Need a visa for Africa? Here’s all you need to know

Kudu bull and cow jump over a game fence with ease. Thank god they don't need an Africa visa to control their whereabouts

The vast African landscape and opportunity to connect with nature in its most raw form works as a magnet for countless travelers around the world.

From the chance to see the Big Five on a South African safari to the privilege to summit Mt Kenya – there are so many unforgettable memories to create in Africa. Once you’ve arrived, the world is your oyster. But first, you need to finalize your passport to Africa.

The travel requirements will vary depending on which country you visit, and where you are departing from. For the sake of summary, this article discusses the visa requirements for U.S. citizens. Here is a basic overview of the general requirements.

A Guide to Get a Visa for Africa Travel

Africa is a diverse and culturally-rich continent – and a very good choice for your next trip. But where do you go? Here are the travel requirements and visa costs per country for a few of the most visited destinations in Africa.

South Africa visa requirements

Wooden staircase leading down to a local beach in Langebaan

South Africa is on the hit-list for many global travelers, and it’s easy to understand why. The country boasts breathtaking coastlines, wildlife-rich safaris, and unbeatable local hospitality.

There are countless exciting things to do in South Africa, and the experience begins with booking a ticket.

Visas to visit South Africa from America are only needed if your stay extends past 90 days. There are 52 countries that fall into this category of not needing a visa to visit South Africa.

  • Duration of stay permitted visa-free – 90 days
  • Additional notes – you’ll need a yellow fever certificate if traveling from (or through) the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America

Egypt visa requirements

If you’re a history-lover, then this is a fantastic country to visit. There are so many things to do in Egypt, ranging from visiting the pyramids to scuba diving and sandboarding.

Unlike South Africa, U.S. citizens do need a visa to enter Egypt. Luckily, these visas are both easy to get and affordable in cost. Upon arrival, officials will issue a single-entry, 30-day visa for a small cost of $25.

If you plan to leave and visit neighboring countries before returning to Egypt, then a multi-entry visa is available for $60.

This visa, along with a passport with six-month validity, will have you riding camels in the desert in no time.

  • Cost of visa – $25 for a single-entry visa
  • Duration of stay permitted – 30 days
  • Additional notes – you’ll need a yellow fever certificate if you’ve traveled through high-risk countries

Apply for your Egyptian visa here.

Visa for a Moroccan adventure


Morocco combines regal elegance with natural wonder. It meets the expectations of history-lovers, adventure-junkies, and holiday-seekers among others. From the medieval city of Fez to the bustling streets of Marrakech, Morocco is a popular African country to visit.

Another reason that Morocco is such a popular tourist destination is because of its visa-free policy for American citizens for up to 90 days.

All you need to enter the gateway to Africa is a passport with six months validity.

  • Duration of stay permitted visa-free – 90 days
  • Additional notes – Extending past your 90 days visa-free stay requires you to appear before a judge – so best to get your itinerary in order

Tanzania visa upon arrival

Many travelers looking to get a visa for Africa have Tanzania on their itinerary. The East African country is home to the exclusive Katavi National Park as well as the tropical island of Zanzibar.

It’s the perfect destination for travelers seeking a rustic, idyllic getaway as well as a close relationship with nature. But in order to do so, U.S. citizens must attain a travel visa.

You can buy these visas on arrival. We suggest you use cash as the electronic payment methods can cause a hassle. Alternatively, you can apply for a travel visa online beforehand.

  • Cost of visa – $100 (for U.S. nationals)
  • Duration of stay permitted – Three months for single-entry, up to 12 months for multiple-entry visas
  • Additional notes – you’ll need a yellow fever certificate if your itinerary has taken you through one of the countries where the disease is an epidemic

Visa for Mauritius

Man standing outside a local grocery store in Port Louis, Mauritius

Mauritius is high on the list as one of the safest countries in Africa. The island welcomes travelers with open arms, beautiful beaches, and chilled cocktails.

Mauritius is full of natural beauty, oceanside adventures, and luxury resorts. It offers a truly unique African experience.

Travelers do not require a visa for entry, only a valid passport, and proof of a return ticket.

