1. Home
  2. News
  3. South African Border Crossing Guide

South African Border Crossing Guide

Every traveller knows how stressful it can be when crossing a border post in South Africa. Having your paperwork in order and being prepared are essential for a smooth transition. Here is everything you need to know for all of South Africa’s border crossings.

South African Border Crossing Essentials:

1. Passport and Visas

South African passport holders resident to South Africa do not require a visa to visit Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. However, should you be travelling with an emergency travel document, other than your South African passport, for one or other reason you will require a visa to enter Botswana. Visa applications can be made to the Botswana Consulate in Braamfontein: TEL +27(0) 11 403 3748

2. Driver’s License 

The South African driver’s license is recognised in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.

3. International Driver’s Permit

Although not compulsory this is recommended for everyone driving in foreign countries.

4. ZA Sticker 

If you’re travelling from South Africa across borders vehicles should bear a ZA sticker which designates that they are foreign vehicles from South Africa. AA Accredited Sales Agent stores and outdoor retailers like Safari Centre will have them available for purchase.

5. White and Red Reflective Tape

In Zimbabwe – two small white rectangular size strips on the right and left hand side of the front bumper, as well as two small red square strips on the right and left hand side of the rear bumper is required. If towing a trailer, two small red  square strips on the right and left hand side of the rear bumper are required.

6. Yellow and Blue Mozambique Warning Triangle

In Mozambique a set of two yellow and blue warning triangle stickers are required if towing a trailer; one in the front of the vehicle (on the bumper) and one on the rear of the trailer.

7. Vehicle Registration/Vehicle License Papers  

A certified copy of vehicle registration/vehicle lisense papers is acceptable at the border posts. Must be accompanied with a letter from the bank giving you authorisation to take the vehicle across the border, and must indicate dates. Both the bank letter and license papers should be signed by a Commissioner of Oaths. If you are not the registered owner of the vehicle, please carry an affidavit from the police giving you authorisation from the financial institution/owner to take the vehicle abroad.

8. Police Clearance Certificate

A Police Clearance Certificate may be required if travelling through the Chirundu Border Post of Zimbabwe, both for vehicles and trailers.

9. Letter of authority

If you are travelling in a rented car or 4×4 across borders, you have to have a letter from the rental company giving you permission to take the vehicle out of the country. You do not need police clearance for this.

Vehicle and Border Post info:

Namibia-South Africa Border Crossings

• The road users’ fee is R220 for a normal car with an additional amount of R140 for a trailer or a  camper

• You can pay with South African rands, Namibian dollars or a credit card 

• We strongly advise that you take cash in case the card machines are offline

Currency: Namibian Dollar (NAD)

Namibia Border Posts

Namibian Border PostSouth African Border PostOpening HoursContact NumberGPS Coordinates
OranjemundAlexander Bay06:00 – 22:00+27(0) 831 166228.5647°S
SendelingsdriftSendelingsdrift8:00 – 17:00+27(0) 831 220328.1227°S 16.8889°E
NoordoewerVioolsdrift24hrs+27(0) 761 876028.7656°S 17.6262°E
VellorsdriftOnseepkans08:00-17:00+27(0) 549 51 001428.7345°S 19.3056°E
AriamsvleiNakop24 hrs+27(0) 54571 000828.0949°S 19.9992°E
Klein MenasseRietfontein08:00-16:30+27(0) 54531 008426.7564°S 19.9992°E

Botswana-South Africa Border Crossings

• Road Transport Permit – P40 (Pula) +- R44

• National Road Safety – P20 – valid for a calendar year (up to 31 December) P20 will also be charged  on a trailer

• Third-Party Insurance – P50 – motor vehicle insurance (mini buses and buses will pay a higher fee)

• Temporary Import Permit (This form will be issued at the border post on entry)

Currency: Pula (BWP)

