professional and expert handling of your visa application. If there's a problem, a specialist with contacts at the various consulates will ensure you get your visa in a timely way.

To get started, select the countries that you will be visiting.