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Visa-free travel destinations for South Africans

Are you looking for visa-free travel destinations? Ace your 2023 holiday list and save costs by selecting from these 106 ‘visa-free’* countries for South African travellers.

The Henley & Partners Passport Index, which ranks passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa, recently released its global ranking for 2023. South Africa was ranked 54 out of 199 passports, with a visa-free score of 106 – meaning there are 106 countries South African passport holders can easily access without a visa or obtain one on arrival.

Targeting these visa-free destinations is an ideal way for budget-conscious holidaymakers to reduce the cost of travel because visas can sometimes be quite pricey and if travelling with family these costs can mount up alarmingly.

Visa-free destinations in 2023 for South African travellers:
Source: Henley & Partners Passport Index for 2023

*visa on arrival

**eTA (granted by the electronic travel authority on entry).

For your convenience, we at Flight Centre have listed just a few of those countries identified as being free from entry visa requirements.


  1. Angola
  2. Benin
  3. Botswana
  4. Burundi *
  5. Cape Verde Islands *
  6. Comoro Islands *
  7. Egypt *
  8. eSwatini
  9. Ethiopia *
  10. Gabon
  11. Ghana *
  12. Guinea-Bissau *
  13. Kenya
  14. Lesotho
  15. Madagascar *
  16. Malawi
  17. Mauritania *
  18. Mauritius
  19. Mozambique
  20. Namibia
  21. Nigeria *
  22. Reunion
  23. Rwanda *
  24. Senegal
  25. Seychelles *
  26. Sierra Leone *
  27. Somalia *
  28. Helena *
  29. Tanzania
  30. The Gambia
  31. Togo *
  32. Tunisia
  33. Uganda *
  34. Zambia
  35. Zimbabwe


Botswana is literally a short hop over South Africa’s western border. It’s easily accessible by tarred road.  Alternatively, a quick flight to Maun gets you close to the Okavango swamps where you are transferred by a small place into the heart of the swamps, where you stay over in luxury tented accommodation and tour the area in flat-bottomed boats or open air, 4X4 game viewing vehicles.


Réunion Island is best known for its volcanic, rainforested interior, coral reefs and great beaches.  The Piton de la Fournaise is one of the world’s few climbable active volcanos. Réunion’s 3 calderas (natural amphitheatres formed by collapsed volcanoes) are famous climbing destinations.


Seychelles is home to numerous spectacular beaches, scintillating coral reefs and unique nature reserves, as well as being home to endangered birdlife and rare animals like the giant tortoise.  There is however much more to see and do on this island apart from enjoying its beaches and balmy climate which make it an ideal vacation destination.


Mauritius has long been a favourite of South African holidaymakers. Justifiably called “Heaven on Earth” the island is blessed with a balmy tropical climate; about 100 laid-back beaches; warm sublime, azure, smooth, Indian Ocean waters lapping its shores; spectacular lagoons and beautiful coral reefs (some protecting great swimming and snorkelling areas).  It is a short four-hour flight from South Africa.


  1. Cambodia *
  2. Hong Kong (SAR China)
  3. Indonesia *
  4. Kyrgyzstan *
  5. Laos *
  6. Macao (SAR China)
  7. Malaysia
  8. Maldives *
  9. Nepal *
  10. Pakistan **
  11. Philippines
  12. Singapore
  13. South Korea **
  14. Sri Lanka **
  15. Tajikistan *
  16. Thailand
  17. Timor-Leste *


Consisting of over 17,000 islands, including Bali, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea, Indonesia is one of the most visited countries in the world, boasting innumerable tourism facilities and activities. It is also one of the least expensive countries for tourists.  Most holidaymakers choose to visit Bali and visit the Gili islands or head to Lombok. Whether you’re into diving, surfing, yoga, cultural history, shopping or just relaxing near the ocean, Indonesia has it all.


Home to more than 1,200 tropical islands with some of the most stunning beaches on the planet and their protective lagoons, as well as warm, crystal-clear waters that teem with fish and other marine life, the Maldives is undoubtedly one of the best family destinations out there. It boasts great all-year-round weather, incredible marine life and many, many stunning resorts.


This city-state is one of the cleanest places on the planet.  It is also home to two holidaying clichés – shop till you drop and foodie’s paradise.  It has a vibrant nightlife. Visit the fabulous Gardens by the Bay or take a leisurely stroll along Marina Bay where you can enjoy views of the harbour, the Marina Bay Sands, and of course, Singapore’s iconic Merlion.


Land of islands, mountains, huge, forested areas, large cities, tiny villages, and, famously, spectacular beaches.  Visit one of the numerous paradise islands – like Phuket and Koh Samet – and relax. Here stunning beaches await you, with boat excursions, scuba diving and snorkelling, and of course, the famous Thai massages.


