Travelling to South Africa with children

There are so many things to think about when you're travelling with children...

There are so many things to think about when you’re travelling with children. Clothes, favourite toys, medication – there’s a long list of things to consider.

What many tourists to South Africa don’t realise is that there are additional requirements that are necessary when travelling with children to our country. These are not standard requirements for most trips. They can be slightly difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with South Africa’s bureaucratic requirements – so we’ve broken these down into a handy list for you to check off.

Once you get all of the boring red tape out of the way, make sure that your kids have the time of their lives on their trip to Cape Town.  The City Pass offers entry to over 70 of Cape Town’s attractions and is a fantastic way to see the city with your little ones. 

A valid passport and visa

Now, we know it’s pretty obvious that your child will need a valid passport and visa (if necessary) in order to travel to another country. But remember to check passports (both your child’s and your own) for blank pages.  Passports must have at least two blank pages for entry and exit stamps. This is a small but vital detail that could stop your holiday in its tracks if forgotten.

To find out if you need a visa, take a look at the list of visa-exempt countries here.

Remember that you’ll need your return flights and accommodation sorted for your visa application. Browse accommodation and flights now to get the best rates

Your child’s unabridged birth certificate

The worldwide problem of human trafficking has prompted the South African Department of Home Affairs to be rather strict about children entering and exiting the country.

An unabridged birth certificate is a birth certificate that has the information of both of the child’s parent on it. The DHA formerly required that parents travelling with children carried this birth certificate with them at all times as a way of proving parentage. This has recently been relaxed. As long as your child’s passport lists both parents, you don’t technically need an unabridged birth certificate to travel. However, we still recommend that you bring your child’s birth certificate along to avoid any hassles getting through border control.

A parental consent affidavit

If you’re travelling with children but without their other parent, you’re going to need a little extra paperwork to get you through immigration.

The Parental Consent Affidavit from the Department of Home Affairs must be completed by the parent not travelling. The non-travelling parent must somplete and sign this form. This document MUST be certified in order for it to be valid. It must also be accompanied by a certified copy of the non-travelling parent’s ID or passport.

Court order

Thankfully, the Department of Home Affairs recognises that there are certain situations where obtaining a parental consent affidavit may be impossible. In these cases, you will need a court order that grants full parental rights to the travelling parent.


Planning a trip to Cape Town? Book flights, browse accommodation, and rent a car now to get the best rates. The Cape Town City Pass gives you access to over 70 of the top Cape Town attractions, tours, and things to see and do, including the popular hop on hop off City Sightseeing bus.


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