Travelling With Your Family: South Africa Is Now Much More Child Friendly
We have spoken often about what a great country South Africa is to enjoy a family safari or vacation. There is just so much for kids to do and learn and the thrill of encountering wildlife as a family unit can bring families together in a special way. The good news is that South Africa is also now much more child friendly!
There was some concern for a time in relation to very strict rules regarding the producing of Birth Certificates when travelling with children. These were set up by the South African government for the right reasons – to guard against human trafficking, a sad reality in this and of course many other parts of the world.
Foreign Travel Regulations Now Relaxed
Since the 2nd April this year (2019), children under 18 years of age travelling with both biological parents who are foreign visa exempt, are no longer required to carry a Birth Certificate. They now only need to carry a valid passport. Even for South African children travelling abroad; if they don’t have a birth certificate, they only need to have a passport that shows the details of one or both parents.
A Word Of Caution
In the interests of always being transparent and assuring our visitors are kept properly informed we must also issue a word of caution.
Where both adults travelling with the child are not the biological parents, the South African Department of Home Affairs still advises you to travel with the child’s birth certificate, just in case it is asked for.
This applies where the child is travelling with only one parent or with one parent who is not their biological parent.
When a child is travelling unaccompanied, they still definitely need to carry their Birth Certificate with them.
The Good News
In accordance with the latest regulations published by the South African Department of Home Affairs these are the exemptions to all the normal documentation requirements:
- South African children travelling on South African passports may travel to South Africa without birth certificates.
- Supporting documents are not required where children are in direct transit at an international airport.
- Children in possession of valid South African visas are not required to produce the documents already submitted as part of their visa applications when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic.
- A child presenting a passport which contains the details of his or her parent or parents is not required to produce a birth certificate/equivalent document.
- In the case of school tours, the parental consent letter may be replaced with a letter from the school principal confirming that all consent letters are held by the school. Upon producing this letter, immigration officers at ports of entry and South African missions abroad would not require any additional documents from individual scholars such as parental consent, birth certificates, death certificates, court orders or copies of the passports or identity documents of the parents and of the person receiving the child in SA. This special dispensation applies to all schools registered with the Department of Basic Education in South Africa and its equivalent abroad.
For more information about the newest regulations as published on the South African Department of Home Affairs’ website, please visit: www.dha.gov.za.
Bring The Family on Safari
So it’s official, South Africa is now much more child travel friendly …so what are you waiting for? Let us at Jewel of Africa Safaris tailor make a package for you and your family that includes all the activities both you and your kids will enjoy.
Contact us to learn about the numerous destinations, safaris, guided tours and child friendly activities that are right here – just waiting to be savoured by the whole family!