Location: Places >> Africa >> Sub-Saharan Africa >> Southern Africa >> South Africa
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Onward/Return Travel Requirements
Posted November 8th, 2012 - 8:41 pm by from Palm Harbor, United States (Permalink)
I will be flying to South Africa this month. I'm not sure how long I will be staying, so I do not want to purchase an onward ticket until it is necessary.

Travel sites say it is required, but they say the same for all countries, though few ever ask.

Does anyone have any experience being refused entry for not having an onward ticket? Are there any cheap solutions or alternatives to this issue? (train ticket)

As always, your help is appreciated.


Posted November 9th, 2012 - 5:56 am by from Heidelberg, Germany (Permalink)
Hey Nick,

when i came here last week they wanted a onward ticket at the check in counter otherwise i didn't get my ticket.

They said it's not necessary but they wanna make sure. Sometimes they ask at the passport control at the airport when u arrive here. So that might get complicated when you're already here but they don't wanna let you in.

Hope that helps you.


Posted November 9th, 2012 - 4:15 pm by from Pretoria, South Africa (Permalink)
I've crossed the SA airport borders hundreds of time and never ever witnessed an immigration officer to request a return ticket from a tourist. Also remember - flying into SA and leaving overland is a very popular travel option. You may always say this is your plan too.

That said, some overzealous airline check-in staff at your origin may give you husstle, if this rule appear on their computer. Like about the other rule, that you need to have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Posted November 9th, 2012 - 10:43 pm by from Palm Harbor, United States (Permalink)
Thanks Theresa and Dimiter.

Maybe I'll try my luck with a bus ticket to Mozambique.

Posted November 12th, 2012 - 10:41 am by from Santa Monica, United States (Permalink)
Hi Nick

In my experience (my BF is American and has had to leave and come back a few times) you do not need an onwards ticket.
As long as they dont question you at your point of origin you should be fine when you get to South Africa.

If you wanted to be cautious, you could purchase a ticket out of South Africa (like a bus ticket as you mentioned).
Otherwise, in the unliely event that immigration even asked, you could mention that you intend on travelling through Africa and booking your flights at a later stage!

Ahve a great trip!

Posted November 12th, 2012 - 5:17 pm by from Boksburg, South Africa (Permalink)
Hi there!

I'm American, and initially came here for three months. Although I did have a return ticket I wasn't asked for proof of one until I decided to apply for a visa whilst here- and for that I had to show proof of one for a much later date. I barely was even talked to or anything when I approached customs at the airport- they just looked at my passport and asked me how long I was staying and the reason for the visit- that's about it.

Enjoy your stay; I fell in love with it and will probably be here long term!