Botswana Border Posts

Botswana –Border PostSouth Africa- Border PostOpening HoursContact NumberGPS Coordinates
Two RiversTwee Rivieren07:30-16:00+27(0) 54561 009326.4701°S 20.6156°E
BokspitsGemsbok08:00-16:30+27(0) 54511 004326.9044°S 20.6904°E
MiddleputsMiddelputs07:30-16:30+27(0) 53781 021226.6705°S 21.8826°E
McCarthy’s RestMcCarthy’s Rest08:00-18:00+27(0) 53781 028526.2015°S 22.5679°E
MakopongMakopong08:00-18:00+27(0) 53922 ask for Vorstershoop 201125.3653°S 22.9747°E
BrayBray07:00-16:00+27(0) 53937 002625.4566°S 23.7141°E
Pitsane MolopoMakgobistad07:00-16:00 25.7485°S 25.1076°E
RamatlabamaRamatlabama06:00-22:00+27(0) 18390 253325.6419°S 25.5742°E
Pioneer GateSkilpadshek06:00-24:00+27(0) 18366 001125.2756°S 25.7138°E
RamotswaSwartkopfontein06:00-22:00+27(0) 18365 901024.8725°S 25.8826°E
TlokwengKopfontein06:00-24:00+27(0) 18365 905524.7064°S 26.0939°E
SikwaneDerdepoort06:00-19:00+27(0) 14778 072524.6426°S 26.4035°E
Parr’s HaltStockpoort08:00-1800+27(0) 14763 458623.4027°S 27.3567°E
Martin’s DriftGroblersbrug08:00-18:00+27(0) 14767 101922.9981°S 27.9419°E
ZanzibarZanzibar08:00-16:00+27(0) 14767 102422.5719°S 28.4663°E
PlatjanPlatjan08:00-16:00+27(0) 15575 104022.4855°S 28.8337°E
PontdriftPontdrift08:00-16:00+27(0) 15575 105622.2148°S 29.1382°E

Zimbabwe-South Africa Border Crossings

• Third-Party Insurance (Compulsory) – obtained at border post for R225 or at an AA Accredited Sales  Agent store

• Road Access Fee – based on the vehicle’s size paid on entry only. Rates: R60 for a small sedan, R270  for a large 4×4

• Beitbridge Border Post Fee – R100

• Exit Pass- R70 at each exit

• Carbon Pollution Tax: Depends on engine capacity; fees start from R60 up to R270 (valid for 30 days)

Currency: Dollar (USD)

Zimbabwe Border Posts

Zimbabwe Borer PostSouth Africa Border PostOpening HoursContact NumberGPS Coordinates
BeitbridgeBeitbridge24 hrs+27(0) 15530 007022.2243°S 29.9865°E

Mozambique-South Africa Border Crossings

• Temporary Import Permit for vehicle (Compulsory) – approximately R15 payable in Meticals 

• Third-Party Insurance (Compulsory) – available at any AA Accredited Sales Agent store; R160 (valid  for 30 days)

• Immigration Fees – R17.50 per person

• Declaration Form for vehicle – cost is approximately R50

Currency: Metical (MZM) but Rand currency is acceptable in Mozambique.

Mozambique Border Posts

Mozambique Border PostSouth Africa Border PostOpening HoursContact NumberGPS Coordinates
PafuriPafuri08:00-16:00+27(0) 13 735 688222.4490°S 31.3157°E
GiriyondaGiriyonda08:00-16:00 Oct-March 08:00-15:00 April-Sept+27(0) 13 735 891923.5840°S 31.6600°E
Ressano GarciaLebombo06:00-24:00+27(0) 13 793 731125.4431°S 31.9867°E
Ponta do OuroKosi Bay08:00-16:00+27(0) 35 593 987126.8643°S 32.8293°E

Above: Kosi border post in Mozambique. Photo by: Andrew Ashton

Swaziland-South Africa Border Crossings

Third-Party Insurance – included in the fuel price; no document required

• Road Tax – R50 payable for vehicles, 14% tax charged on goods brought in for personal use with no  charge on the first R1 000; charge is applicable on an excess of R1 000 and is non-refundable.

