The first thing I do when the travel bug bites is:
- Send hours online looking at hotels, hostels, Airbnb accommodation, etc.
- Search for cheap flights
- Find out how long it’ll take to get a visa and how much a visa is going to take out of my travel budget.
As a 26-year-old woman, I was today years old when I learned that there are actually quite a few countries that I, as a South African, can travel to without a visa. I know that makes me a bit of a dummy, but it’s not something that is common knowledge… to me at least.
I’m sure for my Japanese, American, and even Australian friends applying for a visa is not very high on the list of “Things to consider before I travel”
Out of the 195 countries in the world, Japanese passport holders can travel to 189 countries visa-free. American passport holders have access to 166 countries and Australian passport holders 160 countries visa-free. And then there’s South Africa…
While a South African passport is definitely the most “powerful” AFRICAN passport, it still only gives the holder access to 67 countries visa-free (and 34 countries that require visa on arrival)
67 is still a lot, I realise this. But it has never crossed my mind that I could potentially travel outside of Africa, with my passport, visa free.
So, after having my mind completely blown by this information, I thought I’d share it with all my fellow South Africans (and those of you non-South Africans who find this shit interesting)
Here is a list of all the countries you can visit visa-free if you have a South African passport:
Most African countries can be accessed with an RSA passport, as long as it is for vacation/leisure only. Work/volunteering requires some form of visa.
- Saint Helena
- eSwatini (Swaziland)
- Hong Kong
It’s not surprising that most of Europe is closed to us without a visa. I know this because Europe has been my number 1 travel destination for as long as I can remember, so I know a thing or two about visa requirements for Europe. Here are some countries that you can, surprisingly, access visa-free:
- Georgia and France’s Reunion Island
- Saudi Arabia
- Cook Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Marshall Islands
South and Central America:
As a South African passport holder, you basically have access to most of South and Central America. Whoo! Which the exception of Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Bolivia Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Falkland Islands
- Saint Kitts and Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
There you have it folks! If ever you needed another reason to travel, here it is! The visa process is not only time consuming, but also quite pricey for South Africans. So, with this info go forth and plan your next holiday without worrying about those damn visa applications!