No visa required: South Africa

Zimbabwe drops visa requirements for all SADC nations. Image : Pixabay

No visa required: South Africans can now enter Zim with passport only

Zimbabwe is the first country to abolish visa requirements for visitors from all nations in the SADC region.

No visa required: South Africa

Zimbabwe drops visa requirements for all SADC nations. Image : Pixabay

The African Union (AU) is an association of 55 countries on the African continent. The countries on the continent agreed to form a single bloc where they can all benefit from the unrestricted movement of people and goods.


The idea for a single passport for member countries in the AU was floated in 2016. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) officially came into effect in July 2019, but the launch of a single passport for the continent has been delayed due to several reasons including the global pandemic.

African countries are starting to relax visa regimes for each other in order to boost trade and tourism on the continent. This move has been facilitated by the historic free trade agreement, AfCFTA, ratified by African Union (AU) member states.


Zimbabwe is forging ahead by allowing free movement of people from across the Southern African region through its borders.  It has become the first country to exempt all member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) from visa requirements.

SADC is a regional economic community whose goal is to expand regional socio-economic cooperation and integration, as well as to foster political and security cooperation among 16 countries in the Southern African region.

The nations which will benefit from eased entry through Zimbabwe’s visa abolition include: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.  

Essentially, this means that South Africans will be able to enter Zimbabwe with just their passport, and will no longer be required to obtain a visa on arrival at the port of entry.


Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava announced that Zimbabwe was the first and only state in the SADC bloc to have implemented this arrangement thus far.

“Regarding the implementation of the visa exemption among SADC Member States and the facilitation of free movement of SADC citizens within the region, I wish to highlight that Zimbabwe is the first and only country that has exempted all SADC Member States from visa requirements, other SADC Member States are undertaking internal processes to ensure that SADC citizens can travel freely in the region,” Shava said, as quoted in IOL.