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Africa Travel Destinations: What to See and Travel Document Requirements

A globe on a desk showing Africa

Get ready for an incredible adventure as we explore travel destinations in Africa! This vast and diverse continent is famous for its stunning landscapes, rich cultures, and incredible wildlife.

Before you embark on your African journey, it's important to know the entry requirements for each country, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Africa is home to 54 amazing countries, each offering unique attractions. From the ancient pyramids of Egypt to the breathtaking Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Africa has something for everyone. Whether you dream of going on an exciting safari in the Serengeti, discovering Morocco's fascinating history, or relaxing on the pristine beaches of Seychelles, Africa is a traveler's paradise.

To make your journey easier, it's crucial to understand the entry requirements of your desired destinations. Some countries offer visa-free entry or visas upon arrival for certain nationalities, while others require pre-approved visas. You may also need to provide proof of yellow fever vaccination or undergo health screenings in certain areas affected by diseases like malaria.

Our aim is to provide you with up-to-date information and practical tips based on our over 20 years of experience helping readers with their international travel plans. As always, we seek to help you make informed decisions and enjoy a memorable experience abroad.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the captivating travel destinations across Africa and provide you with the specific entry requirements for each country. Whether you're a nature lover, history enthusiast, or beach seeker, this article will equip you with all the information you need to plan your African adventure. Let's dive into Africa's enchanting destinations and discover the entry requirements that await you.

Passport and Visa Requirements for U.S. Citizens Traveling to Africa

Many Americans travel to Africa from the United States each year for business, tourism, and visiting family. However, before you start packing your bags, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the passport and visa requirements for U.S. citizens traveling to Africa. There are several pieces of necessary travel documentation you will need to ensure a smooth journey.

Passport Validity

  • As a rule, ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. Many African countries enforce this requirement, and failing to comply may result in denied entry.
  • If you have less than a year of validity remaining on your passport, renew it as soon as possible to maximize your travel flexibility.
  • If your passport is expired or will expire soon, enlist the help of a passport expediting service to get your passport as fast as possible.

Click for reliable expedited passport courier service.

Travel Visas

  • Research visa requirements well in advance of your trip, as they vary from country to country in Africa. Some countries offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival options, while others require you to obtain a visa beforehand.
  • Popular destinations like Morocco and Tunisia offer visa exemptions or visa-free access for U.S. citizens for a limited duration. However, you have to be aware of the maximum allowable stay and any additional requirements.
  • For countries that require visas, you will need to apply through the respective embassy or consulate. Our expert advice is to begin the visa application process well ahead of your intended departure date, as it can take time to gather all the necessary documents and get your visa approved.
  • Just like passports, visas can be expedited with the help of a reputable visa expediter. If you need a visa fast, this may be your best and only option to make sure your travel plans don’t get delayed.

In a hurry? Apply online for expedited visa service

Additional Documents and Vaccinations

  • Some African countries may require additional documents, such as proof of onward travel, hotel reservations, or a detailed itinerary. Check the specific requirements of your destination to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork.
  • Stay informed about any mandatory vaccinations or health-related requirements for your chosen destination. Some countries in Africa may require proof of vaccination against diseases like yellow fever or may recommend immunizations like Hepatitis A or typhoid. Don't neglect these requirements, as an unexpected illness can derail a trip.

Remember, entry requirements can and do change. It is essential to double-check the latest information with the relevant embassy or consulate.

By understanding the passport and visa requirements for U.S. citizens traveling to Africa, you'll be better prepared to embark on your journey abroad and make the most of your African travel experiences.

Table of Contents

Northern Africa

A camel in front of the great pyramids in Egypt

Northern Africa is a captivating region known for its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage. From the majestic Sahara Desert to the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean coastline, it offers a range of natural wonders to explore. Iconic landmarks like Egypt's pyramids of Giza and Morocco's vibrant markets showcase the region's fascinating history and architectural marvels.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of cultures found in Northern Africa. Experience the ancient traditions of Egypt, witness the rhythmic dances and music of Algeria, and indulge in the flavors of Moroccan cuisine. The lively souks and medinas provide an immersive experience, allowing you to barter for traditional crafts and embrace the local way of life.

