This is Why South Africa’s Passport is called the Green Mamba

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South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and one of the fastest growing Economies in Africa. With a population of over 57 million people, South African Passport is often considered as the Green Mamba.

According to Passport index, citizens of South Africa enjoyed visa-free access to 61 countries and are entitled to Visa on Arrival to 32 other countries making South African passport the 51 most sought after Passport in the World and the third in Africa.

The reason why South African passport is called the green Mamba is still a mystery, while many school of thoughts try to relate the strength of color green which can enhance vision, stability and endurance to the reason behind the name. Others are of the opinion that the color and the name of the passport was irrelevant.

But from research, South Africa has a long history with green color, presently, all national sporting teams have a touch of green color in them. Mamba on the other hand has it origin from Zulu.

Just like My history teacher once noted “Be proud of the Green Mamba, because it will carry you like your Mama, carry it as a shield and it will take you anywhere, defend and hold your head high if you have the green Mamba in your pocket and our passport index will keep staying high above every other passport in Africa.”

The Passport(Green Mamba) is divided into 5 categories:

1. Regular Passport

Regular Passport is valid for 10 years and is not renewable. They are often issued to South African citizen for occasional travels and business trips.

2. Diplomatic Passport

Diplomatic passports are strictly for diplomats and their consulates

3. Official Passport

Official Passport is issued to government officials by the Department of Home Affairs and it has a validity period of 5 years.

4. Maxi passport

Maxi Passport is similar to regular passport but it contains 48 pages, it has a validity period of 10 years and its non-renewable

5. Child passport

Child Passport is issued to Children who are 15 years or younger and it has a validity period of 5 years.

Just like Green Mamba, South African citizen can travel visa-free to Countries where giants of Africa cannot. Apart from Mauritius and Seychelles passport which has a little comparative advantage over South Africa, South African Passport is one of the best passport in Africa.

Here is the list of Countries that you can travel to with visa with a South African Passport

  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Argentina
  3. Bahamas
  4. Barbados
  5. Belize
  6. Benin
  7. Botswana
  8. Brazil
  9. Chile
  10. Colombia
  11. Costa Rica
  12. Dominica
  13. Dominican Republic
  14. Ecuador
  15. El Salvador
  16. Fiji
  17. Gabon
  18. Georgia
  19. Grenada
  20. Guatemala
  21. Guyana
  22. Haiti
  23. Honduras
  24. Hong Kong
  25. Indonesia
  26. Ireland
  27. Israel
  28. Jamaica
  29. Kenya
  30. Kosovo
  31. Lesotho
  32. Macao
  33. Malawi
  34. Malaysia
  35. Mauritius
  36. Micronesia
  37. Mozambique
  38. Namibia
  39. Nicaragua
  40. Palestinian Territories
  41. Panama
  42. Paraguay
  43. Peru
  44. Philippines
  45. Russian Federation
  46. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  47. Saint Lucia
  48. Senegal
  49. Singapore
  50. South Korea
  51. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  52. Swaziland
  53. Tanzania
  54. Thailand
  55. Trinidad and Tobago
  56. Tunisia
  57. Uruguay
  58. Vanuatu
  59. Venezuela
  60. Zambia
  61. Zimbabwe

With South African Passport, you will have either a visa waiver on arrival, e-visa, visitor’s passport or given a visa on arrival to these Countries.

  1.  Armenia
  2. Bolivia
  3. Cambodia
  4. Cape Verde
  5. Comoros
  6. Cote d’Ivoire
  7. Djibouti
  8. Ethiopia
  9. Ghana
  10. Guinea-Bissau
  11. India (eVisa)
  12. Iran
  13. Jordan
  14. Kyrgyzstan
  15. Laos
  16. Madagascar
  17. Maldives
  18. Marshall Islands
  19. Mauritania
  20. Nepal
  21. Oman
  22. Palau
  23. Qatar
  24. Rwanda
  25. Samoa
  26. Seychelles
  27. Sri Lanka
  28. Timor-Leste
  29. Togo
  30. Turkey
  31. Tuvalu
  32. Uganda

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3 thoughts on “This is Why South Africa’s Passport is called the Green Mamba”

  1. Thank you Girlf from the South, I will be happy if you can also look into the Nigeria passport also. It’s a shame that Nigeria is called the giant of Africa for nothing

  2. You don’t actually explain what the title says: WHY is it called the green mamba?
    You list a whole lot of access countries and make a statement that it is called the green mamba, but where did the explanation to the name disappear to?

  3. The South African passport is called a “green mamba” because during apartheid, many countries refused to issue visas to (white) South Africans in an effort to isolate Pretoria and push the government to abandon white minority rule. The passport was seen as “useless” or even “dangerous” and “not something you wanted to hold.” Hence the association with the dangerous reptile


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