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 Post||South African Border Post||Opening Hours||Contact Number||GPS Coordinates|
|Oranjemund||Alexander Bay||06:00 – 22:00||+27(0) 831 1662||28.5647°S|
|Sendelingsdrift||Sendelingsdrift||8:00 – 17:00||+27(0) 831 2203||28.1227°S 16.8889°E|
|Noordoewer||Vioolsdrift||24hrs||+27(0) 761 8760||28.7656°S 17.6262°E|
|Vellorsdrift||Onseepkans||08:00-17:00||+27(0) 549 51 0014||28.7345°S 19.3056°E|
|Ariamsvlei||Nakop||24 hrs||+27(0) 54571 0008||28.0949°S 19.9992°E|
|Klein Menasse||Rietfontein||08:00-16:30||+27(0) 54531 0084||26.7564°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 Post||South Africa- Border Post||Opening Hours||Contact Number||GPS Coordinates|
|Two Rivers||Twee Rivieren||07:30-16:00||+27(0) 54561 0093||26.4701°S 20.6156°E|
|Bokspits||Gemsbok||08:00-16:30||+27(0) 54511 0043||26.9044°S 20.6904°E|
|Middleputs||Middelputs||07:30-16:30||+27(0) 53781 0212||26.6705°S 21.8826°E|
|McCarthy’s Rest||McCarthy’s Rest||08:00-18:00||+27(0) 53781 0285||26.2015°S 22.5679°E|
|Makopong||Makopong||08:00-18:00||+27(0) 53922 ask for Vorstershoop 2011||25.3653°S 22.9747°E|
|Bray||Bray||07:00-16:00||+27(0) 53937 0026||25.4566°S 23.7141°E|
|Pitsane Molopo||Makgobistad||07:00-16:00||25.7485°S 25.1076°E|
|Ramatlabama||Ramatlabama||06:00-22:00||+27(0) 18390 2533||25.6419°S 25.5742°E|
|Pioneer Gate||Skilpadshek||06:00-24:00||+27(0) 18366 0011||25.2756°S 25.7138°E|
|Ramotswa||Swartkopfontein||06:00-22:00||+27(0) 18365 9010||24.8725°S 25.8826°E|
|Tlokweng||Kopfontein||06:00-24:00||+27(0) 18365 9055||24.7064°S 26.0939°E|
|Sikwane||Derdepoort||06:00-19:00||+27(0) 14778 0725||24.6426°S 26.4035°E|
|Parr’s Halt||Stockpoort||08:00-1800||+27(0) 14763 4586||23.4027°S 27.3567°E|
|Martin’s Drift||Groblersbrug||08:00-18:00||+27(0) 14767 1019||22.9981°S 27.9419°E|
|Zanzibar||Zanzibar||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 14767 1024||22.5719°S 28.4663°E|
|Platjan||Platjan||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 15575 1040||22.4855°S 28.8337°E|
|Pontdrift||Pontdrift||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 15575 1056||22.2148°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 Post||South Africa Border Post||Opening Hours||Contact Number||GPS Coordinates|
|Beitbridge||Beitbridge||24 hrs||+27(0) 15530 0070||22.2243°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 Post||South Africa Border Post||Opening Hours||Contact Number||GPS Coordinates|
|Pafuri||Pafuri||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 13 735 6882||22.4490°S 31.3157°E|
|Giriyonda||Giriyonda||08:00-16:00 Oct-March 08:00-15:00 April-Sept||+27(0) 13 735 8919||23.5840°S 31.6600°E|
|Ressano Garcia||Lebombo||06:00-24:00||+27(0) 13 793 7311||25.4431°S 31.9867°E|
|Ponta do Ouro||Kosi Bay||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 35 593 9871||26.8643°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 Post||South Africa Border Post||Opening Hours||Contact Number||GPS Coordinates|
|Mananga||Mananga||07:00-18:00||+27(0) 13790 7075||25.9331°S 31.7613°E|
|Matsamo||Jeppe’s Reef||07:00-20:00||+27(0) 13781 0382||25.7507°S 31.4676°E|
|Bulembu||Josefsdal||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 13712 3891||25.9446°S 31.1215°E|
|Ngwenya||Oshoek||07:00-22:00||+27(0) 17882 0138/9||26.2125°S 30.9892°E|
|Lundzi||Waverley||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 17819 5763||26.3275°S 30.8885°E|
|Sandlane||Nerston||08:00-18:00||+27(0) 17846 9207||26.5697°S 30.7918°E|
|Sicunusa||Emahlathini||08:00-18:00||+27(0) 17826 0941||26.8605°S 30.9084°E|
|Gege||Bothashoop||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 17826 0400||26.9737°S 30.9684°E|
|Mahamba||Mahamba||07:00-22:00||+27(0) 17826 0076||27.1055°S 31.0691°E|
|Salitje||Onverwacht||08:00-18:00||+27(0) 34413 1380||27.3162°S 31.6438°E|
|Golela||Lavumisa||07:00-22:00||+27(0) 34435 1070||27.3172°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 Post||South Africa Border Post||Opening Hours||Contact Number||GPS Coordinates|
|Maseru bridge||Maseru Bridge||24 hrs||+27(0) 51 924 4300||29.2980°S 27.4546°E|
|Peka Bridge||Peka Bride||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 51 933 3951||28.9450°S 27.7344°E|
|Maputsoe||Ficksburg Bridge||24 hrs||+27(0) 51 933 2760||28.8839°S 27.8903°E|
|Caledonspoort||Caledonspoort||06:00-22:00||+27(0) 58 223 8400||28.6948°S 28.2339°E|
|Montansa Pass||Montansa Pass||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 58 713 1600||28.5902°S 28.6826°E|
|Sani Pass||Sani Pass||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 33 702 1169||29.5847°S 29.2863°E|
|Ramatsilitso||Ramatsilitso||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 39 256 4443||30.0502°S 28.9339°E|
|Qacha’s Nek||Quacha’s Nek||06:00-10:00||+27(0) 39 256 4391||30.1297°S 28.6856°E|
|Ongeluksnek||Ongeluksnek||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 39 256 7001||30.3383°S 28.2519°E|
|Tele Bridge||Tele bridge||06:00-22:00||+27(0) 51 611 1710||30.4319°S 27.5673°E|
|Makhaleng Bridge||Makhaleng Bridge||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 51 673 1484||30.1641°S 27.3996°E|
|Sepapus Gate||Sepapus Gate||08:00-16:00||+27(0) 52 332, ask for 190||29.9476°S 27.1993°E|
|van Rooyen’s Gate||van Rooyen’s Gate||06:00-22:00||+27(0) 51 583 1525||29.7560°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