December 19, 2022
It is an exciting adventure to travel from sunny South Africa to other countries. But, for your safety, security, and enjoyment, you need to prepare thoroughly for such a trip.1
Familiarise yourself with the country you are going to visit, such as its culture, and political and economic environments. It’s a good idea to learn about their laws, and study all aspects concerning safety, personal security, medical assistance, customs requirements, and import regulations. Another great plan is to make sure that you have on hand the contact details of the nearest South African Representative offices in the country you are visiting as well as carrying the details of your next of kin with you, in case of an emergency.1
Carry a valid South African passport and identity document while you travel. Those with foreign passports must find out what travel documents a particular foreign country requires. If you lose your passport and travel documents, such as visas, make certified copies of them to prove your identity. Keep these copies separate from your original documents.1
Immediately report the theft or loss of your passport to the foreign country’s local police station. Hand in their report to the nearest South African High Commissioner, Embassy or Consulate-General, and apply for an emergency travel certificate. Unfortunately, this travel document will only allow you to return directly to South Africa, which isn’t the best situation, however, it is still better than being stuck in a foreign country for several months while you wait for South Africa to issue a new passport.1
Your visa or permit means the foreign country has allowed you to travel in their country. But these documents do not guarantee entry into that country, as the final authority still rests with the immigration officials. SADC countries do not require visas from South Africans.1
This is highly recommended and covers emergency hospitalisation, medical costs, and evacuation if necessary. Medical costs can be expensive in another country, and authorities may refuse medical treatment when you have no travel insurance.1
Get to the airport early to secure your seat prior to your departure, because some airlines can be overbooked.1
You need to get a valid international driving permit from the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) if you are going to drive in a foreign country. Make sure your original driver’s license always accompanies this permit. Remember to make certified copies of all original documents. All SADC countries accept South African driver’s licences, but to be safe, get a verification letter from the South African Department of Transport. Bring with you your original vehicle registration documents and a temporary import permit for the car or trailer.1
Please be mindful that few car insurance companies will cover you for cross-border travel. Does your car insurance provider offer cross-border cover? If yes, you need to alert your car insurance company about your travel plans before your road trip to another country with the vehicle.
While travelling in a neighbouring country, it’s important to make sure that you have adequate car cover. Some countries require compulsory third party, and specific stickers have to be displayed. Contact the AA for more information.1
As a safety precaution, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation invites South Africans travelling abroad to register with them and submit their travel plans. This enables the South African Government to help you in an emergency. 1
This article's purpose is to make sure you are well prepared to enjoy a great holiday or successful business trip in a foreign country while continuing to be safe and protected.1
Make sure you’ve bought adequate car cover for all your foreign travels. If you need more information, contact us at PMD. Learn more about our affordable car insurance products, world-class expertise, and unique benefits such as fixed premiums* and a reduce-to-zero excess*. T’s and C’s apply.
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With everything in place, we at PMD would like to wish you “Bon voyage!”
November 7, 2023
November 7, 2023