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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor


Zimbabweans top list of SADC travellers to SA

The data shows that just over 2.4 million travellers (arrivals, departures and transits) passed through South African ports in April 2024.


The number of African travellers to South Africa for holiday increased in April 2024, compared to the same period last year.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke released the international tourism report for April 2024 on Tuesday.

The routine data was collected by the Department of Home Affairs’ immigration officers at the ports of entry into and out of South Africa.

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The data shows that just over 2.4 million travellers (arrivals, departures and transits) passed through South African ports in April 2024.

Of these, 667,428 were South African residents, while just over 1.7 million were foreign travellers.

In April, road was the most common mode of travel used by 1.556,595 (63.5%) of the 2.452,795 travellers.

Those who used air transport were 867,637 (35.4%) while 28 563 (12%) used sea into and out of South Africa.

Information on arrivals of South African residents shows that 154,371 (45.7%) came by air, 178,786 (53.0%) came by road and 4,297 (1.3%) arrived by sea.

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For departures, 169,532 (51.5%) used air, 158,745 (48.2%) used road and 1,159 (0.4%) left by sea.

All travellers in transit used air.

Top 10 overseas countries that visited SA in April

  • USA – 27 864 (17.3%)
  • UK – 24,991 (15.6%)
  • Germany – 14,131 (8.8%)
  • France – 12,378 (7.7%)
  • The Netherlands – 11,500 (7.2%)
  • Australia – 8,001 (5.0%)
  • India – 6,164 (3.8%)
  • Canada – 4,785 (3.0%)
  • Brazil – 3,705 (2.3%)
  • Italy – 3,647 (2.3%)

Tourists from these 10 countries constituted 72.9% of all tourists from overseas countries. This is an increase from April 2023 for eight of the 10 leading countries.

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More Brazilians showed in South Africa this year, from 1,487 tourists in April 2023 to 3,705 tourists in April 2024.

Top 10 SADC countries that visited SA in April

  • Zimbabwe – 200,253 (38.0%)
  • Mozambique – 121,854 (23.1%)
  • Eswatini – 70,135 (13.3%)
  • Lesotho – 59,446 (11.3%)
  • Botswana – 28,635 (5.4%)
  • Zambia -12,891 (2.4%)
  • Namibia – 12,614 (2.4%)
  • Malawi – 9,184 (1.7%)
  • Angola – 3,442 (0.7%)
  • Tanzania – 3,174 (0.6%)

A comparison of movements in the 10 leading countries between April 2023 and April 2024 shows that the number of tourists increased for six of the 10 countries.

Tanzania showed the highest increase of 22.4% (from 2,593 tourists in April 2023 to 3,174 tourists in April 2024).

Top 10 ‘other’ African travellers to SA in April

  • Kenya – 4,044 (29.5%)
  • Ghana – 2,619 (19.1%)
  • Nigeria – 1,856 (13.5%)
  • Uganda – 1,067 (7.8%)
  • Ethiopia, 631 (4.6%)
  • Cameroon – 458 (3.3%)
  • Egypt – 429 (3.1%)
  • Tunisia – 422 (3.1%)
  • Gabon – 283 (2.1%)
  • Côte d’Ivoire – 248 (1.8%)

The number of tourists from these 10 countries increased April 2024 compared to April 2024.

Tunisia showed the highest increase of 363.7% (from 91 tourists in April 2023 to 422 tourists in April 2024). This is followed by Ghana with an increase of 239.2% (from 772 tourists in April 2023 to 2,619 tourists in April 2024).

Most of the travellers were holiday makers.

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According to Stats SA, 18,089 of travellers from the SADC countries came to South Africa for business. This is compared to 80 from North Africa, 454 from East and Central Africa and 259 from West Africa.

The report further reveals that 2,112 travellers from the SADC countries came to South Africa for studies, compared to 60 from North Africa, 204 from West Africa and 221 from East and Central Africa.

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