Traveling with pets can be a stressful experience, especially when you're headed to a foreign country. When it comes to traveling with pets to Africa, there are some special considerations that you need to be aware of. First and foremost, dogs and cats imported to South Africa must have a valid rabies vaccine. The vaccine must be administered at least 30 days before the date of import.
When evaluating where on the plane your pet might fly, consider your destination. Even small dogs that usually fly as hand luggage in the main cabin may have to stay in the cargo hold for international flights. Delta Air Lines, for example, restricts the use of dogs in the cabin on flights to countries such as Australia, Barbados, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. When it comes to travel requirements for pets that are not on the list, the foreign country has not officially informed APHIS about the requirements for traveling with your pet. Make sure you have the correct carrier: Pets must travel in an appropriate IATA compliant crate according to their size and weight if they are traveling as cargo. Your pet's microchip number must be present on all documentation required to travel with pets to South Africa.
If you are traveling from the United States or Canada, the veterinary certificate must be completed by a USDA-accredited veterinarian for approval by the USDA if you are traveling from the United States. To travel with pets to South Africa, dogs and cats need an import permit and a veterinary health certificate, unless they are traveling from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho or Swaziland. A veterinary import permit is required for all lagomorphs (including rabbits, hares and pikas) traveling to South Africa. Puppies and kittens under 3 months old can only travel to South Africa if it is demonstrated that the mother of the puppy or kitten has been vaccinated against rabies more than 30 days before and less than 12 months before the puppy or kitten is born. An import permit and health certificate prove that your pet is eligible to travel with pets to South Africa. Depending on where you're traveling (and especially if you're traveling outside of the United States), your dog may need certain vaccines.
Pet travel to South Africa from these countries requires proof of current rabies vaccination and a health certificate. Alternatively, if you are traveling from any other country, your pet must be vaccinated between 30 days and 12 months before entry to South Africa. You must obtain your pet's veterinary health certificate within 10 days of the pet's trip to South Africa. You can travel to South Africa with an EU pet passport; however, there are additional conditions that must be met. Traveling with pets can be a daunting task but it doesn't have to be. By following these guidelines and doing your research ahead of time, you can ensure that your pet has a safe and comfortable journey when traveling with pets to Africa.