  • Duration of stay permitted visa-free – 60 days
  • Additional notes – Travelers require a yellow fever certificate if having experienced recent travel to risk areas

Kenya visa requirements

A popular East African travel visa is one that allows entry to Kenya. Known to be home to some of the best safari destinations, Kenya is a very popular travel destination for nature-lovers.

The coastal country has a varied landscape of savannah, lakelands, the Great Rift valley, and mountain highlands. What more could you possibly want?

To enjoy the beauty of Kenya, travelers need a tourist visa. Single-entry visas are available upon arrival at the airport and online. You’ll need to start your applications for multi-entry visas before arrival.

  • Cost of visa – $53
  • Duration of stay permitted – 90 days
  • Additional notes – you’ll need a yellow fever certificate if you have traveled through high-risk areas

Apply for your Kenya visa here.

Visa for Ethiopia

Gelada baboon portrait, in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia

Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is full of must-see attractions that keep travelers coming back for more. The country experiences tropical conditions and offers tourists an unforgettable getaway.

All foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens and excluding citizens of Kenya and Djibouti, need a visa for entry. These single-entry visas are easy to get online, but a multi-entry visa requires a visit to the consulate.

The price of the visa will vary depending on how long you want to remain in the country.

  • Cost of visa – $52 or $72
  • Duration of stay permitted – 30 days or 90 days
  • Additional notes – travelers must produce a yellow fever certificate upon request

Apply for your Ethiopia visa here.

Tunisia travel requirements

Tunisia is not always the first African country on one’s “to travel” list, but it should be! The capital, Tunis, and the northern part of the country are safe for travel and offer rich rewards for those who visit.

Discover special wildlife, such as the African deer, relax at resorts and uncover the fascinating history of the area.

U.S. citizens do not require a tourist visa to enter Tunisia for stays of less than 90 days. However, they do need a passport with six months’ validity.

  • Duration of stay permitted visa-free – 90 days
  • Additional notes – Tourism in Tunisia has been neglected over the years but is increasing noticeably, bringing in an impressive $1.36 billion in 2018

Africa visa for Zimbabwe

The citadel of Great Zimbabwe, The greatest historical site in Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe is one of the top countries to visit in Africa. Although it has a history of political unrest, it makes up for this concern with incredible safari destinations and encounters with nature.

Zimbabwe tourism access is determined through categories. U.S. citizens fall into category B which allows entry after receiving a visa on arrival. All that you need is a passport, return ticket and adequate funds to support your stay.

The price of the visa varies depending on your duration of stay, and whether you require single-entry or multiple-entry.

Top tip: Neighboring countries Botswana and Zambia offer great safari day trips, and so a multiple-entry visa is worth the extra cost.

  • Cost of visa – $30, $45 or $160
  • Duration of stay permitted – 30-day single-entry visa, 45-day double-entry visa or 12-month multiple-entry visa
  • Additional notes – Zimbabwe has a high case number for Tuberculosis so be cautious

Uganda visa for entry

Uganda is a truly special destination to visit. The country offers a variety of unique and memorable experiences, including a gorilla encounter in the wild.

Uganda boasts 60 conservation-protected areas that are home to large populations of critically endangered species. Border control is one of the ways that this conservation remains in check.

All U.S. passport holders require a visa prior to arrival. This is an easy online process.

  • Cost of visa – $51,50
  • Duration of stay permitted – 90 days
  • Additional notes – Uganda is a yellow fever area and so travelers need a certificate of immunization

Apply for your visa for Uganda here.

Secure Your Ticket for an African Adventure

Two passports on an Africa map - visas for Africa

Africa visa requirements vary depending on which country you choose to visit, as well as your destination of origin.

Overall, most African countries make access pain-free and affordable. If you are planning a trip across Africa, then you can even apply for a grouped visa, such as the East Africa visa which allows access to Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda.

The world is yours to explore, and Africa is welcoming you with open arms!

2 thoughts on “Need a visa for Africa? Here’s all you need to know”

  1. Very interesting site. Nice intelligent information! 🙂 Is there any way of applying for a visa for more than one country as I’m hoping to take in more than one country on safari? Starting in Kenya.


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