All necessary travel documents are listed under the heading of the same name on this website.
A new regulation concerning the stay of foreigners in South Africa has been in force since 26 May 2014 (http://www.dha.gov.za (link is external)). It is advisable to consult the consular section of the South African embassy in Brussels in case of questions: firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail)
Stay of less than 90 days
• For a tourist stay in South Africa for less than 90 days, the holders of a Belgian passport are exempt from a prior visa application. A 90-day residence permit will be issued at the border upon entering South African territory.
• The passport must have two blank pages and be valid for 30 days from the date of the anticipated departure from South Africa. If not, travelers will be refused entry to the country upon arrival.
• After 90 days of stay, it is possible under certain conditions to extend the stay for another 3 months. At least 60 days before the visa expires, an extension of the existing visa must be requested from the South African immigration services (Home Affairs).
Stay of more than 90 days
• For stays of more than 90 days, in particular with regard to remunerated activities or business trips, a visa is required and must be applied for at the South African embassy in Brussels before departure. Long waiting times apply for this.
• Under no circumstances can a tourist visa once in South Africa be converted into a work or business visa; a new visa application must be submitted in the applicant's country of origin.
Every traveler who leaves the country after the expiration of his visa, receives a travel ban to South Africa for a period of 1 to 5 years.
Entry and departure of minors in South African territory
The new measures related to the travel of minors to and from South Africa, as described below, came into force on 1 June 2015. When entering or leaving South African territory, the parents must inform the South African authorities present a copy of the child's birth certificate in English. Ask your municipality for a multilingual extract from the birth certificate, which is also written in English. This extract or copy may not be older than 3 months. The Kids ID is accepted as a replacement document for children under 12 years of age. This can also be obtained from your municipal administration. If the child travels with only one of his parents, he or she must have written permission from the other parent, also in English. You can obtain this statement from your municipality. You can have the signature legalized by your municipality.
For a child traveling with one parent:
In addition to the documents mentioned above, the parent will also have to submit a sworn statement ("affadavit") from the other parent, in which the latter declares to agree with the journey of the child (ren) and the identity and passport number of the child (ren) in question.
For a child traveling with a divorced parent:
The divorce judgment (or court decision, which shows that the guardian has custody of the child) is required here.
For a child traveling with an adult who is not a biological parent:
In addition, the child's supervisor needs a sworn statement ("affadavit") from the parents. That statement may not be older than 3 months and authorizes the child to travel, with detailed contact information from both parents. Copies of the passports of the parents (or guardian) are also required.
For a minor child traveling alone:
In addition to the above documents, the child needs permission to leave the country, less than 3 months old, and signed by both parents or guardian. Copies of passports or identity cards from parents (or guardian) are also required. An invitation letter from the people who will receive the child in South Africa will also have to be presented, with information about their place of residence, and copies of their identity documents.
Important: All these documents must be accompanied by a translation into English by a sworn translator.
People with minor children who want to travel to South Africa can obtain further information from the consular section of the South African embassy in Brussels (http://www.southafrica.be/immigration-2/ (link is external)).
The international driver's license is required to drive in South Africa. Then request an international driver's license from your Belgian municipal administration. Some South African insurers refuse to pay the damage if the party concerned does not have an international driver's license.
Euros, US $ and travelers' checks can be exchanged in banks and exchange offices. Credit cards can be used for payment in most places in cities and tourist centers, but caution is advised with regard to fraud. Vigilance is required when using ATMs (ATMs); users may not be distracted or assisted by accidental assistants.
In case of loss, theft or fraud of a Belgian credit or debit card, contact Card Stop immediately (0032 70 344 344). The currency is the South African Rand. Please consult your bank or exchange agent for the exchange rates.
Please check whether the insurance of your health insurance fund offers sufficient coverage for your destination and your way of traveling. Please note that this insurance will expire after a three-month stay. An adjusted travel insurance policy with sufficient coverage limit (travel assistance, repatriation, legal assistance) is absolutely necessary.
Also read the general advice on travel insurance carefully on the following page: diplomatie.belgium.be/nl/Services/Op_reis_in_het_buitenland/Reisverzekeringen/
GSM and communication facilities
The GSM network functions normally, although some areas in the interior are less well covered.
Local legislation is very strict for the import of pets and it is recommended to check the requirements and procedures at the South African Embassy in Brussels.
Bipatride Belgo-South African should be aware that the Belgian authorities are unable to provide consular assistance to them when they are in the country of their other nationality.
Humanitarian aid, in accordance with the relevant international conventions, will be provided as far as possible in humanitarian emergencies.
In the event of unforeseen serious difficulties abroad, the Belgians can request help from the embassies and consulates of Belgium. Consular assistance is provided to countrymen who have unsuccessfully sought the help of the relevant local government (local police) or service companies (bank, insurance agent), and who can only turn to a Belgian diplomatic or consular post. This assistance is terminated as soon as the travelers can continue on their own.
Travelers can use the services of the Consulate of Belgium in Johannesburg or Cape Town (the Embassy of Belgium in Pretoria does not have a consular service). It is recommended that the contact details of the Consulate and the Embassy are always available so that they can be used in the event of loss of travel documents or other problems. You will find this information again
Any victims of theft must file a complaint with the local police and request a statement of the theft, in order to obtain new travel documents or to submit a request for compensation to the insurance company.