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Transit visa in SA

Transit visa in SA

Old Mar 19, 21, 9:15 am
  #1  
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Transit visa in SA

Not able to find an answer and consulate has not responded.

I will be spending 7 months in Southern Africa (Sept - Apr) of which 162 days will be a self drive 4x4 in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia starting from either CPT or JNB. My preference would be to start JNB and drive to Namibia or Botswana within 72 hours of arrival. This will allow for visit to the north during a drier time. I then will spend the final 90 days within South Africa.

Here’s my understanding for a U.S. citizen: A 90 day tourist visa can be obtained on arrival and is consecutive days. In order to get a new visa I must “return to your home country”. This, of course, won’t work in the proposed scenario. So my question is: Is there such a thing as a transit visa that would allow for SA arrival and transfer within 72 hours to a neighboring country and then get a 90 day tourist visa when I return (without the home country requirement)? Preference would be via ground (4x4 rental) but could fly WDH and start 4x4 rental there.

Thanks
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Old Mar 19, 21, 9:37 am
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If you arrive into SA and leave the airport (e.g. the transit area of JNB or CPT) to drive from SA to anywhere else, you're entering South Africa. You're not "transiting" SA.

It's not a 90 day tourist visa.
If you are traveling to SA for 90 days or less you do not require a visa.
https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...uthAfrica.html
https://www.southafrica-usa.net/home...sitorsvisa.htm

In my experience of 20+ years of flying into SA, immigration/border officers (at JNB) sometimes only cut you 30 days on entry (I've found it can sometimes correlated to the date of your return ticket). I've found this to be completely arbitrary and random by JNB border control. But, I've never had the need to fight it. On several occasions, I've come in to SA - stayed for a time (less than 90 days or whatever time allotted by the officer), left to go somewhere else (either my origination point or somewhere else), then come back to SA and presented myself again and have NOT been hassled about coming back in for "another" 90 time period. But your mileage may vary ... wildly.

Also, it's not been important to me but keep in mind SA has been opening and closing land borders quite a bit due to COVID. I don't follow it b/c I haven't had to deal with it (I'm concerned about entry by air).

Last edited by jsnydcsa; Mar 19, 21 at 6:46 pm Reason: Couple of clarifications/proper names/etc.
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Old Mar 19, 21, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by tkelvin69 View Post
Not able to find an answer and consulate has not responded.

I will be spending 7 months in Southern Africa (Sept - Apr) of which 162 days will be a self drive 4x4 in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia starting from either CPT or JNB. My preference would be to start JNB and drive to Namibia or Botswana within 72 hours of arrival. This will allow for visit to the north during a drier time. I then will spend the final 90 days within South Africa.

Here’s my understanding for a U.S. citizen: A 90 day tourist visa can be obtained on arrival and is consecutive days. In order to get a new visa I must “return to your home country”. This, of course, won’t work in the proposed scenario. So my question is: Is there such a thing as a transit visa that would allow for SA arrival and transfer within 72 hours to a neighboring country and then get a 90 day tourist visa when I return (without the home country requirement)? Preference would be via ground (4x4 rental) but could fly WDH and start 4x4 rental there.

Thanks
I reckon you'd be best off starting the 4x4 drive in WDH and then going in and out of Botswana and ZA from there. At the moment it appears that negative PCR tests are required for each border crossing.
Send me a PM if you would like a recommendation for a 4x4 provider in WDH. (I have been to Namibia 4 times with a fifth time planned). They are the best.
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Old Mar 19, 21, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by AlienInTheFatherland View Post
I reckon you'd be best off starting the 4x4 drive in WDH and then going in and out of Botswana and ZA from there. At the moment it appears that negative PCR tests are required for each border crossing.
Send me a PM if you would like a recommendation for a 4x4 provider in WDH. (I have been to Namibia 4 times with a fifth time planned). They are the best.
Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve got a company lined up that is well respected throughout southern Africa. The problem is getting to WDH without transiting JNB.
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Old Mar 19, 21, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by tkelvin69 View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve got a company lined up that is well respected throughout southern Africa. The problem is getting to WDH without transiting JNB.
Basically your options are going to WDH via FRA, ADD or DOH. SW had flights to HRE and LUN but I don't know if they are operational at this time.
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Old Mar 19, 21, 5:25 pm
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I would avoid flying in via South Africa and, as recommended fly directly to WDH for example via Doha. I assume from your plan that you are experienced in driving through remote and difficult conditions - your itinerary, although wonderful, is not without risk without experience in bush and desert driving. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old Mar 20, 21, 9:43 am
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Thanks for the feedback. Yes, DOH-WDH would be ideal but having a difficult finding routing using miles or something less than $11,000 out of SEA thus the desire for a JNB/CPT arrival.
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Old Mar 20, 21, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by tkelvin69 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, DOH-WDH would be ideal but having a difficult finding routing using miles or something less than $11,000 out of SEA thus the desire for a JNB/CPT arrival.
Have you checked award flights to DOH out of SFO?

I've found award availability very open on that route.
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Old Mar 20, 21, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
Have you checked award flights to DOH out of SFO?

I've found award availability very open on that route.
No problem getting to DOH. Even the SEA-DOH is available but QR had suspended the DOH-WDH but appears to be selling seats now in September for $5,000 for that segment alone. I could spend some time in ZNZ (SEA-DOH-DAR) and then use some UA miles for ZNZ-ADD-WDH. Dragging golf clubs and safari equipment around the beach wasn’t part of the plan though 😁
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Old Mar 20, 21, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by tkelvin69 View Post
No problem getting to DOH. Even the SEA-DOH is available but QR had suspended the DOH-WDH but appears to be selling seats now in September for $5,000 for that segment alone. I could spend some time in ZNZ (SEA-DOH-DAR) and then use some UA miles for ZNZ-ADD-WDH. Dragging golf clubs and safari equipment around the beach wasn’t part of the plan though 😁
If you can get from LAX to ADD on QR, there seem to be plenty of UA awards on ET from ADD-WDH for $33k miles (+ $31).
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Old Mar 21, 21, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
If you can get from LAX to ADD on QR, there seem to be plenty of UA awards on ET from ADD-WDH for $33k miles (+ $31).
Thanks. Yes, there are seats ZNZ-ADD-WDH open. So difficult - beach first and then safari or safari first. 😁
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Old Mar 21, 21, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by tkelvin69 View Post
Thanks. Yes, there are seats ZNZ-ADD-WDH open. So difficult - beach first and then safari or safari first. 😁
I believe that is the definition of a first world problem.

Seriously, that isn't the first time someone's itinerary has been dictated by award availability.
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Old Mar 21, 21, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by tkelvin69 View Post
Thanks. Yes, there are seats ZNZ-ADD-WDH open. So difficult - beach first and then safari or safari first. 😁
We'll be going on safari (hopefully) in two months. We've planned it safari first then beach.

If you can do SEA-DOH-ADD on QR then ADD-WDH on ET as mentioned above, that would be your best bet imo

​​​​​​And I totally agree, this is definitely a first world problem
​​​​

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