Editor’s Note: Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you’re fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on August 4.
If you’re planning to travel to South Africa, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus continues to be a significant threat to health in South Africa and some countries, including the UK and the United States, currently advise against all but essential travel there. The emergence in southern Africa of the Omicron variation of coronavirus prompted many countries to add South Africa to their no-go lists, barring or restricting access to anyone who has been there in recent days. Some such restrictions have since been lifted.
What’s on offer
Breathtaking coastline, buzzing cities, wine country and, of course, the Big Five – South Africa is a real bucket list destination. Most tourists pair a safari – the 7,523 square mile Kruger National Park, in the northeast of the country, is one of the largest game reserves in Africa – with a city break in coastal Cape Town. But there’s so much more on offer: sprawling, tree-lined Johannesburg is one of the largest man-made forests in the world; beachside Durban, home to much of South Africa’s Indian population, is one of the world’s best places for a curry; and other natural paradises are all over the country, including iSimangaliso Wetland Park, whose Zulu name, “something wondrous,” is the perfect description. And of course there’s Soweto, the township outside Johannesburg, whose museums bring the horrors of Apartheid home and whose restaurants are some of the best in the city.
Who can go?
Anyone can visit, subject to usual visa regulations.
You no longer need to show proof of vaccination to enter South Africa.
US CDC travel advisory:
Level 2: Moderate level of Covid-19 in South Africa. Make sure you’re fully vaccinated before traveling.
South Africa Tourism Covid-19 update
Our latest coverage
If you’re wondering how South Africa has been looking recently, here’s a look at its summer under lockdown from January.
Looking for inspiration? We picked our favorite places to visit in this astonishing country. Or dream of a trip with this article about the aptly named Paradise Beach.
CNN’s Julia Buckley, David McKenzie, Nimi Princewill and Barry Neild contributed to this report