Next week, I’ll be traveling to Ghana, one of many African countries that requires U.S. citizens to obtain a visa prior to traveling even if the purpose of the trip is leisure. While sometimes challenging and almost always annoying, it’s important to point out that the visa process for Americans traveling overseas is still a thousand times simpler and more straightforward than what much of the world endures just to take their kids to Disney World. Still, for newer travelers especially, the visa process can seem daunting and—coupled with expensive airfares and lengthy flights—can make an African vacation seem much less appealing.
Well, I’ve done some research and found 19 nations in Africa that allow for visa-free travel* for American citizens, or offer tourist visas for a fee upon arrival at the main international airport, all accessible by airlines that offer nonstop or connecting service from major U.S. gateways. In other words, there is no excuse for not visiting these destinations if you’ve got the time and the money—you can just hop on a plane and go!
*Before any trip, always check both the U.S. Department of State travel site for country-specific entry/exit requirements and safety alerts, and the consular website (or better yet, call) for the country you plan on visiting for the most up-to-date information.
African countries requiring no visa for American citizens entering as tourists for a limited amount of time (usually 30, 60, or 90 days):
- Equatorial Guinea
- South Africa*
*Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland require visitors have at least two blank pages in their passports for entry.
African countries offering tourist visas for a fee upon arrival at the main international airport (fees vary):
So what are you waiting for?