International minors travelling to SA no longer require unabridged birth certificates

International minors travelling to South Africa no longer require unabridged birth certificates or consent letters when travelling with their parents.

Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Motsoaledi said that foreign travellers to South Africa will not need a copy of their children’s unabridged birth certificates.

‘Not at all. We have given the instruction that it is no longer wanted. You don’t have to carry it. You don’t have to produce it.’

As of last November 8 2019 the government has effectively scrapped its controversial unabridged birth certificates rule for foreign minors travelling to South Africa. Regulations around unabridged birth certificates for travelling minors have been in place since 2015 and has caused significant harm to South Africa’s inbound tourism sector, reportedly costing billions of rand in foreign earnings.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in a statement that he had signed a waiver on Friday which allows foreign children to now enter the country without carrying additional supporting documents such as birth certificates and consent letters.

“This improvement in our admissions policy builds on the work the department has been doing to contribute to economic growth and investment. As of Friday, November 8, 2019, foreign children can enter and depart the country without being required to provide birth certificates, consent letters and other supporting documents relating to proof of parentage,” he said.

The Department of Home Affairs has communicated the changes to immigration officials at ports of entry and to the airline and maritime industries. It noted that foreign children who require a visa for South Africa do not need to carry the supporting documents for inspection at a port of entry, since these would be processed together with their visa applications.

Motsoaledi said it’s significant that government had completed the policy changes in the week in which President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted the second South African Investment Conference.

“We anticipate that this change will have a positive impact on tourism as we approach the holiday season,” he added.

Tourism industry bodies and Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane have hailed the move.

“This is an audacious move by Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi that will clear all the confusion around travel requirements and ease travel for tourists coming into South Africa,” says Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA).

“We are delighted with this move because it is another step in the right direction. The TBCSA has been working closely with the Department of Home Affairs in identifying and removing barriers to entry into South Africa. The department has shown a great interest in supporting tourism growth while securing South Africa’s borders and the TBCSA is very pleased with the speed at which they are working to improve ease of travel.”

Meanwhile, Tshivhengwa notes that the decision will go a long way in opening up South Africa as a family-friendly destination.

“We wish to continue to encourage government to prioritise improving ease of travel into South Africa as this will help unlock growth in our sector. The tourism sector’s potential is enormous in this country and, given the necessary space to grow, it will stimulate the economy and create more jobs,” he says.

 

10 Things to do on a Mauritius Holiday with Kids

Mauritius is one of the most kid-friendly travel destinations on the planet – the gorgeous weather means many outdoor activities and adventures await families. Fortunately, Mauritius is a year-round holiday hot spot, which means the End of Year school holidays are going to be perfect.

1. A semi-submarine tour

If you and your children are excited to explore the world under the surface of the ocean, then we recommend you to go on a submarine tour. This vessel features a glass-bottomed surface, which resembles a surfaced submarine. Passengers descend to seats below the waterline, where big glass windows on its bottom and sides enable an extraordinary underwater view, arousing the illusion of sailing in a submarine. This is a great way for kids to discover the beautiful aquatic underwater life of Mauritius without getting wet. Kids get to explore the rich coral reefs and spot moraines, crabs, stingrays, clownfish, parrotfish, lionfish, seasponges and dolphins. Under parental supervision, some of the local boat operators will even allow young kids to don life jackets and have a go at snorkeling amongst the fish.

2. Take a family sunrise and sunset catamaran cruise

Spinner and bottle nose dolphins swim in packs around the island, and early morning and sunset is the best time to spot them playing. Set sail on a sunrise and sunset catamaran cruise and admire the stunning coastline of Mauritius from a boat as you take in the beauty across the ocean. Enjoy a swim followed by a glass of bubbly while the kids count the dolphins

3. Soak up the sun, crystal white sand and clear blue waters

From Flic-en-Flac in the west to Bellemare’s sugar-white coves to Morne Brabant’s surfing legends in the South, there isn’t a single stretch of coast on Mauritius without a beach to brag about. While most of the hotels offer a host of water sports that are included in their Mauritius holiday packages, such as waterskiing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, catamaran sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddling and snorkeling, scuba diving is also available, but at an extra cost.

4. Swim with the dolphin’s tour

An once-in-a-lifetime experience, swimming with dolphins offers a rewarding, educational, therapeutic and amazing experience for everyone, including young kids. The dolphin tour includes a tasty continental breakfast and 2.5 hours at sea swimming with dolphins in their natural surroundings. Please note that young children up to four years of age are free.

