Business Travel to South Africa – The Ins and Outs 

Written by Emma Marais

April 11, 2024

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Business travel to South Africa is on the rise. Many companies are choosing this destination to host their conferences and conventions because of the unique experiences the country offers travellers. Another reason for the rise is due to an increased focus on business and infrastructure development in Africa.

For first-time travellers to South Africa however booking the right accommodation, understanding the visa requirements, finding transportation, and organising activities can become overwhelming.

In this article, we will cover all that you need to know to ensure you have a successful business trip to South Africa.

For business travel to Africa, planning and preperation in advance is essential for a successful business trip.

Visa Requirements

Business travellers to South Africa need to know the South African visa requirements and obtain the necessary documents before their trip begins.

Travellers entering the country for short-term work or business purposes, need to apply for a visitor visa with consent to work. This even applies to travellers from visa-exempt countries if they intend to work or are visiting for business purposes.

Travellers entering the country to attend a business meeting do not require any special visa.



South African business etiquette is mostly similar to the rest of the world. Punctuality is extremely important to South Africans. Business travellers should therefore try their best to be on time for appointments and meetings. Most businesspeople in South Africa dress conservatively or at least smart-casual when attending meetings.



South Africa has one of the most modern and substantial transport infrastructures in Africa.

Travel by Air:

South Africa has three major international airports these are Johannesburg- OR Tambo International Airport, KwaZulu Natal- King Shaka International, and Cape Town- Cape Town International Airport. With many smaller local airports throughout the country, this ensures you can move from province to province easily and quickly.

Travel by Rail:

In South Africa, travellers can enjoy luxury leisure trains while admiring the country’s beautiful landscapes. These trains offer a stylish way to experience the stunning scenery of South Africa. For day-to-day travel by train, South Africa has the Gautrain which is a rapid transit railway that operates from O.R. Tambo International to various locations in the Gauteng Province such as Sandton, Rosebank, and Pretoria. We do advise business travellers to avoid utilizing the Metrorail commuter rail service.

Travel by Road:

Business travellers in South Africa can rent a car from car rental groups like Herts, Avis, Europcar and Budget to get around the country easily. Renting a car also allows business travellers to see and experience more of what South Africa has to offer.

Uber is also an option for transportation in South Africa, especially in Gauteng and the Western Cape, this is a generally safe way of travelling. Business travellers should avoid the local mini-bus taxi services and public bus services.


In South Africa, business travellers have many accommodation options to choose from. Accommodation options include hotels, bed and breakfasts, game lodges, guest houses, guest farms, and self-catering. This variety ensures that all business travellers can find accommodation for their specific needs.

Tips for booking Accommodation:

  1. Read reviews from previous guests
  2. Investigate the location of the accommodation
  3. Make sure they have a professional website
  4. Take note of small details about the accommodation

Business travellers should also use an accommodation website when booking accommodation in South Africa. Some reputable websites include, lekkeslaap, airbnb, nightsbridge and agoda.

Using a Travel management company to book your accommodation and flights for your business trip is highly recommended. A TMC can arrange the top flights, accommodations, activities, and transportation for your business trip to South Africa. Having a professional do it for you means you can focus on the purpose of your trip and not stress about all the fine details.

Managing Travel Visas And Work Permits

Meetings and conferences

South Africa has many unique restaurants and beautiful venues for business travellers to hold meetings, conferences, or conventions.

With many breathtaking venues throughout the country, business travellers are sure to find the perfect place to host any meeting or conference. The conference venues are of high standard and built according to international standards. These conference settings range from beach lodges to game reserves or golf estates and cater for small to large groups of people. These centres and venues come with all the amenities needed to host a successful meeting or conference while providing attendees with beautiful and unique backdrops.


Things to do

South Africa has an abundance of activities to enjoy and many beautiful places to visit. Its diversity means there is something for everyone from adrenaline junkies to history enthusiasts. South Africa is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and offers many unique experiences for business travellers.

Some popular choices for business travellers are:

Golfing – with over 500 courses to choose from. The courses offer beautiful views, ranging from beaches to mountains to the African bush. The courses offer affordable rates and are a popular choice for business travellers looking for a break.

Outdoor Adventure- Thanks to South Africa’s temperate climate there is an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy. Business travellers can enjoy activities like mountain biking, fishing, swimming, and hiking to make the most of the African sun. Providing a great way to unwind after important meetings.

Safaris – There are many conference centres and venues on game lodges. This means business travellers can enjoy a safari between meetings or can end their day with a sunset safari drive. South Africa also has over 40 game reserves to choose from all offering a unique wildlife experience.

Beaches – South Africa is surrounded by many first-class beaches holding the prestigious Blue Flag ratings. Hermanus, located 2 hours away from Cape Town, also holds the title of the whale-watching capital of the world. There are many activities for business travellers to enjoy while in the beach towns like going on a sunset cruise in Cape Town or shark cage diving in Durban.

Wining and Dining – The mix of various cultures in South Africa results in mouth-watering cuisine with unique restaurant experiences. This variety of food options from curries to seafood allows business travellers to experience the country’s diversity through food. Wine tasting in the Western Cape is also a popular activity for business travellers in South Africa.


Local Travel Management Company

To ensure your business travel to South Africa is smooth and successful it’s recommended to have a TMC handle your travels for you. The Travel Group is a travel management company based in the UK with an office in South Africa. This means using them to handle your business trip gives you many advantages.

The Travel Group has local agents who understand the ins and outs of the country and can give you expert advice. As they are based in South Africa they are able able to assist you quickly and easily with any changes you need while travelling. Their local connections mean you will receive the best rates for accommodation, flights and activities.

Using a TMC to organise your business travel in Africa is the best way to maximize your business trips.


Business travel in South Africa is a unique experience with so much to offer business travellers. Knowing the ins and outs is necessary before you start your journey. Make sure you are well-informed before making bookings. If you have more questions contact The Travel Group or book a free travel assessment with them and see what they can do for you.

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