As vaccinations roll out around the planet and countries are slowly opening their borders, many people are eager to get out there and travel again.
One of the countries that recently relaxed their entry requirements is South Africa. As one of the most popular countries to visit in the continent (it was ranked 3rd out of the entire continent), South Africa is rich in nature, food, culture, nightlife, and more.
However, what’s it really like to travel to South Africa right now? Are airlines flying to Johannesburg and are safaris operating trips through national parks? Are restaurants open? Here is everything you need to know before you apply for a South Africa visa for Nigerians and buy those plane tickets.
Current South Africa entry requirements
As of November 11, 2020, South Africa is open to travellers from all over the world. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that “We are opening up international travel to all countries subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative COVID-19 certificate.”
As noted by the president, all arrivals will need to have a negative PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test that is no older than 72 hours from the time of departure. Travellers should also have mandatory travel insurance that covers the COVID-19 PCR test and possible quarantine costs.
Once in South Africa, travellers will be screened on arrival. Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to take a test and isolate in a medical facility until they are healthy.
Flying to South Africa
At the moment, there are a couple of domestic and international airlines flying between Nigeria and South Africa. These airlines include Ethiopian, Kenya Airways, RwandAir, British Airways, ASKY, Emirates, and Turkish Airlines, among others.
Travellers can fly out of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja; Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos; Benin Airport in Benin City; and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano.
There are currently 3 airports in South Africa that are accepting international arrivals. They include Cape Town International Airport (CPT); O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg (JNB); and King Shaka International in Durban (DUR).
Those that are planning to travel overland are allowed to enter via designated land borders. As of February 15, 2021, South Africa has 20 open land borders, including those with Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, and others.
Current South Africa coronavirus measures
As with most other countries, South Africa has put certain measures in place to reduce coronavirus. Some of these rules include:
- Wear a mask in public
- Maintain proper social distance
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid crowds
- Only go outside when needed
What’s open in South Africa right now?
If you’re planning a trip to South Africa this summer (or winter), the good news is that restaurants, cafes, and other public places are open without restrictions. Night clubs are still closed because South Africa has a curfew from midnight to 4 AM.
Travellers can enjoy a safari at Kruger National Park, which is South Africa’s most-visited national park and is one of the oldest conservation areas in Africa. Likewise, you’re practically guaranteed to see at least a few of the Big Five animals like the elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion or leopard.
For something a little more local, KwaZulu-Natal is where all the South Africans go on a vacation in their own country. The lush gardens, stunning coastlines, and hiking trails are sure to surprise you.
Foodies should book a ticket to Johannesburg or Durban immediately. Both cities are known for their cafe culture as well as delicious cuisine from all around the world. In fact, Durban has the biggest Indian community outside of India, so you know that means delicious curry, Chana masala, and butter chicken awaits.
Finally, Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula are a definite must-see on your trip to South Africa. You can see wild penguins at Boulders Beach, walk along the gorgeous Sea Point Promenade, or take a cable car trip to the top of Table Mountain. For the truly adventurous, you can even paraglide from the top of Signal Hill and see epic views of Cape Town!