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Getting your Beloved Pets to South Africa

Before you decide to bring your animals to South Africa, you need to understand that there are regulations that apply. Dogs that are coming from certain countries will be required to be in quarantine for a period of 14 days. India, Korea, the United Arab Emirates, China and Brazil are a few of the countries that this applies to. Cats are not required to be quarantined at all.

Sometimes it is difficult for pet owners who are visiting SA to return to their country of origin when they are travelling with their pets.

Take note of the regulations listed below. These regulations apply to pets that are brought to South Africa from anywhere that is outside the borders of the country.

  • All animals need to be vaccinated against rabies (not more than a year and not less than 30 days before arrival). New Zealand, Australia and the UK are the exception to this rule. Kittens and puppies that are younger than 12 weeks are covered by their mother’s vaccination, but the time period remains the same for the kittens and puppies.
  • Import permits are required for all pets and you need to apply for these through the Directorate of Animal Health in SA. Pets that are coming from neighbouring countries need what is called a Movement Permit and it needs to be stamped by a government vet.
  • Dogs and cats need a Health Clearance Certificate. In order to get one of these, the animals need to be examined by a vet in their own country and dogs will need to have blood tests done. You are able to get the forms from the South African Department of Agriculture.
  • Any pet that will be travelling by air must be booked in as Manifest Cargo.

If you just cannot bear the thought of leaving your pets behind when travelling to South Africa, you should seriously consider using a professional service to assist you with the process. The professionals are familiar with the local regulations and laws. There are a few organizations that can assist you in this regard. Consult with your immigration expert to find out who can help you to get your fluffy friends over here.

You will also need to understand that many hotels, malls, shops and restaurants in SA do not allow pets on their premises. There is however a few pet-friendly establishments in the country. Make sure that you know where the pet-friendly establishments are before you get to South Africa.


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