Northern Africa is a melting pot of influences from Europe, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in a unique fusion of traditions and customs. Discover the harmonious blend of languages, religions, and artistic expressions that make this region truly captivating. Whether exploring Cairo's bustling streets, embarking on a desert adventure, or relaxing on Tunisia's idyllic beaches, Northern Africa promises an unforgettable journey filled with cultural wonders and natural beauty.

Algeria

Discover Algeria's Sahara desert with its mesmerizing dunes, explore the ancient Roman ruins of Djemila and Tipasa, and visit Algiers' Casbah. Savor traditional dishes like couscous and indulge in colorful markets for unique local crafts. An unforgettable blend of cultures and landscapes awaits!

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months validity.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes, unless entering via cruise ship or traveling to certain cities in the south of Algeria.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 page per stamp.

Egypt

Egypt’s treasures span millennia. Explore iconic sites like the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and Luxor’s Valley of the Kings. Experience Cairo’s bustling markets, take a relaxing Nile cruise, and savor delicious Egyptian cuisine.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: At least one blank page

Libya

Libya’s desert landscapes host ancient treasures. Visit Leptis Magna’s Roman ruins, the ancient rock art of Tadrart Acacus, or Tripoli’s historic medina. Taste traditional dishes like bazin, a unique Libyan bread.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: At least six months remaining validity with at least two clear visa pages
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: At least two blank pages

Mauritania

Explore the ancient city of Chinguetti, ride the world’s longest cargo train through the Sahara, or visit Nouakchott’s lively fish market. Experience traditional Bedouin culture and taste camel milk tea.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Six months remaining validity upon entry
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes, but can be obtained at airport on arrival
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page required for entry stamp

Morocco

Experience bustling souks in Marrakesh, historic medinas in Fez, and Chefchaouen’s blue streets. Explore the Sahara on camelback or relax in coastal Essaouira. Taste tagine, couscous, and traditional mint tea.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Not required for stays up to 90 days
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp

Sudan

Visit Khartoum’s confluence of the Nile, explore the ancient pyramids of Meroë, and the mystical mountain Jebel Barkal. Taste delicious Sudanese dishes like ful and tamia.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months beyond date of entry into Sudan
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 2 pages

Tunisia

Visit Tunis’ medina, explore the ancient ruins of Carthage, and relax on Djerba’s beaches. Taste delicious Tunisian dishes like couscous and brik.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Not required for stays up to 90 days
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp

Western Africa

A Ghana beach with seagulls and a fortress

Western Africa is a culturally unique region amidst beautiful and unique natural settings. From lush rainforests to stunning coastlines along the Gulf of Guinea, this area is filled with natural beauty to enjoy.

Discover iconic landmarks that tell stories of Western Africa's vibrant past, such as the Ashanti Empire in Ghana, the mud-brick mosques of Timbuktu in Mali, and the picturesque fishing villages of Senegal.

Experience the vibrant traditions and customs that flourish in Western Africa. Feel the rhythmic beats of Afrobeat music in Nigeria, witness colorful masquerades and festivals in Benin, and savor the flavors of Senegalese cuisine. Engage with local artisans in bustling markets and embrace the vibrant spirit of the communities.

Western Africa's diverse heritage, influenced by ancient kingdoms, colonial histories, and contemporary innovations, creates a unique cultural mosaic. Explore the vibrant cities, embark on wildlife safaris, or participate in captivating traditions. Western Africa promises an unforgettable journey filled with cultural immersion and natural beauty.

Benin

Birthplace of voodoo, Benin brims with vibrant culture. Visit Ganvie, the Lake Village, explore the UNESCO-protected Royal Palaces of Abomey, and the Ouidah’s historic Slave Route. The lively markets and traditional Dahomey cuisine add to the unforgettable experience.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least two blank pages.

