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How many passport pages needed?

Langley, Canada
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How many passport pages needed?

I am trying to determine whether we will have enough remaining passport pages left for our upcoming trip to South Africa and surrounding areas. We will be arriving in South Africa for a few days then taking a side trip to Zimbabwe Victoria Falls (and probably walk over to the Zambia side as well), then carry onto Botswana for some safari in Chobe. From there we return to South Africa for a driving trip that will also take us through Swaziland and then back to South Africa. Does anyone know if I need available blank passport pages for each of those countries and will I need a new passport page for each time we re-enter South Africa (from Botswana and Swaziland) in addition to our original arrival there? I'm thinking we may need to have 7 pages just for this trip. (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa again, Swaziland, and South Africa again)....plus a page for Dubai where we stop for a few days enroute.

Wayzata, Minnesota
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1. Re: How many passport pages needed?

I have been to every country you mentioned within the past two years. For Zimbabwe, Dubai, and South Africa you need a full page in your passport. For Zambia, you need one letter (one quarter of one page). All three will place a full page sticker or stamp in your passport.

BUT - in order to board a flight to South Africa you must have two blank consecutive pages in your passport. They will infrequently deny boarding in the USA for people not meeting this requirement.

Therefore, I recommend you have at least five consecutive blank pages in your passport before you leave. It is important you take charge of your passport and direct the immigrations officials on which page to stamp. Don't hand it to them and hope for the best.

South Africa will issue you a 90 day tourist visa on arrival. Each time you come and go, they will scan the bar code and stamp the VISA with an ink stamp. All of this will be on the same page.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

Langley, Canada
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2. Re: How many passport pages needed?

Thanks Craig. Good to know that South Africa will reuse the one visa/passport page for each reentry of our trip (total of 4 weeks). Do you know what Botswana and Swaziland need? Most of my available passport pages are not consecutive as the border agents usually grab the passport and stamp away on whatever page they feel like. I have never before heard of the requirement that empty pages have to be consecutive.

Wayzata, Minnesota
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3. Re: How many passport pages needed?

I have not been to Swaziland since I was 14. I think you get a stamp at the border but I will need to find out for you.

YES - you must have consecutive pages and it says so on the South African Airways web site and their embassy web site. I travel to South Africa 2-3 times per year and I have many of their green stamps in my passport.

I see you are from the DC area? I assume you heard the Redskins hired Mike Shanahan tonight? I went to the Naval Academy during the Redskins glory years in 90-91.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

Hermanus, South...
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4. Re: How many passport pages needed?

Swaziland is just a small stamp, so you won't need a full page.

As said before you need 2 condecutive blank pages for SA and their sticker will fill one page, they will then stamp you in and out on that page.

Very important as well is to make sure that you have at least 6 months left before your passport expires, as I have seen people sent home for not having that!

Gemma Dry - Safari Manager - Truly Africa Tours

Pretoria, SA
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5. Re: How many passport pages needed?

yup swaziland is only a small stamp but you will have an exit SA, enter swazi, exit swazi, enter SA stamps, 4 in total. These approximate to 1/2 a page total.

Langley, Canada
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6. Re: How many passport pages needed?

Sounds like I will need to order a new passport though I have over 1.5 years left on my current one. With only 6 pages left in it and only 2 are consecutive, it may be a problem. We used to be able to get additional pages for our Canadian passports but that is no longer an option. I'd hate to get part way through the trip and not have enough pages left to satisfy the authorities.

Craig, we are from the West Coast of Canada (suburb of Vancouver).

Cape Town
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7. Re: How many passport pages needed?

Yes, you will need space for visas from other countries although the countries that just stamp your passport will fit in stamps wherever there is a bit of space.

However as this is the South Africa forum I must disagree with Craig and Gemma who say that you need two clear pages to enter South Africa. This is only the case if you need a visa. The majority of tourists coming to SA are visa exempt and therefore only need one page.

Here is the link to the South African Consulate in New York.

southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/visitors…

It is absolutely clear :

For nationals of countries whose citizens are visa exempt:

Passports must have:

at least one (1) unused (blank) visa page when presented to the South African Immigration Services upon arrival in South Africa.

Note: Visa pages referred above do not include pages reserved for observations, amendments and endorsements.

Visa exempt countries include USA, Canada, UK, most other EU, Australia, NZ etc.

southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/visaexem…

If you only have one spare page and don't have enough time to renew your passport. Take a hardcopy of the web-page from the South African Consulate with you. If you are attempted to be denied boarding by an airline, show them the definitive evidence from the South African Government. If you are still denied then, I am sure, you would have a very strong legal case for significant damages from the airline. They are required to enforce the rules of the country that they are flying you to - not put their own interpretation in place.

It is clear two pages are only required if you are not "visa exempt", ie not a full citizen or passport holder of one of the listed countries, or are entering for any purpose other than tourism. These are the occasional cases you hear about that are denied entry.

Edited: 06 January 2010, 15:54
Langley, Canada
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8. Re: How many passport pages needed?

You are a wealth of information! We are Canadian so do not require the Visa. In addition to the 6 pages still empty, we do have other pages that only have 1 small stamp so there is actually lots of available space though there may be something else on the page. As we would only be stopping in Dubai before arriving in South Africa, I could ask Dubai to use one of the single empty pages and save the 2 pages that are consecutive for South Africa just in case they need that. That still leaves us with other single available pages and lots of space on pages that only have one small stamp.

Wayzata, Minnesota
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9. Re: How many passport pages needed?

Just be sure all of your six pages are VISA pages and not endorsement pages.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

Brooklyn, New York
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713 posts
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10. Re: How many passport pages needed?

does the passport need to be valid for 90 or 180 days after arrival? i am visiting in June and my passport expires November. i could get a new one before i go, but i want this south african stamp in this one. it has seen a lot of the world.