Update on travelling with minors in South Africa

Unabridged Birth Certificate Law

From the 1st of June 2015 every traveller under the age of 18 will have to take an unabridged birth certificate along with them.

No passenger will therefore be allowed to travel without these papers- be it by land, sea or air.child-492562 640

This does NOT apply to minors travelling through the country on domestic flights or cruise-liners who only stay within the borders of the country. However- if travelling in sports & school groups or with grandparents- these documents ARE required.

And before panicking: It also does NOT apply for travellers who are in direct international transit, passing through SA’s international airports. (This was originally planned but due to the fact that it would have had too many impacts on the tourism industry of the neighbouring countries it has been changed again)

So this means in case one parent is travelling with a child the following items will have to be brought along:

  • An Unabridged Birth Certificate showing both parent’s details
  • A new affidavit (within the last three months) in which the inattentive parent gives agreement for the child to travel, or a court order permitting full parental responsibilities or legal supervision of the child.
  • a Death Certificate, in the case if one parent is no longer alive.

In case you are travelling with a child of which you are not the biological parent, please do not forget to bring along the following:

  • An Unabridged Birth Certificate showing the details of both parents
  • A new affidavit from the father and mother or legal guardians proving an agreement for the child to travel with you
  • Copies of the identity documents or passports of the biological parents or legal guardians
  • The contact details of the mother and father or legal guardians

If a minor under the age of 18 is travelling alone without any adult supervision, please make sure the that the following documents are produced:

  • An Unabridged Birth Certificate showing the details of the mother and father
  • A new affidavit from the parents or legal guardians proving permission for the minor to travel alone, as well as all the contact details
  • Certification relating to the individual receiving the minor in South Africa: a letter which include the individual’s contact details and residential address, as well as a copy of his or her ID document, passport or residence permit.

Kaza visa saves time, reduces cost for tourists

Atta's Southern African Director Ross Kennedy in Tourism Update:

The launch of the Kaza visa for Zambia and Zimbabwe is very positive news for the two countries, which share a world icon in Victoria Falls. The univisa, which was rolled out on November 28, will save tourists time and money as only one visa is now needed to visit both countries.

The visa is expected to boost the flow of tourists between Zimbabwe and Zambia, particularly across the Victoria Falls border.  It should also create interest from new markets.  The univisa follows the introduction of an electronic visa application system by the Zimbabwe Immigration Department, with both measures making for a more user-friendly experience.  Tourism responds positively to user-friendly welcoming initiatives.

The univisa has come at a good time, with arrivals set to grow rapidly in the next two to five years, as the new Victoria Falls International Airport opens in August 2015, and will be handling long-haul wide-body jets.  While the univisa process is working well so far, local tourism industries need to be telling the source markets very loudly about this new process and its benefits.

I recently crossed the Victoria Falls Bridge border into Zimbabwe with foreign guests who had bought their univisas at Livingstone Airport in Zambia, and the process went smoothly.  On the Zimbabwe side of the border, there is a separate counter for univisas, which speeds up the process for all travellers, whilst on the Zambian side the officials indicated that this service was in the pipeline, pending resources.

The concept of this visa has been on the table for some years, and it was initially known as the SADC Visa project, but it seemed to have stalled.  However, after a very successful co-hosting of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in August 2013, the Zimbabwean and Zambian ministers decided to push ahead with it.

The visa, which costs US$50, lasts for up to 30 days as long as the visitor remains within Zambia and Zimbabwe.  The univisa also covers those visiting Botswana for day trips through the Kazungula borders.

Citizens of 40 countries are eligible for the univisa, or Kaza visa, including tourists from Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States.The visa is available in Zambia at Livingstone’s Harry Mwaanga Airport, Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda Airport, the Victoria Falls land border and the Kazungula land border. In Zimbabwe the univisa can be obtained at Harare Airport, Victoria Falls Airport, Victoria Falls land border and the Kazungula land border.

Assuming this pilot initiative is successful, the univisa will be extended to include Angola, Botswana and Namibia. Further down the track, Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland could be included, before Tanzania, Seychelles, Mauritius, Malawi, Madagascar, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo come on board. A common visa will make the region a more competitive tourist destination, with added convenience and reduced costs encouraging more visitation and longer stays.

Yellow Fever vaccination no longer required for travel between Zambia & South Africa

Following an announcement at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Friday 30th January 2015, the South African Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, removed the requirement for proof of Yellow fever vaccination for travellers between Zambia and South Africa, with effect on the 31st January 2015. A World Health Organization (WHO) review of the risks regarding Yellow fever in northwest Zambia would support the reconsideration of the requirement for Yellow fever vaccination for travellers to and Zambia.

Cheetah Conservation Fund - Namibia

10714285 311377115718075 2312563207899199362 oAfter a recent visit to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, situated just outside Otjiwarongo in Namibia, we have decided to sponsor one of beautiful Cheetahs as part of our social responsibility program.  We are looking forward to staying up to date with Little C's antics at CCF.

 A visit to CCF is definitely worth it - not only do visitors learn more about these majestic and sadly endangered creatures, there is also the opportunity to take part in several exciting activities su...ch as the Cheetah Run, Cheetah Feeding and various game drive options. Another highlight is learning more about the Lifestock Guarding Dog project and how the CCF works to try and provide a solution to human and wildlife conflict.

 Enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch from the Cheetah Café where you can also sample cheeses produced at CCF's own Dancing Goat Creamery.   The Cheetah Conservation Fund comes highly recommended!

For more information on the Cheetah Conservation Fund, or for informatoin on you how to can help support this project, visit their website on http://cheetah.org/

New Legislation for Traveling with Children to and from South Africa

Please take note of the following new information for everybody (South Africans and foreigners) who are travelling with children to / from South Africa:

Kids on the BeachCape Town - South Africa's immigration laws have recently undergone an intense revision with newly appointed Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba saying the amendments are "in the best interest of South Africa's security and allows for efficient management of migration".

The department also expressed concern about the growing issue of child trafficking and has announced new requirements for adults travelling with children - effective from the 01st of October 2014.

What you need to know:

Parents travelling with children would now be requested to provide an unabridged birth certificate of all travelling children. This applies even when both parents are travelling with their children and it also applies to foreigners and South Africans alike. When children are travelling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from parents proving permission for the children to travel.   

Following are the new South African immigration regulations concerning travelling with children:

Regulation 6: (12)

(a) Where parents are travelling with a child, such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.

(b) In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and-

  1. consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child authorising him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with;
  2. a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or
  3. where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate;

Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

(c) Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce-

  1. a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child;
  2. an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child;
  3. copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child; and
  4. the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child, Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

(d) Any unaccompanied minor shall produce to the immigration officer-

  1. proof of consent from one of or both his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from the Republic: Provided that in the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him or her in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child;
  2. a letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will be residing;
  3. a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic; and 
  4. the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.