The South African passport ranks top 3 most influential passports in Africa: Here are the Top 10

Johannesburg South Africa which is also the economic hub of the country. Picture: Unsplash

Johannesburg South Africa which is also the economic hub of the country. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jan 23, 2024


The South African passport is the third most influential passport in Africa and ranks 53rd in the world overall.

That’s according to Henley & Partners’ Henley Passport Index ranking of all the world’s passports, according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

The Passport Index looked at 199 passports and 227 travel destinations, giving users the most extensive and reliable information about their global access and mobility.

According to the global passport ranking for 2024, also based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), South African passport holders can travel to 108 destinations in the world visa-free. South Africa tied with Qatar when it came to the number of destinations citizens could travel to without a visa.

The title for most influential passport in Africa belongs to the Seychelles with a global ranking of 26th, and the nation’s passport holders being able travel to 156 destinations without a visa.

Africa’s second most powerful passport belongs to Mauritius which ranked 30th place overall in the world, and allowing its holders to travel to 150 visa-free destinations.

Commenting on their 2024 Passport Index, Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept, said that although the general trend over the history of the 19-year-old ranking had been towards greater travel freedom, the global mobility gap between those at the top and bottom of the index was now wider than ever.

“The average number of destinations travellers are able to access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024.

“However, as we enter the new year, the top-ranked countries are now able to travel to a staggering 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the ranking with access to just 28 countries without a visa,” said Kaelin.

Here is the list of the Top 10 African countries with the most influential passports in the world for 2024:

Seychelles (156 destinations)

Mauritius (150)

South Africa (108)

Botswana (91)

Lesotho (80)

Namibia (80)

eSwatini (78)

Kenya (76)

Malawi (76)

Tanzania (73)