No visa, no problem: 10 places South Africans can travel, visa-free

Feeling spontaneous and want to hop on a long-haul flight to somewhere exotic, without worrying about the admin of organising a visa beforehand? The South African passport enjoys visa-free and visa-on-arrival policies with 97 countries. AAISHA DADI PATEL lists 10 places you should consider for a holiday destination.

1. South Korea

Jeonju, South Korea

A land of rich landscapes, busy nightlife and rich Asian cultural history, this Korea is far more chilled out than its Northern counterpart, and you can find it all out because you don’t need a visa to get in there.

2. Hong Kong

Front_Entrance_of_Disneyland Hong Kong

This Far East cosmopolitan haven is not only a shiny city with bright lights, but also houses a Disneyland! Tiny as it may be, it’s got something for everyone.

3. Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia Pixabay

One of the largest countries in the world, this collection of islands, including beautiful Bali, has enough beaches with white sand and deeply entrenched cultural traditions to fascinate every traveller. You can buy a visa upon your arrival if you are South African.

4. Maldives


This stunning archipelago in the Indian Ocean, with its sapphire waters and white sand, is a dream destination for many. Many airlines from South Africa can get you there via the Middle East.

5. Most of South America



South Africans can enter almost this entire continent without a visa: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela will all welcome you with open arms!

6. Mauritius

Mauritius Flickr

Only a four-hour flight away from Johannesburg, this little island always promises welcoming beaches and lots of sunshine. Experience it all with no visa necessary for South African passport holders.

7. Thailand


Delicious cuisine, monks and temples, tiger sanctuaries and the largest open-air market shopping scene in the world. In many ways, Thailand is a country that has it all. And you can see it all, because you don’t need a visa to get in!

8. Seychelles


Another gem of an island – if you need to make a getaway to a tranquil beach and soak up some Vitamin D while enjoying spectacular views and some easy living, head to the Seychelles, South African passport-holders!



One of the richest countries in the world, this tiny Asian island is a big city, and everything in it is shiny. Man-made Sentosa Island, with resorts and an array of amusement parks — including Universal Studios — has enough attractions for people of all ages to enjoy.

10. Malaysia

Legoland Malaysia

From the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur to smaller breakaway islands with pretty views, to its very own Legoland, Malaysia is an incredible country to be able to visit. It is very convenient that South Africans don’t need a visa to experience the variety of it all.

Have we got our selection right? Which places do you think ought to be on this list?

Editor’s Note: This post initially included Egypt on this list. We have now removed the land of the Pyramids, milk, and honey from this list because South Africans DO require a visa to travel for Egypt. Visas are free, but you still have to go and tell the embassy your life story to get the visa. Apologies for the error. We’ve also learned that Turkey has changed its visa policies for South Africans so we’ve duly removed Turkey from the list as well, but the current process is quite easy. You can read about it here 

Photo credits: Featured image, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Maldives, Peru, Mauritius, Thailand, Seychelles, Singapore, and Malaysia via Flickr, Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons.