Is a South Africa Tourist Visa Necessary for U.S. Citizens?

Tourist Visa Guide Is a South Africa Tourist Visa Necessary for U.S. Citizens?

Find Out How the South Africa Tourist Visa Works and Whether You Need One

If you’re looking forward to visiting the “Cradle of Humankind” or seeking the Big Five on safaris, find out whether you need a South Africa tourist visa before you book your trip!

DoNotPay also explains the entry requirements to South Africa for U.S. citizens!

Do U.S. Citizens Need a Tourist Visa for South Africa?

U.S. citizens do not require a visa to enter South Africa as long as they stay 90 days or less, but they do need to have:

Tourist CategoryDocuments
All U.S. citizensA passport valid for 30 days after their planned departure date. Some immigration officials may demand it to be valid for six more months, so it’s best to keep your passport as up-to-date as possible
Unaccompanied child
  1. A copy of their birth certificate
  2. Parental consent letter from both parents
  3. Copy of parent ID’s
  4. Letter of invitation
  5. Copy of the ID or residence permit of the person waiting for the child
  6. Special circumstance documents like:
    • Copy of an adoption order
    • Copy of a death certificate of one or both parents or legal guardians
    • Copy of a court order dedicating legal guardianship or full parental responsibilities and rights in favor of the child
Child in alternative care
  1. A valid passport
  2. A letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development

COVID-19 Restrictions in South Africa

Due to a record number of new cases, the South African government imposes the following restrictions:

  • Curfew hours are from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
  • All incoming travelers need to present a negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours before arrival. Those who fail to do that will be subject to an antigen test at their own expense on arrival

These circumstances can change in the future, so you should contact the Embassy of South Africa to determine whether they are still in effect.

How To Contact the Embassy of South Africa

To get up-to-date information about travel restrictions in South Africa, contact one of the diplomatic missions in the United States using the information from the table below:

Diplomatic MissionContact InformationArea of Jurisdiction
Embassy of South Africa in Washington, D.C.Telephone: +1-202-232-4400


  • The United States
The South African Embassy in Washington, DCTelephone: 202-232-4400 and 202-413-1953 (for emergencies)


  • Alabama
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Puerto Rico
  • Virgin Islands:
The South African Consulate General

in Chicago

Telephone: 312-939-7929 and 312-919-1573 (for emergencies)


  • Michigan
  • Oklahoma
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Missouri
  • Indiana
  • Wisconsin
  • Minnesota
  • Kansas
  • Arkansas
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Iowa
The South African Consulate General

in Los Angeles

Telephone: 323-651-0902 and 323-244-0360 (for emergencies)


  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
  • U.S. Territory of Guam
The South African Consulate General

in New York City

Telephone: 212-213-4880 and 917-200-8396 (for emergencies)


  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

Travel Recommendations for South Africa

When traveling to South Africa, try to:

  • Offer locals support and sympathy regarding the political situation
  • Show immense respect to anyone older than you
  • Be as polite as possible. The South African population is extremely diverse. Expecting you to know the etiquette for each and every present culture is unrealistic, but you can try to adapt, take a look at what everyone else is doing and keep a low profile in general

You should avoid:

  • Indulging in political talk and taking sides
  • Joking about or disregarding the apartheid
  • Having emotional outbursts in public

How DoNotPay Helps You Get Information About Tourist Visas for All of Your Future Destinations

With dozens of pages online explaining tourist visa requirements and a lot of them being outdated, gathering all the necessary paperwork can prove quite the challenge. It’s also not rare for an embassy to put you on hold or not answer your calls.

DoNotPay developed a feature that provides you with up-to-date information about any country’s tourist visa requirements on the spot.

Our app will:

  • Check whether your destination requires you to have a tourist visa to be granted entry
  • Notify you about your allowed stay if a tourist visa is not necessary
  • Go through all the required documents with you to check if you have everything you need to apply for a visa
  • Provide you with a direct link to the online application form if the country has one
  • Create a PDF guide for you explaining the steps you need to take to request a tourist visa

To find out all you need for any tourist visa in the world:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay
  2. Search for Tourist Visa Guide
  3. Enter a country of your choice

Explore All of Africa With Your Personal Tourist Visa Guide—DoNotPay

If you’re not done exploring Africa, subscribe to DoNotPay and find out how tourist visa applications work in the following countries:


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