Top 20 Visa-Free Destinations For South Africans

No more visa admin just buy the ticket and go. Travelstart brings you our top 20 visa-free destinations for South Africans.

Reunion Island

sup yoga reunion

Courtesy of LUX Saint Gilles via Instagram

Just a 4 hour flight from Johannesburg’s O R Tambo International Airport, beautiful tropical Reunion Island has it all including mountains, waterfalls, french pastries, perfect beaches and even an active volcano.
Though Reunion Island is a department of France it has a 90 days visa-free policy for South Africans.

Book your flight here.

The Republic of Ireland

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Courtesy of insta_ireland via Instagram

Rolling green fields, majestic cliffs and cosy pubs in Dublin and Cork. And the best part? No queueing for a visa.
90 days visa-free.

Hong Kong

Explore this high-tech, fascinating city.
Visa-free for 30 days.


kelimutu, indonesia
A vast and beautiful collection of volcanic islands in South East Asia home to incredible natural phenomena such as this lake which changes colour.
Visa-free for 30 days as long as you enter via specific airports.



Courtesy of tourismfiji via Instagram

White sand, entire islands to yourself, crystal sea water like you’ve never seen before. Yes, Fiji is a seriously far plane trip from SA but once you’re there you can bask in the knowledge that you can stay 4 months visa-free.

The Great South & Central American Trip

By far the most visa-free countries for South Africans lie grouped together in South And Central America. This is a back-packers dream trip, buy a ticket to Sao Paolo and spend 6 months to a year exploring multiple fascinating countries free of visa worries.


Beautiful architecture, quality steak and the most romantic dance in the world, the tango.
90 days visa-free.


sugar loaf, rio de janeiroHome to the samba, sizzling beach bodies and the most incredible street fiestas in the world, not to mention the Amazon forest and cold acai for breakfast.
90 days visa-free.


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Courtesy of chiletravel via Instagram

Alpacas, snowy mountains and delicious Chilean food.
90 days visa-free.


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Courtesy of colombiaoficial via Instagram

Laze on perfect beaches or live it up in Colombia’s historical towns and fast-paced cities.
Visa-free for 180 days.



Courtesy of ecuador via Instagram

Home to the Galapagos islands and intact 16th and 17th century churches and palaces.
90 days visa-free.


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Courtesy of a_southerndrawl via Instagram

Home to the eponymous canal and hat. Panama City is a laid-back city with many cafés and bars spilling out on to bougainvillea-filled cobbled streets.
180 days visa-free.


machu pichu

Courtesy of triple_cask via Instagram

Machu Pichu of course! Visit the remains of this ancient Incan citadel high in the Andes Mountains.
180 days visa-free.


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Courtesy of angelfalls via Instagram

Outstanding natural beauty including Angel Falls, the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, as well as Venezuela’s gorgeous Caribbean coast and tropical forests.
90 days visa-free.

Central America:

Costa Rica

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Courtesy of visit_costarica via Instagram

Home to a sloth sanctuary and many beautiful waterfalls and rain forests.
Visa-free 90 days.

Close to home


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Courtesy of experiencebotswana via Instagram

Botswana boasts some of the very best game parks in the world.
Visa-free for 90 days.


Lesotho Flying Arch
Right on South Africa’s doorstep, Lesotho has so much to offer including horse-back hikes through incredible mountain scenery, ancient rock-formations, rock paintings, friendly people and authentic hospitality.
Visa-free 90 days.


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Courtesy of camoeprecamoe via Instagram

Home to the incredible pink lake “lac rose”, Senegal has so much to offer.


Home to affordable game parks, the winding alleys of Stone Town and some of the best beaches in the world. Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar are just a short, inexpensive flight from Johannesburg or Cape Town.
90 days visa-free.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi – Great list and photos!
    Is Senegal really visa free for SA? It looks amazing!
    Thank you

    • Hi Ali,

      I’ve just looked and this seems to have changed. South African passport holders, now require a visa to enter Senegal.

      You welcome to double check with the Embassy direct.

      Embassy of the Republic of Senegal – Pretoria
      Telephone No : 012 460 5263
      Fax No : 012 346 5550
      Street Address : 783 Justice Mohammed Street, Bailey’s Muckleneuk, 0075
      Postal Address : PO Box 2948, Brooklyn Square, 0075
      Email Address :
      Web Address :

  2. Hey guys,
    Any more news on SA and EU visa free status? March is around the corner and still no news 🙁
    I live in London, so something like this is like a dream that you don’t want to wake up from!! Please could you follow up on this news for me 🙂

    • Hi Wade,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Should you wish to get the most up to date information I would advise contacting the Embassy or official visa handling agency they will be able to assist in answering any questions you might have.

  3. Rebecca,
    You have to rectify your blog because from November 2016 you DO need a Visitors Visa for 3 months for
    New Zealand.

    • Hi Irene,
      Thank you so much for the info- I’ll update it now.
      Kind regards,

  4. What about Israel and Cyprus? Would a South African need a visa to go there

    • Hi Liz,

      Thanks for contactingus.

      The following visa information is not guaranteed. Kindly confirm details with the relevant authorities.

      South African passport holders do not need to obtain a visa prior to travelling to Israel. Passports must have a validity of more than 6 months from date of return. A tourist visa, valid for a maximum of 3-months stay, will be issued upon entry to Israel.
      However, legal residents of South Africa, holding a valid re-entry permit, or a refugee travel document, must apply for a visa at the consulate.

      South African passport holders traveling to Cyprus will require a visa.

  5. Philippines

  6. I have more of a question than a comment,
    If I wanted to spend more time in New Zealand would I be able to fly somewhere esle and come back a day or so later and then have 90 days again?

    • Hi Rod, thanks for the question. My instinct is to say it is unlikely that this would be allowed but it is best to check with the New Zealand consulate in South Africa. You can call them on +27 12 425 3004 between 08:00 hrs to 12:30 hrs and 13:30 hrs to 16:00 hrs Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can also email them at for all information regarding the visa process. Kind regards, Rebecca

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