Entry & Exit Requirements
U.S. citizens must have a valid passport to enter South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of departure.
A visa is not required for visits up to 90 days; visitor visas will be issued at the ports of entry in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
South African law requires travelers to have two fully blank visa pages upon arrival into South Africa. Travelers without the required blank visa pages will be refused entry into South Africa, fined, and deported at their own expense. At least two additional blank pages are recommended for entry to Zimbabwe and one additional blank page for Botswana.
If you are not traveling with a U.S. passport, please check with the countries' respective embassies for entry requirements based on your nationality.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine, varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, and your yearly flu shot before every trip.
There are no vaccinations required for entry into South Africa, Botswana, or Zimbabwe unless traveling from another country where yellow fever is present, in which case proof of vaccination is required. (Visitors to the Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls areas should be aware that Zambia is now considered a low-risk yellow fever country. Travelers with Zambian immigration stamps in their passport may be required to present proof of yellow fever vaccination.)
Some physicians recommend that travelers get hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines before visiting these countries.
Please consult your physician for additional information and recommendations based on your individual circumstances.
The CDC warns that travelers to Africa may be at risk for exposure to malaria. Malaria is caused by a parasite found in Anopheles mosquitos, which are active from dusk until dawn. Prevention is twofold: the use of anti-malarial drugs and the prevention of insect bites. If you choose to use an anti-malarial drug, as recommended by the CDC, see your physician for a prescription.
The effects of the sun can be damaging to the eyes and skin. Spending time outdoors exposes you to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, even on cloudy days. To protect yourself from the sun, use a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15, protect skin with clothing, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and drink plenty of fluids.