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South Africa was initially described as ‘The Rainbow Nation’ by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The term signifies unity and peace in this multicultural nation that was once very divided.  

The Rainbow Nation is one of the most prominent wildlife viewing destinations in the world and South Africa has cherished its wildlife as well as its diverse and vibrant cultures. South Africa National Parks, conservation groups, and the wider travel & tourism industry have done a fantastic job of preserving the wilderness areas and the animals that inhabit them. There is a steadfast determination to ensure that the animals are protected, while the population remains healthy.                                      

The fastest and easiest route of reaching South Africa is by plane, and most of the arrivals come through the main hub at Johannesburg, although Cape Town also has direct international flights. We have made your travel planning a little easier by offering information on flights from major International countries below. It is important to note that apart from a few countries, visitors require a Visa to enter South Africa. As such, we have also shared resources where you can apply for a South Africa Tourist Visa.

Flights to South Africa

✔  Flights From United States to South Africa

United Airway, Lufthansa Airlines, and Air New Zealand offer direct flights from New York to Cape Town. Direct flights to Cape Town could turn into an expensive affair at $5800 per person so luckily there are other options. Taking a one-stop or two-stop airline flight is much cheaper and can cost from $900 to $1200. Taking a direct flight to Johannesburg – OR Tambo International Airport from New York isn’t as expensive and is within the $900 to $1700 price range.  A direct flight with South African Airways takes around 15 hours. 

✔  Flights From Canada to South Africa

While Direct flights from Canada are not available, there are connecting flights to Cape Town International that leave from Montreal, Toronto, Quebec, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Fredericton, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Halifax.  Flights from Montreal are the cheapest at under $1000, whereas flights from Halifax can cost up to $4000.  Another option is for the tourists to fly to Johannesburg via connecting flights, one or two stops more, depending on the airline.

✔  Flights From Australia to South Africa

Tourists can take direct flights from Sydney and Perth and fly via the South African Airport Johannesburg OR Tambo. Flying on Qantas that departs from Sydney is cheaper at $1600, whereas the costs of a South African Airways flight from Perth is $3500.  The direct flight from Australia to South Africa takes about 10-12 hours. Singapore Airlines connecting flights with a stop at Singapore often takes 17-18 hours to reach Johannesburg from Perth, whereas it takes 20-21 hours to reach Cape Town from Perth. 

✔  Flights From New Zealand to South Africa

Tourists flying in from Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch have the choice to arrive either at Cape Town International Airport or Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport on connecting flights. Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Emirates, and Qantas Airlines provide faster but expensive connecting flights, from either of the above three New Zealand cities. The cost of a regular ticket is around $1400, while the faster options are double the amount.

✔  Flights From the United Kingdom to South Africa

Safari tourists have the option of taking direct flights to Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. Virgin Atlantic and British Airways provide non-stop flights at an affordable price of $800, and all direct flights to South Africa leave from London. 

Apart from Durban, connecting flights for Bloemfontein, George, Hoedspruit, Kimberly, Nelspruit, Pietermaritzburg, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Skukuza, and Upington depart from London.

Now, Durban is currently the only city on the list for which there are flights from several UK cities. The connecting flights (one or two stops) depart from Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, and Newcastle.

Passport and Visa Requirements In South Africa

Before we talk about applying for a South African Visa please check the Countries Exempt List.

There are two ways in which a person can get a South African Visa. First, the person has to fill out the visa application form by following a set of guidelines and submit it at the nearest South African Embassy or Consulate. In case your country isn’t on the list, visit this South African Embassy List.

The second method involves applying for South African e-Visa.  This is the official visa application resources. It also guides you through the entire application process.

Requirements for Visiting South Africa

  • A valid passport or a travel document for the duration of the stay.
  • The passport needs to have at least one blank page for endorsements.
  • A Visa for the citizens of the countries that are not exempt.
  • A return ticket or an onward journey ticket.
  • A person also needs to have sufficient funds for the duration of their stay.
  • In case your journey starts in Africa or South America, the person needs to have yellow fever certificates. 

For Visa verification, reach out to: VisaVerifications@dha.gov.za.

Visit the South Africa Department of Home Affairs Visa FAQ page for more information.

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