Burkina Faso

From Ouagadougou’s bustling markets to Bobo-Dioulasso’s grand mosque, Burkina Faso is a cultural hub. Visit Banfora’s stunning waterfalls, Sindou Peaks and experience the unique music and dance festivals.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least one blank page.

Cape Verde

Cape Verde enchants with its mix of African and Portuguese cultures. Visit Mindelo’s vibrant music scene, hike Pico do Fogo volcano, or relax on Sal Island’s pristine beaches. Enjoy local specialties like cachupa, a hearty stew.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least one blank page.

Gambia

Gambia is a birdwatcher’s paradise with numerous nature reserves. Explore Banjul’s vibrant markets and historical sites, cruise along the Gambia River, or relax on the beautiful beaches. Don’t miss traditional dishes like domoda, a hearty peanut stew.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months 1
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Not required for stays up to 90 days 1
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 page 2

Ghana

From bustling Accra to historic Cape Coast, Ghana offers a mix of modern life and rich history. Visit the Kakum National Park’s canopy walkway, experience traditional Ashanti culture, and taste delicious local dishes like jollof rice.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months 3
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes 4
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: At least one blank page 2

Guinea

Explore Guinea’s diverse landscapes, from the bustling markets of Conakry to Fouta Djallon’s mountains. Take a boat trip on the Niger River, learn about local traditions, and savor dishes like poulet Yassa.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months 5
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes 5
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp 5

Guinea-Bissau

Discover the Bijagos Archipelago’s untouched beaches, vibrant wildlife, and unique matriarchal society. Enjoy Bissau’s colonial charm and Carnaval, one of Africa’s most vibrant, featuring traditional mask dances.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Six months 6
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes 6
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp 6

Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)

Visit Yamoussoukro’s stunning Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, explore Abidjan’s vibrant culture, or relax on Assinie’s beautiful beaches. Don’t miss traditional dances and delicious Ivorian cuisine like attiéké.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 page

Liberia

Liberia offers a mix of beautiful landscapes and rich history. Visit Monrovia’s lively markets, relax on Robertsport’s stunning beaches, or explore the wildlife-rich Sapo National Park. Experience traditional Liberian music and dance.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Valid at time of entry
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page per entry stamp

Mali

Visit Mali’s UNESCO sites like Timbuktu and the stunning mud-brick Great Mosque of Djenné. Experience the vibrant culture of Bamako, and enjoy traditional music and Mali’s staple dish, jollof rice.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Six months remaining validity upon entry
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page required for entry stamp

Niger

From the bustling markets of Niamey to the beauty of the Tenere Desert and the ancient city of Agadez, Niger offers an authentic Sahara experience. Experience traditional music and try local dishes like dambu.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Must be valid at time of entry
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Two pages are required for entry stamp

Nigeria

Visit Lagos for its vibrant music scene, Calabar for its rich history, or the stunning Aso Rock. Experience Nigeria’s diverse cultures, enjoy Nollywood films, and taste jollof rice and suya.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page

Senegal

Explore Dakar’s vibrant markets, historic Gorée Island, and the unique pink Lake Retba. Listen to the beat of Sabar drums and try delicious Senegalese dishes like thieboudienne.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Obtainable upon arrival
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 page per stamp

Sierra Leone

Visit Freetown’s bustling markets, relax on the beautiful beaches of River No. 2, and hike Mount Bintumani. Try local dishes like groundnut stew and experience the vibrant culture.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 page per stamp

Togo

Discover Lomé’s vibrant markets, Koutammakou’s traditional mud tower-houses, and Togo’s beautiful beaches. Enjoy local music and traditional dishes like fufu and palm nut soup.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp

Central Africa

aerial view of Luanda, Angola coastline

Central Africa is a region characterized by its dense rainforests teeming with biodiversity to expansive savannahs and majestic rivers. This portion of the continent offers a wealth of natural marvels to explore.

