Customs Regulations

There are the usual duty-free restrictions on entering South Africa: you’re only allowed to bring in 1L of spirits, 2L of wine and 400 cigarettes. Motor vehicles must be covered by a carnet (customs permit). For more information, contact the Department of Customs & Excise.


Australian, UK, US and most Western European citizens can get a 90-day entry permit on arrival.

More Information

Visitors on holiday from most Commonwealth countries (including Australia and the UK), most Western European countries, Japan and the USA don’t require visas. Instead, you’ll be issued with a free entry permit on arrival, which is valid for a stay of up to 90 days. But if the date of your flight out is sooner than this, the immigration officer may use that as the date of your permit expiry, unless you request otherwise.

All children aged under 18 must show an unabridged birth certificate, with additional paperwork needed in some cases. Your airline will likely alert you to these immigration regulations when you buy your flight. For further information and updates, check,, or with your government's travel advisory or your airline.

If you aren’t entitled to an entry permit, you’ll need to get a visa (also free) before you arrive. These aren’t issued at the borders, and must be obtained from a South African embassy or consulate in your own country. Allow several weeks for processing.

For any entry – whether you require a visa or not – you need to have at least two completely blank pages in your passport, excluding the last two pages.

Apply for a visa extension or a re-entry visa at Cape Town's Department of Home Affairs.