Superyacht Cape Town

Entering South Africa

From Ports of Entry to Immigration, this is the information you need.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the South African Government through the Department of Transport (DoT) introduced a mandatory requirement for Pre-Arrival Notification of all small craft (under 500 gross tons), both foreign or SA registered, proposing to enter the country, at least 96 hours before arrival at one of the designated Ports of Entry.

With the ending of the National State of Emergency, brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the DoT requirements have now been formalised in SAMSA Marine Notice MN4-22 published on 27 May 2022. This requires ALL yachts to submit requests for entry to OSASA who then forward such requests to DoT to facilitate clearance to South African waters and ports. DoT will then forward a list of  cleared yachts to all relevant authorities to permit entry.

The online registration must be completed by the captain on the OSASA  website. Click HERE to complete the registration. Vessels over 500 gross tons will work directly with their agent to facilitate their entry into South Africa.

Ports Of Entry

As of 27 May 2022, there are 8 official Ports of Entry at which vessels may enter or depart from South Africa. Do note that once a vessel has cleared out for departure from South Africa it may not call at any other South African port without completing formal arrival procedures once again. The ones most suitable for visiting superyachts are:

  • Port of Richards Bay
  • Port of Durban
  • Port of Gqeberha/Port Elizabeth
  • Port of Cape Town

Cape Town remains a firm favourite with the only marina, the V&A Waterfront, able to accommodate superyachts.

Visas Entry

Passport holders from most “western” countries e.g. the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and most (but not all) European EU countries will be given a 90 day tourist visa on arrival in South Africa. Other nationalities will have to apply for a visa in their home country before arrival.

Please check the table available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

To use the table, scroll down to Visa Exemption List. Check your passport nationality in the left-hand column and scroll across to the column headed “Ordinary” (most cruisers will have an ordinary passport). This column will show if you are exempt from obtaining a visa prior to arrival and will show the duration of the visa which will be issued on arrival. If the column is blank, then you are NOT exempt and must obtain a visa prior to arrival.

If you are not exempt it is vitally important to obtain a visa prior to arrival. If you do arrive without a visa, you will not be “cleared in” and will not be permitted to leave your boat whilst in South Africa.

If you wish to stay longer than 90 days a visa extension is required. Please contact us for the most updated information on the application process.

The information provided here is informative in nature and may change at any time. Please contact us when you start your planning process so we may forward the latest regulations and information.

Travelling Within South Africa

South Africa has a striking coastline with small harbours jotted around the coast. They are mainly small fishing harbours with limited facilities for larger recreational yachts. OSASA has an updated directory of each port on their website, and it is regularly updated.