Foreign travel advice

South Africa

Local laws and customs

Always carry your identity documentation or a copy of your passport. You’ll need to be able to produce valid identification on request by South African officials.

Drug-taking and smuggling is an offence.

It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any protected wild animal or trade any of its parts without a permit. South Africa is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) under which there’s a ban on the international commercial trade in ivory and rhino horn. Anyone caught buying or trafficking banned goods will be prosecuted and receive prison sentences and/or fines.

Homosexuality is legal, and the South African authorities have introduced legislation which bans any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.