9 awesome countries South Africans can visit visa-free in 2019

Citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners has published its latest passport index, with South Africans now able to visit 99 countries visa-free or through a visa-on-arrival.

South Africa dropped to 54th place on the ranking (down from 51st) after Djibouti changed its policy from visa-on-arrival to an e-visa system.

The Seychelles continues to occupy first place in the Sub-Saharan region, moving up to 27th place globally, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 150.

Mauritius is second, with a score of 145, and South Africa retains its third place regionally. At the other end of the mobility spectrum in Africa, Somalia sits in last place, with citizens able to access just 31 destinations without a prior visa.

While South Africa has seen a decline in rankings over the past few years, recent announcements by the Department of Home Affairs could see the country improve its place considerably.

In July minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi announced that seven new countries will be added to the list of nations that are able to come to South Africa without a visa.

Because visa-access is often reciprocal, a department spokesperson confirmed to BusinessTech that it was planning talks with countries like New Zealand to allow for visa-free access for South Africans.

With the possibility of South Africans being able to visit more countries without a visa in the future, BusinessTech looked at nine countries we can visit visa-free right now:



Hong Kong







These are the countries South African passport holders can access without a visa:

* Indicates visa on arrival or eTA.


Angola Madagascar* St. Helena*
Benin* Malawi Swaziland
Botswana Mauritania* Tanzania
Cape Verde Islands* Mauritius Togo*
Comores Islands* Mozambique Tunisia
Ethiopia* Namibia Uganda*
Gabon* Reunion Zambia*
Ghana* Rwanda* Zimbabwe
Guinea-Bissau* Senegal
Kenya Seychelles*
Lesotho Somalia*


Cambodia* Malaysia Sri Lanka*
Hong Kong (SAR China) Maldives* Tajikistan*
Indonesia Nepal* Thailand
Kyrgyzstan* Philippines Timor-Leste*
Laos* Singapore
Macao (SAR China) South Korea


Ireland Kosovo Russian Federation


Cook Islands Micronesia Samoa*
Fiji Niue Tuvalu*
Marshall Islands* Palau Islands* Vanuatu


Antigua and Barbuda Dominican Republic St. Lucia
Bahamas Grenada St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Barbados Haiti Trinidad and Tobago
British Virgin Islands Jamaica Turks and Caicos
Cayman Islands Montserrat
Dominica St. Kitts and Nevis


Argentina Ecuador Nicaragua
Belize El Salvador Panama
Bolivia* Falkland Islands Paraguay
Brazil Guatemala Peru
Chile Guyana Uruguay
Costa Rica Honduras Venezuela

Middle East/Other 

Armenia* Israel Qatar
Georgia Jordan*
Iran* Palestinian Territory

Read: New UK visa changes are good news for skilled South Africans

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9 awesome countries South Africans can visit visa-free in 2019