Travelling with a drone to South Africa

Hello, I’m planning on visiting South Africa and was wondering what I need to do to be able to bring my DJI Mini 4 pro drone with on holiday. I have my UK Operator and flyer ID (and yes, I have public liability insurance too ;).

I’ve contacted in south africa to ask the same question and been told

“Unfortunately, South African RPAS(Drone) Regulations do not make provision for the operation of foreign drones.”

Is this correct? (When I google search, it states I can if my drone is under 250g)
“All drones weighing more than 250 grams must be registered with the SACAA.”

Has anyone had any recent experience with this. I just recently purchased my drone and don’t want it confiscated at the airport. :frowning:

This story from another member might help you decide:

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Thank you, yes I read that :slight_smile: I understand no fly zones over parks etc, but I’m concerned about airport, rules regarding travelling into the country with the drone.

Did a tour of South Africa in 2018, which included several days in Kruger NP, taking my decidedly over 250 gm Mavic Pro with me. No problems upon entry into Jo’burg, but check out airlines, especially no batteries in the hold, only in carry on. NPs not allowed, but did contact in advance several small game lodges (outside NPs) who were more helpful, one in particular provided a vehicle & driver on 2 occasions to fly at locations within their private reserve.

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Thanks for the advice, much appreciated. :+1:

Thanks for all the advice, great to have a forum to query such things. :+1:

UPDATE I finally received a useful response (after receiving some odd and irrelevant ones previously - which even included forms on reporting a violation??? from SACAA in South Africa.

  • In case anyone was looking for an official answer too)

There are no SACAA rules pertaining to bringing your drone into the Republic of South Africa.
The normal SARS customs rules apply.

And with regards to flying your drone in the country, please note that you can only fly under PRIVATE OPERATIONS whose restrictions are stated below:

Private Operations


Private operation – means the use of an UAS for an individual’s personal and private purposes where there is no commercial outcome, interest or gain;

Restricted visual line-of-sight* – means an operation within 500 m of the remote pilot and below the height of the highest obstacle within 300 m of the UA, which the remote pilot maintains direct unaided visual contact with the UAS to manage its flight and meet separation and collision avoidance responsibilities;


  1. It is the full responsibility of the remote pilot of the UAS to fly his/her aircraft safely and not endanger safety of another aircraft, any person or property.
  2. The remote pilot must observe all statutory requirements relating to liability, privacy and any other laws enforceable by any other authorities.

Limitations and restrictions

Please adhere to the following for the safe operation of UAS:

  1. Private operations of UAS shall be conducted:

  2. only in R-VLOS (day and night)

  3. with a Class 1A or 1B UAS (mass < 7 kg, Impact energy* < 15 kJ)

  4. Do not fly UAS:

  5. Near manned aircraft

  6. 10 km or closer to an aerodrome (airport, helipad or airfield)

  7. In controlled, restricted or prohibited

  8. Adjacent to or above a nuclear power plant, prison, police station, crime scene, court of law, national key point or strategic installation

  9. Do not fly UAS 50m or closer from:

  10. Any person or group of persons (like sport fields, road races, stadiums, schools, social events, etc.)

  11. Public road

  12. Any property without permission from property owner

  13. Do not release dispense, drop, deliver or deploy any object or substance from a UAS

  14. Only fly UAS in clear weather conditions