Central Africa is also home to iconic landmarks that reflect its unique history and cultural significance. Encounter the mystical beauty of the Congo Basin, marvel at the stunning waterfalls of Gabon's Ivindo National Park, or witness the breathtaking volcanic landscapes of the Virunga Mountains. These remarkable sites showcase the region's geological wonders and provide a glimpse into its fascinating past.

There are a plethora of rich, thriving cultures in Central Africa. Experience the rhythmic beats of traditional music, witness vibrant ceremonial dances, and savor the flavors of local cuisine. Engage with local communities, explore bustling markets, and discover the intricate craftsmanship of Central African artisans.

Central Africa is home to a wide variety of ethnicities, languages, and spiritual traditions. It embodies a rich fusion of indigenous customs, colonial influences, and contemporary expressions. Whether exploring the vibrant cities, embarking on wildlife encounters in national parks, or delving into the cultural heritage of the region, Central Africa promises an unforgettable journey filled with immersive experiences and natural wonders.

Angola

Luanda’s vibrant life, colonial architecture, and beaches contrast with the breathtaking landscapes of Kissama National Park. Experience local music, Kizomba and Semba, and try the rich Angolan cuisine. Truly a hidden gem!

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for more than six months and have two consecutive blank pages.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least four blank pages.

Burundi

Explore Lake Tanganyika’s sandy beaches, spot hippos in Rusizi River National Park, or hike Mount Heha for breathtaking views. Experience Burundi’s traditional drumming, an intangible UNESCO heritage, and enjoy their local cuisine.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least one blank page.

Cameroon

Known as “Africa in miniature”, Cameroon offers diverse landscapes from Mt. Cameroon to Waza National Park. Savor traditional dishes like ndolé, visit the Bamileke’s chiefdoms, or enjoy Douala’s nightlife.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least one blank page.

Central African Republic

Explore Bangui’s colorful markets, journey through Dzanga-Sangha Reserve for unique wildlife sightings, and learn about the fascinating Baka people. Despite challenges, it’s a country with untapped beauty and rich culture.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least one blank page.

Chad

Experience Chad’s natural beauty, from the Sahara desert to Zakouma National Park’s vast wildlife. Visit Lake Chad and explore the ancient stone structures of the Ennedi Plateau. Chad offers an off-the-beaten-path experience for the adventurous traveler.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least one blank page.

Congo (Republic of the Congo)

Journey through the Congo’s rainforests, home to gorillas and forest elephants. Visit Brazzaville for its colonial architecture and lively markets. Don’t miss the lively music scene and taste delicious Congolese cuisine.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least one blank page.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Explore Virunga National Park, home to endangered mountain gorillas. Discover Kinshasa’s vibrant music scene and art markets. An adventurous destination for wildlife and culture enthusiasts!

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes, obtain in advance
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 page

Equatorial Guinea

From Malabo’s Spanish colonial architecture to Bioko Island’s volcanic landscapes and wildlife, Equatorial Guinea is a hidden treasure. Experience vibrant cultural festivals, visit Ureka’s pristine beaches, and enjoy local dishes like succotash.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 page 5

Gabon

Encounter forest elephants, gorillas, and more in Loango National Park. Enjoy Libreville’s French influences, surf on pristine beaches, and immerse yourself in the vibrant Gabonese music scene.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months 4
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes 4
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 page per stamp 4

Sao Tome and Principe

Tropical paradise with lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and unique wildlife. Discover the colonial heritage of São Tomé city, hike on Pico Cão Grande, or snorkel in the clear waters. Taste the world-renowned cocoa and local dishes like calulu.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp

Eastern Africa

a motorcycles rider on a Zimbabwe farm road

Eastern Africa is a mesmerizing region renowned for its diverse landscapes and vibrant cultural influences. From the vast plains of the Serengeti to the towering peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and the stunning beaches along the Swahili Coast, this area offers a lot of natural treasures to discover.

