Frequently Asked Questions
Please review our FAQ's
What is biometrics and when is it applicable?
Biometrics refers to any personal biological data that is captured, usually in the form of fingerprints or a photograph. When submitting an application at a South African mission abroad, 2 passport-sized photographs should always accompany your application. The mission might require you to give fingerprints upon submission as well. When submitting a visa application in South Africa, your fingerprints and photo are taken electronically at the submission centre, so there is no need to obtain it beforehand. When submitting an application for a permanent residence (PR) permit in South Africa, 2 passport-sized photographs have to be provided which will be used in issuing the relevant documents after you have obtained PR.
What is an Unabridged Birth Certificate?
An unabridged birth certificate (UBC) is an extended birth certificate that provides the details of both biological parents of the holder. Whenever a birth certificate is required for visa or permit purposes, a certified copy of your UBC will always be applicable.
What should I wear?
Take medium warmth jackets, even a medium rain jacket, cotton trousers, for the early morning and late afternoons, as you may receive an afternoon thundershower or two. Dress in layers especially for your morning activities, as once the sun hits 9 am it can warm up appreciably. Sunhats, sunglasses and sun block are then advisable during the course of the day.
Cameras and Batteries
Take good a quality camera, spare batteries and chargers. Essentially plan for having a set of batteries charging in your room in the day, and a set out with one in camera, plus a spare set in your hand luggage.
Which credit card is accepted?
AMEX is not a widely accepted credit card in Africa. MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. Bring at least U$ 250 in cash per person for restaurant tipping ( 10%), entrance fees, personal purchases from local markets that may not take cards.
What about medication?
If you have any personal medication that you need, we suggest bringing a good supply, as local pharmacies may not stock your specific brand of medications. A good form of probiotics may help with adjusting to the local food and water, both of which are very high standards, but typically still an adjustment to a jet lagged immune system.
How many bags can I bring?
Economy Class: 20 kgs checked luggage, one piece and 7 kgs hand luggage, one piece Must be able to lock.
Business Class: 32 kgs total checked luggage, two pieces and 7 kgs hand luggage, one piece Must be able to lock.
Insurance & Visas
Visas into South Africa: Please click on the link below.
For any of the other countries we offer tours to, please liaise directly with our expert travel consultant and we will advise you accordingly.
What about travel insurance?
We strongly advise that you take out comprehensive travel insurance covering yourself for personal effects, personal accident, medical and emergency travel expenses, cancellation and curtailment as well as medical evacuation by airlift, in case you are in a remote area.
Do I need a Visa to go to SA and if so, which one?
Some countries are deemed visa exempt, which means visitors from there, will be granted a tourist visa valid for up to 90 days when entering South Africa. If you are not from a visa exempt country or you would like to visit our country for any reason other than tourist-related activities, you will need to apply for the appropriate visa at the relevant South African mission in your country or for your state. In order for us to assess which visa would be best suited for you, fill in the quick request and we’ll get back to you with a free no-obligations quote.
Do I need to submit my Visa Application in person?
Yes, all visa applications have to be submitted in person as per the new visa regulations that came into effect in May 2014. If there is no formal South African representation in your country by means of an established mission, jurisdiction over your region will have been allocated to a nearby mission.
Do I need a passport to travel to South Africa?
Passports: It is a mandatory requirement that you travel to South Africa with at least two blank passport pages per country visited and that your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months after date of travel.. If there is insufficient space in the passport then entry into a country could be denied.
Is immunization important?
South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho have large portions of the country that do not require Malaria precautions. However there are parts in each country which are in the low lying areas that do not experience frost, and are definitely malaria areas. Kindly follow this link and chat to our travel consultants for up to date advice. Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, do mostly need yellow fever precaution, but again the WHO changed the regulations for Zambia, do not require this inoculation. Best to consult this guide, and also to contact our travel consultants for up to date advice. Other items like Tetanus, Hepatitis are all optional, but kindly consult this guide, or contact our travel consultants for up to date advice.
Make certified copies of important documents like passports and flight tickets, and keep this separate from your original documents in case of emergency / loss of documents.
Why do I need a police clearance certificate?
According to the new immigration regulations, a police clearance is required for all visa applications (for a stay longer than 3 months). You will need to obtain a police clearance for every country that you have lived in for more than 12 months after your 18th birthday. So if you took that gap year in Peru in your 20’s, you’ll need to obtain an original police clearance for that country. Remember that your police clearance certificates may not be older than 6 months at the time of submitting your application.
When do I have to submit an original or a certified copy?
The general rule is that a certified copy is submitted in the case where the document does not have an expiry date and is too valuable to lose, e.g. an original marriage certificate or an original birth certificate. Since the Department of Home Affairs does not return your submitted documents after a submission, it is advised that you submit a certified copy in these instances. However at all times, your original medical report, radiological report and police clearance certificates have to be submitted with all applicable applications.
What is a certified copy?
A certified copy is a stamped photocopy of any document which simply confirms that the photocopy is identical to the original. In South Africa, this is done free of charge by a Commissioner of Oath (a lawyer, a magistrate, a police officer, etc.) by presenting both the original and the photocopy to the Commissioner. In some countries where this is not common practice, the South African mission is often able to certify documents or alternatively a notary will be able to provide this service.