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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 4 Nov 2004
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Traveling with two (different nationality) passports


I think this question is rather a regional than paperwork question, hence it's posting here.
Does anyone have any experience with traveling around Africa with two passports, but of different nationality. Potentially I could use both my South-African and Dutch passports for visa etc, but dont want to incriminate myself in the eyes of the various officials.

Obviously, you would always enter and exit a country with one passport, but at the gate yonder the river you would wip out a passport without the previous exit stamp etc. Are you inviting problems?

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Old 16 Feb 2005
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It is generally not a good idea to travel within lesser developed countries with two different passports.

You can go all over Europe, North America, the more advanced countries in Asia, etc. with half a dozen passports in your pocket (assuming, of course, that you are legally entitled to carry them), and no-one will give a hoot. But, when you start to visit the third-world countries, the places where they are still doing things by rote from the time the colonial powers left, you are just asking for trouble.

If you speak the languages of both places, and believe that you could justify to any official (in his or her opinion, that is) that you are legitimately entitled to carry both passports, then, maybe. But keep the unused one tucked away securely, and be very judicious about how and when you change from one to another. Don't, for example, make the change halfway between the border crossing posts of one screwed up place and another. Make the changeover in a 'normal' place, like Europe.
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Old 16 Feb 2005
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Travelling in the US with 2 passports is dodgey as my wife can testify she has a Irish and US passport and nearly had her US one confinscated becuase she had 2 passports. The us immagration service is a common sense and humour black hole.

2 passports spells trouble to me it just screams out that you can laford to leave one as a deposit and run off out of the country on the other. Less developed countries will take a dim view I am sure. Imagine the scene you are at a customs post and you get searched and oh look your second passport is discovered stashed in you pannier. Why would you need that?

Take the Dutch one and be done with it.

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Old 17 Feb 2005
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Hi, I agree on the "one is simpler" basis, unless your papers are nicked. Even then you'd have a hard time explaining why you don't have a visa and entry stamp in the other...
BUT Take the ZA one: you are welcomed as a citizen of the same continent, visas cost less (sometimes, if you haggle, which is expected of an African) and if some officials are surprised to learn that there are fair-skinned south africans they are all much cooler with someone from the land of Nelson, Ladysmith Mambaza and the Kaiser (sp) chiefs.

Looking at the date of your post you're probably already out there, if so how's it going?
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Old 18 Feb 2005
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Hi Rudi

I agree with Luke – Leave the Dutch passport – have someone at home courier it to you if you REALLY need it.

Two passports will probably get you into trouble. South African passports work well enough.

However… The officials at the Botswana border can be a problem because South African tourists tend to rip up their country with huge, expensive 4x4s and act really obnoxious. These wealthy ‘honky mafahs’ with GP plates on their Landrovers have given all South Africans a bad name…

The rest of Africa will be friendly when they see a passport from the land of Nelson.
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Old 19 Feb 2005
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There's no problem with having an English passport? If I could get another countries passport, I'd use it. I don't mind saying I'm from California, but being from the US causes problems. At least in Australia and New Zealand. Is Japan the only country that doesn't care?

If I could use an Irish passport, I would. Iran (and other countries) would let me in. I'm going to make a shirt that says in different languages, "I didn't vote for him".

Just found one. I think Sue and Grant should sell a version. This one says, "I'm sorry my president's an idiot. I didn't vote for him." Only they have that on the back when it should be on the front. It's in the official 6 UN languages.

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[This message has been edited by chimpo13 (edited 19 February 2005).]
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Old 4 Mar 2005
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Not a good idea,
Look at where you are going and total up the Visa costs for each nationality you have - they vary quite considerably - then use the cheapest one and stick with it - the first thing the guys at the border look for is an exit stamp from the place you just left.
I had a few Pax causing real problems trying to swop passports half way through an Overland tour - carry your second passport by all means, but only use one.

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