Passport and Visa Information
U.S. travelers should check the U.S. Department of State Web site for the latest in passport information at and visa information at Non-U.S. travelers should check the South African Department of Home Affairs Web site. If you need assistance or require an invitation letter to process your visa application, please let us know.

Entry/Exit Requirement: U.S. passport must be valid 6 months beyond last date of intended stay. The U.S. State Department recommend that the passports of all foreign travelers to South Africa contain at least two completely blank (unstamped) visa pages each time entry is sought. These pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages (the last three to four pages) at the back of the passport. Although South African statutes require only one completely blank visa page, this rule has been applied inconsistently by South African immigration officials. In addition, any trip to a neighboring country would necessitate another blank page upon return. Travelers lacking an adequate number of blank pages in their passports may be refused entry into South Africa, fined, and returned to their point of origin at the traveler’s expense. THE U.S. EMBASSY CANNOT HELP YOU; SINCE OUR CONFERENCE INVOLVES OTHER COUNTRIES, DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IS USED. As a general precaution, all travelers are advised to carry a photocopy of the photo/bio information page of their passport and keep it in a location separate from the passport. Travelers also should carry a copy of their tickets or documents for their return travel. Visitors to South Africa for tourism or short business meetings or those in transit do not require visas for stays of up to 90 days.

Medical Insurance: The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. travelers to consult with their medical insurance companies prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether the medical policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Please see the U.S. Department of State's information on medical insurance overseas.

Registration/Embassy Location: U.S. citizens living or traveling in South Africa are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration Web site so they can obtain updated information on travel and security within South Africa. By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of an emergency.

The Consulate General in Cape Town is located at 2 Reddam Avenue, West Lake 7945, telephone (+21 7027 300) (from South Africa 21 7027 300), fax +21 7027 493 (from South Africa 21 7027 493). Its consular jurisdiction includes the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape provinces.

Immunization Information
The International Certificate of Vaccination is required for yellow fever if arriving from an infected area within 5 days of arrival. Although most of South Africa is malaria free, malaria risk exists throughout the year in the rural low-altitude areas of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, including Kruger National Park and neighboring game reserves. Risk also exists in the coastal lowlands of KwaZulu-Natal north of the Tugela River (including in Zululand, but excluding the urban areas of Richards Bay). In all risk areas, risk is much lower from June to September. Visitors should prepare accordingly and use malaria prophylaxis. For information on malaria, its prevention, protection from insect bites, and antimalarial drugs, please visit the CDC malaria Web page. For information on yellow fever, please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) CDC yellow fever Web page.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the CDC hotline for international travelers at 1-877-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or at the following links: and

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, please consult the World Health Organization (WHO) Web site. Further general health information for travelers is available from the WHO.

Other Useful Travel Information
Travelers are advised to carry mobile phones. U.S. mobile phones may not work in South Africa, but rental mobile phones are widely available and may be rented from kiosks at major airports. The nationwide emergency number for the police is 10111, and the nationwide number for ambulance service is 10177. It is not necessary to dial an area code for these numbers. Callers from mobile phones may not necessarily be connected immediately to the nearest emergency service. The rate of response varies from to area to area but is generally slower than response to 911 calls in the United States.

For more information regarding South Africa, please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) malaria Web page. For information on yellow fever, please visit the CDC yellow fever Web page.

National Institutes of Health National Human Genome Research Institute African Society of Human Genetics Wellcome Trust