East Africa is full of iconic landmarks to see that showcase its rich history and natural wonders. Witness the majestic wildlife migrations in Kenya's Maasai Mara, explore the ancient ruins of Ethiopia's Aksum, marvel at the mighty Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, or take in the stunning beauty of Tanzania's Zanzibar Archipelago. These remarkable sites reflect the region's deep cultural heritage and remarkable geographic splendor.

Eastern Africa combines cultural influences from indigenous tribes, Arab traders, and European colonizers, creating a varied and unique cultural blend for travelers to experience. Whether exploring vibrant urban centers, embarking on thrilling safari adventures, or embracing the tranquility of coastal retreats, East Africa promises an unforgettable journey filled with immersive experiences and breathtaking natural beauty.

Burundi

Explore Lake Tanganyika’s sandy beaches, spot hippos in Rusizi River National Park, or hike Mount Heha for breathtaking views. Experience Burundi’s traditional drumming, an intangible UNESCO heritage, and enjoy their local cuisine.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least one blank page.

Comoros

Comoros, a chain of volcanic islands, enchants visitors with beautiful beaches, lush forests, and old-world charm. Experience vibrant local markets, the historic medina in Moroni, and the fragrant ylang-ylang plantations. A tropical paradise awaits!

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least one blank page.

Djibouti

A land of extremes, from Lake Assal, one of the world’s saltiest lakes, to the alien-like landscapes of Lac Abbe. Spot whale sharks in the Gulf of Tadjoura and savor the blend of African, Arabian, and French influences in the local cuisine.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 2 pages

Eritrea

Admire Asmara’s Italian Art Deco architecture, explore the ruins of Adulis, or relax on Dahlak Archipelago’s untouched beaches. Taste traditional Eritrean coffee and dishes like zigni, a spicy stew.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months 1
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes, obtain in advance 1
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 2 pages 1

Ethiopia

Explore Lalibela’s rock-hewn churches, the ancient stele in Axum, or the Simien Mountains’ rugged beauty. Discover Addis Ababa’s bustling markets, enjoy traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, and savor the flavors of injera and doro wat.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months 23
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes 2
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: At least one blank page 2

Kenya

Kenya, home to the Maasai Mara, offers incredible wildlife safaris. Visit Nairobi’s bustling markets, explore the beautiful beaches of Mombasa, and enjoy traditional Swahili dishes. A nature lover’s paradise!

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: At least one blank page

Madagascar

Unique wildlife, stunning landscapes, and a unique culture define Madagascar. See lemurs in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, hike the otherworldly Tsingy de Bemaraha, or relax on Nosy Be’s beaches. Don’t miss local dishes like romazava.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 page

Malawi

Known as the “Warm Heart of Africa”, Malawi enchants with its friendly people, Lake Malawi’s sparkling waters, and the majestic Mount Mulanje. Experience lively local music and try Malawian nsima, a traditional maize dish.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Valid at time of entry; 3 months of remaining validity suggested
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page per entry stamp

Mauritius

An island paradise with white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and lush green sugarcane fields. Visit Port Louis’ bustling market, enjoy water sports, or explore the Black River Gorges National Park. Savor the unique Creole cuisine!

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Duration of stay
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: No, tourist visa is granted upon arrival
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: At least one blank page

Mozambique

Discover Maputo’s vibrant culture, Tofo’s stunning beaches, and the wildlife-rich Gorongosa National Park. Enjoy fresh seafood, dance to Marrabenta music, and experience the fascinating mix of African, Arab, and Portuguese influences.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp

Rwanda

Explore Volcanoes National Park, home to mountain gorillas, or relax on Lake Kivu’s shores. Visit Kigali’s Genocide Memorial for a moving history lesson. Enjoy traditional music and dance, and try local cuisine like ugali.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp

Seychelles

Discover this tropical paradise with stunning beaches, coral reefs, and unique wildlife. Explore the vibrant Creole culture of Victoria, hike in Morne Seychellois National Park, and savor local seafood.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Duration of stay
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: No, visitor permits granted upon arrival with return ticket
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: 1 blank page required