5. Experience the magical Tamarind Waterfalls

Tamarind Waterfalls is one of the best things to see in Mauritius. The waterfalls comprise of a series of seven cascades of waterfalls and natural crystal clear pools that are famous for a variety of activities, such as hiking, canyoneering, cliff jumping, bird-watching and swimming.

10 Things to do on a Mauritius Holiday with Kids, read more below…

6. The La Vanille Crocodile Park

Living up to its name, La Vanille Crocodile Park is home to some of the most misunderstood creatures around in the world. While crocodiles, giant tortoises and butterflies are the showstoppers of this park, it is also home to a huge jungle adventure playground for kids that will keep them entertained for hours while you enjoy a spot of lunch and shopping.

7. Casela Nature Park Segway Tour

The Mauritians certainly know how to get a child’s draw to drop, and the Casela Nature Park Segway tour does not disappoint. The 4500-hectare reserve is a guaranteed fun-packed opportunity for children of five and above. The Kids Animal Adventure Package at Casela includes activities such as interacting with lions, lorikeet feeding, pony rides, giraffe feeding, camel rides, tortoise feeding, and tilapia fishing. Teens will relish at exploring the longest zip-line (400m) in the Indian Ocean, which is also explored by Segway and quad bikes. There is also a 4D cinema for young kids that explain the history and natural science of the island with gigantic 3D maps.

8. Visit the Parc Francois Leguat Wildlife Park on Rodrigues Island

A must for parents of young children, the Parc Francois Leguat Wildlife Park on Rodrigues Island is counted amongst one of the most popular places to visit in Mauritius for young kids. Offering a unique animal experience, hundreds of turtles of varying ages and different species roam about the park.

9. The Polaris Fun Drive Adventure

No matter how gorgeous the white sand beaches in Mauritius are, after a day or two, you’re going to want to take a break and go on an exciting adventure with your children. The Polaris Fun Drive is a safe experience recommended for kids of seven years and over. Taking place under the strictest supervision on the exclusive circuits for kids, this activity is safe and exciting.

10. Curious Corner of Chamarel

The Curious Corner of Chamarel is a house of illusion and mystery sure to awaken anyone’s curiosity. Visit the interactive Exhibit Centre, get lost in a maze and experience a world of mind-bending fun, browse the many interesting goodies in the Puzzles & Things Shop, and enjoy the many unique gourmet delights (pyramid pizzas, donut burgers to name a couple) at the C3 Café & Bar, set in a beautiful tropical garden opposite the iconic Seven Coloured Earths.

11. Get in a car and explore the island with the kids

Only 45km in width and 65km in length, the island is renowned for its hospitality, clear seas, water sports and seafood. And while nobody will begrudge you laying on a pool-recliner on the beach with a tall coconut rum all day, there’s so much more to see. An exciting fun thing to do as a family in Mauritius is to rent a car and explore the island together. Some of the must-visit tourist places of the city are Citadel Fort (Fort Adelaide), La Place D’Armes, Port Louis Theatre, Catholic Church (Marie Reine de la Paix), Jummah Mosque, Apravasi Ghat (World Heritage Site), Le Pouce Mountain, Natural History Museum, Blue Penny Museum, Photography Museum, Le Caudan Waterfront, Central Market and the Baie Du Tombeau Beach.

Kids Club at Hotels

Most hotels in Mauritius have Kid’s Clubs, for when you need a moment to yourselves.

The Victoria Beachcomber Kids Club includes table tennis, a trampoline and a jumping castle as well as a wide selection of activities including; discovery outings on the lagoon, an introduction to the Mauritian sega and sandcastle contests, among others. It is also a great place to chill out and enjoy outdoor beach cinema evenings once a week.

Toddlers are also catered for. A baby care room located off the reception area allows parents travelling with babies to access all the basic items to take care of their children during their holidays.For your comfort: a bottle warmer, a sterilizer, a changing table, a refrigerator filled with yoghurts, fruits and biscuits and homemade “purees” ready in only a few minutes.

Other hotels and resorts to offer Kid’s Clubs are:

Constance Le Prince Maurice Resort ‘Les Petits Princes’ – Kids Club. …
Maradiva Villa Resort and Spa – Maradiva Kids Club. …
Sofitel Mauritius – So Kids Club. …
LUX Grand Gaube – The LUX Kids Club. …
Le Preskil Beach Resort – Le Preskil Mini – Club. …
Constance Belle Mare Plage Hotel – Kakoo Kids Club. …
LUX Le Morne – Kid’s Club
Le Touessrok Hotel – Kids Club

When to Visit Mauritius with Kids

Mauritius is one of the most kid-friendly travel destinations on the planet – the gorgeous weather means many outdoor activities and adventures await families. Fortunately, Mauritius is a year-round holiday hot spot, which means the End of Year school holidays are going to be perfect. For the best all-inclusive June school holiday specials, book with Mauritius.co.za.

