I have been receiving a lot of questions regarding backpacking Cape to Cairo. I do appreciate all the messages from everyone who tells me how I have inspired them to travel the continent. I know now more than ever that my journey was not in vain, I have achieved my goal. My goal was to get Africans travelling Africa and even if one person gets out of their comfort zone and ditch the negativity that we are constantly fed about this continent then I have achieved that goal.
Above, is a map of the world. This map shows the 91 countries that a South African traveling on a South african passport can enter without needing a visa.
A bit disappointing to learn that you are better off just heading to South America right?!
Most of the questions I receive are obviously from people interested in long term travel. I will call it long term travel because it's between 3 to 6 months and going through numerous countries. I have always said the importance of visiting your high commissioner when in a foreign country. Yes they need to know all south Africans that enter the country but it's great to put a face to a name and a passport number. You also get to build relations with them because trust me, you will need them.
Your high commissioners office can assist you in applying for your visas. The thing is when traveling on a budget, you don't have a fantastic bank balance cos you probably have no source of income and visa applications will require your bank statements, some proof of property ownership and a whole lot of other stressful things. Dealing from experience, I have found that visa applications are so stressful. It's like they are trying their hardest to make sure that you don't visit their country.
The easiest way to apply for a visa is like this:
1. Find out which countries will not give you a visa unless you apply from your country off residence. South Africa will not give you a visa unless you apply for it from your home country. Ethiopia is also the same.
2. Visit your high commissioner and request a letter that they support your travels and they are aware of your travels that you should get the visa. When you go for your visa application you will only need that letter, your passport and pictures of will be required. None of all that documentation that was required.
Also, keep in mind that your high commissioner cannot tell another country to grant you a visa. You getting the visa will be at the sole discretion of the country where you are applying for the visa. Your high commissioner can only offer you support and that's it.
3. You will most likely getbyour visa within 3-4 days.now Go on be great and explore.
The reason I don't like applying for visas from my home country is because they require never ending documents and the process will probably take weeks. Whereas a visa from a broth outing country will take a few days. When you apply for a visa in a foreign country, it's faster and you have a letter from your high commissioner that can assist you in the process of visa application.
Another thing is if you aren't well traveled and you have only a few stamps on your passport, it's harder for countries to consider giving you a visa cos you don't have a travel history. Sounds ridiculous but this has happened to people close to me and that's the excuse that was given upon rejecting visa application. So traveling through the countries which you don't need a visa gives you some travel credibility. I know I sound ridiculous right now but these are the visa application hacks that work for me and i know they will work for you too.
Connect with me via mail or social media should you have any questions that need to be answered.