Currency: Lilangeni (SZL)

Swaziland Border Posts

Swaziland Border PostSouth Africa Border PostOpening HoursContact NumberGPS Coordinates
ManangaMananga07:00-18:00+27(0) 13790 707525.9331°S 31.7613°E
MatsamoJeppe’s Reef07:00-20:00+27(0) 13781 038225.7507°S 31.4676°E
BulembuJosefsdal08:00-16:00+27(0) 13712 389125.9446°S 31.1215°E
NgwenyaOshoek07:00-22:00+27(0) 17882 0138/926.2125°S 30.9892°E
LundziWaverley08:00-16:00+27(0) 17819 576326.3275°S 30.8885°E
SandlaneNerston08:00-18:00+27(0) 17846 920726.5697°S 30.7918°E
SicunusaEmahlathini08:00-18:00+27(0) 17826 094126.8605°S 30.9084°E
GegeBothashoop08:00-16:00+27(0) 17826 040026.9737°S 30.9684°E
MahambaMahamba07:00-22:00+27(0) 17826 007627.1055°S 31.0691°E
SalitjeOnverwacht08:00-18:00+27(0) 34413 138027.3162°S 31.6438°E
GolelaLavumisa07:00-22:00+27(0) 34435 107027.3172°S 31.8884°E

Lesotho-South Africa Border Crossings

• Toll fees – determined by the weight of your vehicle. +-R30

Currency: Loti (LSL)

Lesotho Border Posts

Lesotho  Border PostSouth Africa Border PostOpening HoursContact NumberGPS Coordinates
Maseru bridgeMaseru Bridge24 hrs+27(0) 51 924 430029.2980°S 27.4546°E
Peka BridgePeka Bride08:00-16:00+27(0) 51 933 395128.9450°S 27.7344°E
MaputsoeFicksburg Bridge24 hrs+27(0) 51 933 276028.8839°S 27.8903°E
CaledonspoortCaledonspoort06:00-22:00+27(0) 58 223 840028.6948°S 28.2339°E
Montansa PassMontansa Pass08:00-16:00+27(0) 58 713 160028.5902°S 28.6826°E
Sani PassSani Pass08:00-16:00+27(0) 33 702 116929.5847°S 29.2863°E
RamatsilitsoRamatsilitso08:00-16:00+27(0) 39 256 444330.0502°S 28.9339°E
Qacha’s NekQuacha’s Nek06:00-10:00+27(0) 39 256 439130.1297°S 28.6856°E
OngeluksnekOngeluksnek08:00-16:00+27(0) 39 256 700130.3383°S 28.2519°E
Tele BridgeTele bridge06:00-22:00+27(0) 51 611 171030.4319°S 27.5673°E
Makhaleng BridgeMakhaleng Bridge08:00-16:00+27(0) 51 673 148430.1641°S 27.3996°E
Sepapus GateSepapus Gate08:00-16:00+27(0) 52 332, ask for 19029.9476°S 27.1993°E
van Rooyen’s Gatevan Rooyen’s Gate06:00-22:00+27(0) 51 583 152529.7560°S 27.1091°E

Quick Border Post Tips:

Border posts can be daunting, confusing and may even frustrate you but no worries, follow these tips and you will sail on through with no problems.

1. Make a folder for all your important documents to prevent unnecessary loss and stress.

2. Get all your documents in order ready to hand in to the border official.

3. Be patient and smile – always be polite and co-operate, this will help make the procedure go smoothly without annoying the person who has the power to give you access.

4. Ask for the maximum amount of days possible – you could end up stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tyre and not be able to return in time.

5. Don’t overstay your time; this will lead to problems at the border when trying to leave.

6. Make sure your passport has enough empty pages for the necessary stamps.

7. Keep a few pens with you, there are never enough at the border posts, it will help you fill out the paperwork faster without having to wait.Now go enjoy your travels on the roads of Africa!

Blog post courtesy of Drive South Africa 

Share this: