Taking your pets to South Africa

South Africa, a nation of breathtaking landscapes, rich wildlife, and diverse cultures. For those considering relocating with their beloved pets to this remarkable country, it's essential to understand the regulations and procedures involved in pet transport. South Africa, like many countries, has specific requirements in place to ensure the health and safety of animals and to prevent the introduction of diseases or pests.

At Pets by Plane, our job is to take the strain out of the international travel process for you and your pet and let you get on with all the other things you need to do. We can help manage your pet's flight from the UK to South Africa from start to finish. 

Whether you choose to use our 'Full Service' or our 'Flight Only' offer, we will ensure that your cat, dog or other pet travels safely and calmly and is well cared for throughout their journey.

General Information, Entry Procedure and Requirements

Although travelling to South Africa with your pet does not require a rabies vaccination for cats and dogs coming from the UK, we strongly advise that your animal is vaccinated at least 30 days before arrival. This allows immunity to build up and protect them from contacting Rabies when arriving at their destination within South Africa. 

Entry into South Africa requires an import permit which must be delivered to an address in South Africa or collected from one of the Government offices. Therefore, we strongly advise working with one of our partner agents based in SA who will make  and collect the application on your behalf, as well as take care of the customs clearance and collection upon arrival. 


                             Blood Tests Required for Export

If you would like to import a dog to South Africa, your dog needs to pass the following blood tests within 30 days of the export date:

·       Brucella canis

·       Trypanosoma evansi

·       Babesia gibsoni

·       Dirofilaria immitis

·       Leishmania



                                                                              For cats, there are no tests required for prior to import.


In the 5 days prior to export and Official Veterinarian must complete the Export Health Certificate (EHC) which will travel in the document pouch on the crate. You can see the full South African import requirements for dogs here.

Tips and Useful Advice

Some dog breeds are not permitted entry - these include Dogo Argentinos, Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosas and American Pit Bulls.

Snub Nosed (Brachycephalic) Breeds are at a higher risk on long flights and therefore airlines also have restrictions on breeds that they carry, please check with us for further information.

Whilst it normally comes back within 10 working days the import permit can take up to 28 working days to be returned, therefore we advise not to start bloodwork until you have the import permit back.