You must submit your visa request for South Africa in-person, and by appointment only. The Consular office is open Monday-Thursday between 9:30am-12:30am and it’s closed every Friday. Please make sure that all of your supporting documents for visa application are ready before requesting an appointment. Your current passport must have (2) two unused visa pages for Immigration’s entry and departure stamp. The period of validity of passport cannot be less than 6 months after from your intended date of departure from the Republic of South Africa. You can find this information through its Embassy’s website.

VisaHero can represent you and submit your visa request without appearing in-person at the Embassy. Click here to get for your South African visa through VisaHero.

Determine the type of visa you need based on your purpose of travel:
Tourist visa : going to South Africa for tourism, visit family, or attending a conference/event.
Business visa : going to South Africa to conduct business meetings.
Temporary work 11(2) visa : short term or urgent work in the Republic of South Africa, including, but not limited, to service technicians, trainers/instructors and film crews, for a period not exceeding three (3) months.

Three (3) months of your most recent bank statement (checking or savings account) is required for a visa request. This statement must be stamped by the bank (not notarized). We find a lot of people having difficulty completing this requirement. Contact VisaHero or call (202) 936-6000 if you have any questions.

As of January 2024, here are the current South African visa options available through the Embassy:

Tourism 3 Months 30 Days 5-8 Days $36
Business 3 Months 30 Days 5-8 Days $36
Short-term work 3 Months Up to 90 Days 5-8 Days $36

Capital (3): Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein
Population: 62,027,503 (2023)
Government: Unitary parliamentary republic with an executive presidency
Religions: Christianity, Atheism, Traditional faiths, Islam, Hinduism, Other
Languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Swazi, Tshivenda, Xhosa, Xitsonga, Zulu
Currency: South African rand (ZAR)
Nationality: South African


South Africa is bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), and Lesotho. Its coastline stretches along the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The country has diverse landscapes, including mountains, savannahs, deserts, and coastal areas.

South Africa has a complex history marked by colonialism, apartheid, and struggle for independence and democracy. European colonization began in the 17th century, with the Dutch establishing the Cape Colony. British colonization followed, leading to conflicts with indigenous African groups. Apartheid, a system of institutionalized racial segregation, was implemented in 1948 by the National Party government and lasted until the early 1990s. Nelson Mandela, the iconic anti-apartheid leader, became the country’s first democratically elected president in 1994.

South Africa is a constitutional democracy with a parliamentary system. The African National Congress (ANC), which played a significant role in ending apartheid, has been the ruling party since the first democratic elections in 1994. However, the country’s politics are characterized by a multiparty system, with opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

South Africa is home to a rich diversity of cultures, languages, and ethnicities. The population consists of various groups, including black Africans (comprising different ethnic groups like Zulu, Xhosa, and Sotho), white South Africans (primarily of European descent), coloreds (mixed-race), and Asians (including people of Indian and Pakistani descent).


South Africa is renowned for its diverse cultural heritage, which is reflected in its music, art, literature, cuisine, and festivals. Traditional African music and dance coexist with contemporary genres like jazz, hip-hop, and kwaito. The country’s cuisine is a fusion of indigenous African, European, and Asian influences, with dishes like braai (barbecue), bobotie (a savory dish), and chakalaka (a spicy relish).


South Africa has the most industrialized and diversified economy in Africa. It is rich in mineral resources, including gold, diamonds, and platinum. The country is a leading producer of platinum, gold, and chromium. However, South Africa also faces economic challenges such as high unemployment and income inequality.


South African cuisine is a rich and diverse tapestry woven from a blend of indigenous African, European, and Asian culinary traditions. Here are some key elements and dishes that characterize South African cuisine:

Braai (Barbecue): A quintessential South African culinary tradition, the braai involves grilling meat, typically over an open flame or hot coals. Beef, lamb, chicken, and boerewors (a type of sausage) are popular choices for the braai. It’s not just about the food; the braai is also a social gathering where friends and family come together to enjoy food, conversation, and often a few drinks.

Bobotie: Considered South Africa’s national dish by some, bobotie is a flavorful and aromatic dish with Malay roots. It typically consists of spiced minced meat (often beef or lamb) mixed with onions, curry powder, fruit (such as raisins or apricots), and topped with a custard-like mixture of eggs and milk. It’s often served with yellow rice and chutney.

Bunny Chow: Originating from the Indian community in Durban, bunny chow is a unique South African dish consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry. It can be made with various curries, including chicken, lamb, or vegetable, and is a hearty and flavorful street food favorite.

Pap (Maize Meal): Pap, also known as mieliepap, is a staple starch in South African cuisine. It’s made from finely ground maize meal and can be cooked to different consistencies, ranging from a stiff porridge to a softer, creamier texture. Pap is often served as an accompaniment to meat dishes and gravy or with a tomato and onion sauce known as chakalaka.

Chakalaka: Chakalaka is a spicy vegetable relish that’s popular in South Africa, particularly as a side dish for braais. It typically contains ingredients like onions, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and chili peppers, all cooked together with spices like curry powder, paprika, and turmeric. It adds flavor and a bit of heat to any meal.

Biltong and Droëwors: Biltong and droëwors are both types of dried, cured meat snacks that are beloved in South Africa. Biltong is typically made from beef or game meat and is seasoned with spices like coriander, salt, and pepper before being air-dried. Droëwors, meaning “dry sausage” in Afrikaans, is made from seasoned minced meat stuffed into casings and air-dried.

Potjiekos: Potjiekos is a traditional South African stew cooked in a three-legged cast-iron pot over an open flame. The dish can contain a variety of ingredients, including meat (such as beef, lamb, or chicken), vegetables, and spices. It’s a communal meal often enjoyed during social gatherings and camping trips.


South Africa boasts a plethora of breathtaking destinations and attractions that draw tourists from around the world. Here are some of the top tourism destinations in the country:

Cape Town: Cape Town is a vibrant city known for its stunning natural beauty, iconic landmarks, and rich cultural heritage. Highlights include Table Mountain, one of the New7Wonders of Nature, Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, the scenic Cape Winelands, and the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

Kruger National Park: One of Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger National Park is renowned for its incredible biodiversity and opportunities for wildlife viewing. Visitors can embark on safari drives to spot the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard) along with numerous other species of animals and birds.

Garden Route: The Garden Route is a picturesque stretch of coastline along the Western Cape Province, known for its lush forests, pristine beaches, and charming towns. Highlights include Tsitsikamma National Park, Knysna Lagoon, the scenic town of Hermanus (famous for whale watching), and the ostrich farms of Oudtshoorn.

Johannesburg: As the largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg offers a vibrant urban experience with a rich history and cultural diversity. Key attractions include the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, the lively neighborhood of Maboneng, and the vibrant markets of Soweto.

Durban: Located on the east coast of South Africa, Durban is known for its golden beaches, warm Indian Ocean waters, and multicultural atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy attractions such as uShaka Marine World, Durban Botanic Gardens, and the bustling Victoria Street Market.

Cradle of Humankind: Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cradle of Humankind is one of the world’s most significant paleoanthropological sites. It contains a complex of limestone caves where some of the earliest hominid fossils have been discovered, providing valuable insights into human evolution.

Drakensberg Mountains: The Drakensberg Mountains offer spectacular scenery, including dramatic cliffs, verdant valleys, and cascading waterfalls. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to the region for hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and birdwatching.

Stellenbosch and Franschhoek: These picturesque towns in the Cape Winelands are renowned for their world-class wine estates, gourmet cuisine, and stunning scenery. Visitors can indulge in wine tastings, fine dining experiences, and scenic drives through vineyard-dotted landscapes.

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