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OOften our pets are part of the family. For some people that extends to travelling with their pets. As with any country, there are regulations that need to be followed when bringing animals in and out of South Africa.
Keep in mind that it is often more difficult travelling with pets to return to your country of origin from South Africa. Check requirements for the return trip carefully before bringing your pet into the country.
CComing into the country, the most important regulation is the quarantine period. While cats are completely exempt from quarantine, dogs from a number of specified countries, including Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates have a 14-day quarantine period.
TTake note of the following regulations regarding pets in South Africa, when brought in from outside the country's borders:
With the exception of the UK, Australia and New Zealand, animals must be vaccinated against rabies not less than 30 days and not more than a year before arrival. Puppies and kittens under 12 weeks are covered by the mother’s vaccination, but the same time-period requirement applies.
An import permit is required for all pets, which must be applied for through the Directorate of Animal Health in South Africa. Pets from neighbouring countries need a Movement Permit, stamped by a government vet in those destinations. A Health Clearance certificate is required for both dogs and cats, which calls for an examination by a vet in the home country, and blood tests for dogs. Forms are obtainable from the South African Department of Agriculture. All pets travelling by air must be booked as Manifest Cargo.
It is worth considering using a professional service if you are determined to bring your animals and pets into South Africa. They are familiar with the local laws and regulations and can assist with everything from the correct documentation to clearing and handling procedures.
Also bear in mind that large hotels (as well as local restaurants, malls, shops, etc.) don't allow animals on the premises. There are, however, a growing number of pet-friendly establishments in South Africa that specifically cater to pet-oriented holidays. Make sure you book in at these establishments if you will be travelling with your pet.