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New Entry Requirements for Kids--South Africa

South Africa instituted new entry rules for minors as of June 1. I don't imagine this is an issue for kids traveling with both parents, but if traveling with only one or with grandparents, check this out on the State Department's Travel page: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/south-africa.html

My friend just returned from a southern Africa safari with her 17 y/o nephew. This is the second nephew she has treated to a safari as a high school graduation gift. She had a notarized letter signed by both of his parents, but when they were about to board their Delta flight to Johannesburg in Atlanta on June 5 they were denied boarding because she also needed a certified copy of his birth certificate. There were other also denied boarding because Delta said they would be denied entry at JNB. His parents, back home in California, had to drive to LAX and pay $82 to put this on a Delta airport -to-airport cargo plane. My friend and nephew had to stay overnight in a hotel and finally flew out 24 hours later, missing the first day of their safari and game drives (she is working on compensation from her US travel company since they never told her about this new requirement even when she had double checked with them). They did arrange the day-late transport to their first bush camp.

When they flew out the next day, she said there was another crop of upset people having the same worrisome experience. The rest of the trip went fine. But when they came to leave JNB to return to the US at the end of the trip, the immigration official said she also needed a color photo copy of both parents' passports or drivers' licenses! After some time and conferring with supervisors, they were granted an "exception" to leave the country to go home!!!

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