  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Bahamas
  3. Barbados
  4. British Virgin Islands
  5. Cayman Islands
  6. Dominica
  7. Dominican Republic
  8. Grenada
  9. Haiti
  10. Jamaica
  11. Montserrat
  12. Kitts and Nevis
  13. Lucia
  14. Vincent and the Grenadines
  15. Trinidad and Tobago
  16. Turks and Caicos Islands


One of the world’s tourist hot spots, this area is literally littered with strings of stunning islands. The most common way of enjoying all that the Caribbean has to offer is to do a bit of island hopping on a luxury cruise liner like NCL(make sure to check requirement as you may need a USA Visa for departure ports).


  1. Georgia
  2. Ireland
  3. Kosovo
  4. Russian Federation


Home to some of the world’s greenest, most breathtaking landscapes, Ireland almost overflows with tourist attractions.  Spread across the length and breadth of the country numerous castles dot the countryside, with perhaps Blarney castle being the most famous as it houses the fabled Blarney Stone.

From the captivating Cliffs of Moher that will leave you gob-smacked to the bright lights of Dublin’s Grafton Street to the hallowed halls of Trinity College, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Ireland. The hard part will be choosing which fascinating attractions should top your must-see list.

If in Kerry, take the time to explore what is arguably Ireland’s most scenic route, the Ring of Kerry (Iveragh Peninsula). While you can start anywhere along this spectacular 111-mile-long tourist route, most people tend to set out from either Kenmare or Killarney ending, naturally enough, back in the same spot.

Ireland’s most visited heritage site, the Rock of Cashel stars in countless images of the Emerald Isle. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain even visited by helicopter during her 2011 official tour of the country. Perched upon a limestone rock formation in the Golden Vale, this magnificent group of medieval buildings includes the High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, the 12th-century round tower, a 15th-century castle, and a 13th-century Gothic cathedral.

Possibly Ireland’s best-known attraction and one of its must-see-castles, the Blarney Stone sits high on a tower of Blarney castle, not far from Cork. Reputed to endow the famed Irish eloquence to those who dare hang their head over the parapets to kiss it, the stone is not the only reason for visiting Blarney Castle.

It’s easy to see why the Torc Waterfall is one of the best places to visit in Ireland. Situated in the heart of Killarney National Park, this 20-meter-tall cascade is one of the top attractions in the Ring of Kerry. The relaxing sound of rushing water can be heard from the nearby car park, which lies a mere 200 meters away, an easy walk for those who find hiking difficult.


  1. Argentina
  2. Belize
  3. Bolivia *
  4. Brazil
  5. Chile
  6. Costa Rica
  7. Ecuador
  8. El Salvador
  9. Falkland Islands
  10. Guatemala
  11. Guyana
  12. Honduras
  13. Nicaragua
  14. Panama
  15. Paraguay
  16. Peru
  17. Uruguay
  18. Venezuela


Costa Rica is a rugged, rain forested Central American country with coastlines on both the Caribbean and Pacific. Costa Rica is a popular holiday destination and is famous for its beaches, volcanoes, and stunning biodiversity. Roughly a quarter of the country is made up of protected jungle which teems with wildlife.


  1. Armenia *
  2. Iran *
  3. Israel
  4. Jordan *
  5. Oman
  6. Palestinian Territory
  7. Qatar


Take a thrilling off-road desert drive through dramatic sand dunes to Khor-Al-Adaid (the inland sea). Enjoy time at a typical desert camp. Or snorkel with whale sharks. Or visit the pandas in Panda Park.  Enjoy Doha’s staggering architecture. Relax on exquisite family-friendly beaches.  Take in the Lusail Winter Wonderland. Qatar is also a shopper’s paradise.


  1. Cook Islands
  2. Fiji
  3. Marshall Islands *
  4. Micronesia
  5. Niue
  6. Palau Islands *
  7. Samoa *
  8. Tuvalu *
  9. Vanuatu

Finally, here follow a few useful travel tips:

  1. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:  Check the Flight Centre Travel Group’s free Travel News information hub, which allows you to search for any country and get up-to-date entry requirements.  It’s always best, however, to consult with a Flight Centre travel expert and the relevant embassy, as the entry requirements can and do change from day to day.  Please remember that some countries also may still have certain Covid19 restrictions in place.
  2. Always take out travel insurance.
  3. Draw up a detailed checklist of everything you may need to take with you well before departure.
  4. Make photocopies of important documents.
  5. Let someone know of your plans – keep in touch.
  6. Separate your sources of money.

/// Travel to Russia is not recommended due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Should you need to travel to Russia, please contact a Travel Expert.