a landscape with trees and mountains

Finding a travel destination is always about weighing the pros and cons. But when searching for the perfect winter sun destination, there’s one where almost everything is pro, making it just about impossible to beat South Africa.

Really, does it get better, or more beautiful? The weather is grand, the value is extraordinary, the people couldn’t be friendlier, the food rivals any destination in the world – and the wine – yeah there’s a lot to love there too.

After being closed for most of the year, and putting travelers through a disappointing walk back of initial reopening plans, South Africa is officially opening to all international travelers, provided they follow key safety rules and bring a negative covid-19 test.

It’s the news many have been waiting for, and as the best weather sets in, it couldn’t come at a better time.

a city and a body of water

South Africa Reopens To All Visitors

Home legit is this news? Well, when the President of South Africa tweets it, there’s probably some truth to it. South African President Cyril Ramasphosa just announced the good news that the country will reopen almost immediately to ALL international visitors, as part of the country’s move into the lowest level of alertness.

So what rules will visitors to South Africa need to adhere to? For a start, you’ll need a negative covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure to be allowed into the country. It’s unclear exactly when the new measures will take place, but South African media reports that there shouldn’t be much delay in reopening.

Testing access is expanding rapidly around the world, and President Ramaphosa’s tweets suggest South Africa will have their own rapid testing facilities available as well. No quarantine period is expected for international travelers presenting the negative covid-19 certificate, but symptomatic travelers who test positive on arrival may be isolated.

For South Africa’s tourism industry, which has faced its worst times in decades, being able to capture this high season is essential to survival. With abundant sun and plenty of beaches to spread out, not to mention vineyards and hiking trails, they just may pull it off.

a row of colorful huts on a beach

Incredible Opportunities This Year Or Next

If Europe and the United States are any indicator, covid-19 is less impactful during months of warm weather and outdoor activity, provided practical social distancing is maintained. As the Northern Hemisphere heads into grim winter months, South Africa now heads for peak summer season, and many will want to join in on the fun.

Who wouldn’t want to sit on a beach right now?

South Africa is usually booming with international visitors this time of year, and all the way through spring, but not this year. Even if many international routes do resume, a large number of visitors have ruled out travel for 2021, or until a vaccine emerges and is distributed. But from these tough times come serious travel opportunity.

For those who weigh the risks and are looking for a getaway, this means there will be better rates on accommodations in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and on safari’s across the country, with even easier access to tricky dining reservations too. And hey, maybe even a few less people in line to catch a wave on one of the untouchable beaches.

Here’s 10 things you must do in Cape Town on your first visit. See you there?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Good to hear this wonderful news, hopefully if all goes well I would like to be in South Africa next year May/June July

  2. Really good news, so looking forward to going back to visiting the most beautiful country , family and friends again,

  3. Really good news, so looking forward to going back to visiting the most beautiful country , family and friends again,

  4. Just so I understand this correctly …… the “PCR test 72 hours before departure” means 72 hours prior to the day you get on the plane that finally gets you to South Africa? or really 72 hours before you actually arrive in South Africa? I would be going (Fall of 2021 so things might well change) on QR from LAX to DOH to CPT …… so 72 hours prior to the LAX to DOH segment or prior to the DOH to CPT segment or the whole LAX to CPT trip?

  5. Yeeeee… Here I come my beautiful motherland! Can’t wait to see my beautiful family, feel the lovely African sun on my skin and breath in the African air into my lungs! Here I come Cape Town!!!!

  6. We are so excited that we will be able to welcome international travellers back to Mosetlha Bush Camp and Eco Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve. It has been an exceptionally bad year for us so we hope that we can get back on track now.

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