South Africa entry requirements

Before travelling to South Africa it is important to be aware of the entry and visa requirements to ensure a trouble-free entry into the country.

South Africa entry requirements

All visitors to South Africa must be in possession of a passport valid until 30 days after the intended return date from South Africa. A visa is not required by British citizens holding a UK passport for an intended stay of 90 days or less.

Visas for Swaziland and Lesotho

No pre-approved visas are required, instead there is a small fee for an entry visa payable at border posts.

Prohibited items

There are now many rules, regulations and laws about what may and may not be included in your carry-on (cabin) baggage on airlines. In general it is safe to assume that nothing that might remotely be considered a weapon will be allowed in the cabin and that this will usually include any kind of knife or sharp implement, down to penknives, knitting needles or even tweezers.

In addition, many airlines now have stringent rules on what liquids are allowed in hand baggage and this particularly has implications for anyone carrying vital medication or those travelling with babies.

It is safest to check for details with your particular airline, both well before and just prior to travelling. (If travelling with South African Airways, please visit, then select Leisure Travel–Baggage Information–Hand Luggage Info–Important Travel Security Information.)

Bringing goods into the UK

You are entitled to the allowances shown below:

  • 200 cigarettes; or 100 cigarillos; or 50 cigars; or 250g of tobacco
  • 60cc of perfume
  • 2 litres of still table wine
  • 250cc of eau de toilette
  • 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22 per cent volume; or 2 litres of fortified wine such as port or sherry, sparkling wine or other liqueurs
  • £145 worth of all other goods including gifts and souvenirs.

If you want to bring back more, you will have to declare it to customs on your way back and pay Customs duty and VAT.

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