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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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Old 23 Jan 2008
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Dual nationality

Hi Guys

I've done a search on this topic, but haven't been able to find a satisfactory answer.

Basically I am planning a trip from London down to Cape Town via West Africa and I have both British and South African citizenship. I was wondering what potential hassles I might have carrying both passports with me.

Only carrying one passport is not an option for me as I need the South African passport to enter South Africa (it is compulsory for South African citizens with dual nationality to enter South Africa with their South African passport) and the British passport to travel from the UK down through Europe.

I suppose logically I could use my British passport to travel all the way from the UK down to the border between Namibia and South Africa and then switch over to the South African passport to enter South Africa.

Another concern is that I am white and from previous trips to African countries (before I became a British citizen), when black Africans meet a white South African, their reactions range from incredulity and disbelieve that there is such a thing, to a slight sense of unease that perhaps I'm raging racist.

Many thanks
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Old 23 Jan 2008
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Same boat


I'm in the same boat as you. I can't say what is legally the most acceptable for dual passport holders but on my Eastern route through africa I plan to use the UK through Europe, presenting the SA papers on entry to Tunisia & used all the way Southwards.

I my travels in Africa I can honestly say I've received warmer receptions as a South African, albeit a pale-skinned one. Besides which in areas with terrorism concerns I'd rather be there as a non-westerner, even if I may look like one.

But interested if there are any other opinions on this scenario
Trans Africa 2008: africanenduro.com
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Old 23 Jan 2008
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Also in same boat


We also have SA and Brtish passport. Will be travelling Russia/stans/africa.

I think the approach we will take is to only use our British passport for 2 main reasons.

1. Entering and exit of countries with different passport and car (with carnet). It might just be something else a corrupt or difficult custom/immigration person can use to make life difficult at border crossing.

2. I have more confidence in the British goverment looking (ie helping) after citizens when faced with potential problems for eg with whats happening in Kenya at the moment. If you are in a spot of trouble or civil war or whatever the case, I think their response time to a situaion will be a lot better. You can also register on the FCO website and 'log' where you will be and for what kind of timeframe. So if you registered on the site that you will be in Kenya for a month when all the protests started, at least there is a record somewhere where the goverment can try and track/help you if neccesary.

I hope my understanding of it is correct.
Jacques & Mandy with Pumbaa II
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Old 23 Jan 2008
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I think you're right. I'd much rather have the British government looking after my interests in a foreign country than the South African government!
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Old 24 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Pumbaa View Post
I hope my understanding of it is correct.
I agree with you 100%.

I'm using an SA carnet so thats the main motivation behind me wanting to keep my passport aligned with it.

No question that The Queen would rescue me faster than Zuma would, I'm just hoping that being pals with Mandela will result in me getting in less trouble in the first place (call me naive)
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Old 24 Jan 2008
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Interesting. I see it as an advantage to have two, or more, passports.

You have to carry both passports, so decide on a case by case basis at each border, based on what you know is going on in the world at that time (& subject to any visas you have in advance).

Within each country, do the same; you can still look up the FCO website for instance.
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