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Passport, Visa & Entry Requirements

Package: Best of South Africa

Visa Required: You should have 2 consecutive blank visa pages for any necessary stamps when traveling into South Africa. (4 blank pages if you have selected the Victoria Falls Extension, and 7 if you add the Chobe day trip during your visit.) For Zimbabwe, U.S. citizens must have a visa for entry. Zimbabwe visas will be granted upon arrival. See below for more information.

Information by Destination

South Africa

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months after your return date from South Africa.

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter South Africa. However, all visitors are required to have two consecutive blank passport pages for each entry into South Africa. Note that some of our packages include multiple entries into South Africa. You may be denied entry if your passport does not have enough blank pages.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, please see the entry requirements.

Travelers arriving from or visited a yellow fever endemic country within 14 days of arrival in South Africa will be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry to South Africa.  Learn more.

Zimbabwe

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months after your date of entry to Zimbabwe.

A visa is needed for U.S. passport holders to enter Zimbabwe, which can be obtained online or upon arrival; getting it upon arrival is generally much easier. The cost is $30 USD for a single-entry visa or $45 USD for a double-entry. Though it may be possible to pay with credit card, we strongly suggest you carry this exact amount in cash. You should have two consecutive blank pages in your passport for entry into Zimbabwe. Please also carry a copy of the e-ticket for your return flight, in case this is requested.

Some of our packages offer an optional excursion from Zimbabwe to Chobe National Park in Botswana. If you are taking the optional Chobe National Park excursion, obtain a double-entry Zimbabwe visa and be sure to have an additional blank passport page for entry into Botswana. For more information, please check with the Zimbabwe Embassy or Consulate or the U.S. State Dept.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, please see the entry requirements.

Travelers arriving from or who visited a yellow fever endemic country within 14 days of arrival in Zimbabwe will be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry to Zimbabwe. 

Botswana

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at time of entry into Botswana.

U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to enter Botswana for stays up to 90 days. Passports must have at least three blank passport pages. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, please see the entry requirements.

For travelers arriving from a yellow fever endemic country, Botswana requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. (This does not apply to most of our travelers, including anybody arriving from the U.S., Canada or South Africa).

General Requirements & Guidelines

  • We provide visa & entry requirement information for the convenience of our travelers, and we try to keep it up-to-date. Ultimately, however, it is your responsibility to determine the passport and visa requirements that apply to you and to comply with them, including securing proper travel documents by the required deadlines and carrying them with you. Requirements are subject to change, sometimes without notice, and we suggest you verify them with the relevant embassy or consulate, the U.S. State Dept (if you're a U.S. passport holder), and/or with an expedited visa service such as VisaHQ. Airlines and cruises may deny boarding, your trip may be disrupted, and travel insurance may not cover your losses if your passport and visa are not in order.
  • 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. If your passport does not have this many pages, you should obtain a new passport as soon as possible.
  • Any changes in names or passport information should be reported to us immediately. Airlines and cruise ships may deny boarding if the name on your passport does not match your tickets.
  • Minors (age 17 or younger) departing and/or returning to the U.S. without parents or with only one parent may be required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to present a notarized parental consent letter and/or unabridged birth certificate (more information). Many other countries have similar entry requirements, especially for minors traveling with a parent/guardian with a different surname; check with the consulates of all countries you'll be visiting to learn more.

Expedited Visa Service

Need to obtain your own visas? Though it is possible to obtain a visa directly from an embassy or consulate, we generally recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider, 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.

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