7 New Countries can now visit South Africa Visa-Free

The Department of Home Affairs says the country’s new eVisa system will launch in November 2019, and it has added new nations to the list of countries that can enter South Africa visa-free.

Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, announced that seven new countries will be added to the list of nations that are able to come to South Africa without a visa.

“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that Tourism is very important for job creation,” he said.

“Out of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations, the Department has granted visa-free status to 75 countries. Of these 16 are in our continent and are SADC members and 59 are from all over the world.”

The department announced that the following countries will now be able to enter the country, visa-free:

Qatar
United Arab Emirates
New Zealand
Saudi Arabia
Cuba
Ghana
Sao Tome and Principe

The minister said that his office will immediately enter into discussions with the countries about how a visa-free regime will work, with “homework” still needing to be done for countries like China, India and Nigeria.

“While we are busy tackling the matter of the three countries, we shall this financial year increase two and a half times the number of people who work for Home Affairs to process visas in both China and India. We shall double the number of people who process visas to our country in Nigeria,” he said.

A department spokesperson said that the countries announced by the minister only apply to inbound visas (citizens from the listed countries visiting South Africa), and that outbound visas (South Africans visiting the countries listed) need to be negotiated on a country-by-country basis.

Read more here on BusinessTech…

Read more here on Wikipedia, Visa Requirements for South African Citizens

Read more about Passport and Visa requirements in Mauritius

Zilwa Attitude Beach

Questions Answered About a Trip to the Island of Mauritius

Set off Madagascar’s east coast, Mauritius is affectionately referred to as the Star of the Indian Ocean. Its close distance to South Africa, its long stretches of virgin white sandy beaches, natural blue lagoons, and crystal clear water make the Island of Mauritius the number one choice for South Africans looking for a paradise escape. As one of the top connoisseurs of both honeymoon and family holiday packages in Mauritius here are your questions Answered About a Trip to the Island of Mauritius, one of the most beautiful, yet affordable Indian Ocean Islands. Read more: About Mauritius

How long is a flight from South Africa to Mauritius?

Both South African Airways and Air Mauritius run daily scheduled flights to the island from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. A flight from Johannesburg to Mauritius is 3 hours and 56 minutes and a flight from Cape Town to Mauritius is 5 hours and 5 minutes.

How much does a trip to Mauritius cost?

An all-inclusive trip to Mauritius vary, check out our Mauritius Specials… Unfortunately, cheap flights and hotels are a hard thing to find these days, especially if you’re shopping with a handful of weak Rands. But just a four to five-hour flight away and with a multitude of paradise retreats from the ground up, the Indian Ocean island offers competitively priced package deals to suit all pockets. Whether you’re after a family holiday, a sport break, a romantic getaway or the ultimate island honeymoon, here are some excellent packages that are currently on offer. Read More: Family Friendly Hotels in Mauritius

How do I get around the island?

Mauritius is 45km in width and 65km in length, it is small enough to base yourself in one place and explore the island’s highlights with a taxi, a rental car or if you’re feeling brave, a scooter or bicycle. Its coastal roads make for lovely driving, and along with its staggering selection of sandy beaches that stretch out onto coral reefs, there are plenty of places of interest to explore.


Do I need any vaccinations before I go away to Mauritius?

No vaccinations are required. However, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers over one year of age who arrive from yellow fever risk countries. For all other vaccination recommendations please see your travel doctor.

Is Mauritius safe?

Mauritius is a safe country to travel to, but as with anywhere else, it is important to take precautions. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you when you are out and take care of your bags and valuables, particularly in the cities or busy areas. Don’t walk around alone at night and stay away from empty, poorly lit streets or beaches after dark.

What is the best currency for Mauritius?

While it is generally easy to exchange Rands, US dollars, Euros or Sterling at both airports, there are also numerous ATMs where you can withdraw money or exchange money into rupees, which is the local currency. Most hotels, upmarket restaurants and many tourist shops also accept Visa or MasterCard and, in some places, Amex.

When is the best time to visit Mauritius?

Mauritius promotes itself as a year-round destination, which is one of the reasons the island is so popular. Whereas May to October offers the most comfortable weather and the lowest rainfall, early summer (from November to December) are the busiest months in Mauritius. January to April is hot, but you’re more likely to miss the big crowds and high hotel costs that come with the flux of tourists. Also, a good thing to keep in mind is that the east coast is windier than the west. Read more here…

Do South Africans need a visa for Mauritius?

South African passport holders do not require visas. However, your passport must be valid for six months after your return date. Read more here…