Somalia

Discover Mogadishu’s historic sites, the ancient ruins of Laas Geel, and Berbera’s beautiful beaches. Experience traditional Somali music and cuisine, including sambusa and camel milk.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp

Tanzania

Tanzania is known for its stunning wildlife in Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, as well as its beautiful beaches in Zanzibar. Enjoy traditional music and try local dishes like ugali and nyama choma.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Six months beyond date of entry into Tanzania
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp

Uganda

From tracking gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to exploring Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda is a wildlife lover’s dream. Enjoy Kampala’s lively music scene and try traditional rolex (chapati and egg roll).

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page for entry stamp

Zambia

Experience incredible wildlife in South Luangwa National Park, marvel at the majestic Victoria Falls, or canoe on the Zambezi River. Taste traditional nshima, a local staple food.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Recommend 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: No, to be obtained at port of entry
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Recommend 3 blank pages per entry for Zambia

Zimbabwe

Visit Hwange National Park for great wildlife spotting, explore the ancient Great Zimbabwe ruins, or marvel at the breathtaking Victoria Falls. Experience traditional Shona culture and enjoy sadza, a traditional maize meal.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Recommend 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes, to be obtained at port of entry
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Recommend 2 blank pages

Southern Africa

A family of African elephants at sunset

Southern Africa is adorned with iconic landmarks that tell stories of its captivating history and geographical wonders. Discover the ancient rock art sites of South Africa's Cederberg Mountains or explore the vibrant city of Cape Town with its iconic Table Mountain backdrop. These remarkable sites epitomize the region's cultural significance and natural beauty.

Experience the melodic sounds of traditional music, witness the energetic dances of indigenous tribes, and savor the flavors of local cuisines. Engage with local communities, visit vibrant markets, and embrace the warmth and hospitality of the people.

Southern Africa is a home to multiple ethnicities, languages, and artistic stylings. The variety of influences from indigenous traditions, colonial histories, and contemporary innovations, create a vibrant and dynamic cultural mosaic. Whether embarking on thrilling wildlife safaris, exploring historic towns and villages, or relaxing on pristine beaches, Southern Africa promises an unforgettable journey filled with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and awe-inspiring natural wonders.

Botswana

Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park are a wildlife enthusiast’s dream. Encounter elephants, lions, and more on thrilling safaris. Enjoy the serene beauty of the Makgadikgadi Pans and experience the rich local culture.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Passports must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry into Botswana, with at least three unused pages.
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Yes.
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Passports must have at least two blank pages.

Lesotho

Known as the “Kingdom in the Sky”, Lesotho offers high-altitude adventures. Trek through the stunning Drakensberg Mountains, visit traditional Basotho villages, and taste local dishes like papa and vleis.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Valid at time of entry; 3 months of remaining validity suggested
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Not required if stay is less than 180 days
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: One page per entry stamp

Namibia

Namibia boasts Etosha National Park’s wildlife, Sossusvlei’s towering sand dunes, and the German-influenced city of Swakopmund. Meet the traditional Himba people and enjoy biltong, a local specialty.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 6 months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Not required for stays of 90 days or fewer per calendar year
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: At least one blank page

South Africa

From Table Mountain to Kruger National Park, South Africa is a land of diverse beauty. Enjoy Cape Town’s history, Johannesburg’s vibrant life, and traditional dishes like biltong and boerewors.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: 30 days beyond the date of departure from South Africa
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: Not required for stays up to 90 days
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Two consecutive blank visa pages per entry

Swaziland (Eswatini)

Experience the rich Swazi culture at the Mantenga Cultural Village, explore the wildlife in Hlane Royal National Park, or trek through the scenic Malolotja Nature Reserve. Try traditional Swazi meat dishes and maize porridge.

  • U.S. Passport Validity Requirements: Six months
  • Tourist Visa Requirements: No, if staying 30 days or less
  • Blank Passport Pages Required: Two pages per entry

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About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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