Bringing dry goods into South Africa
  • I am traveling to Johannesburg in a week. I am on a special diet and plan to pack some dry food in my checked luggage. Does anyone know if there are restrictions on bringing food into South Africa? The items I plan to bring are things such as powdered drink mixes and meal replacement bars, that kinda thing.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated as I have searched the net and cannot find specifications on this.
  • Not sure about importing the dried goods but can you not purchase them once you're in South Africa? There is a lot of that kind of stuff on the market nowadays...
  • There are no restrictions on bringing sealed food stuffs such as the items you mention. There may be difficulties with fresh fruits, or live food such as cheese and meat, but in reality i have never heard of anyone being stopped.

    It is very easy to buy energy bars, meal replacement bars etc here. All the imported ranges are stocked, they are available in convenience stores, pharmacies and supermarkets.
  • Thank you both for your comments. They were very helpful!
  • i am planning to go to southafrica for holiday and need to send my bags by freight any ideas as to cost and collection procedure. im going for holiday
  • i am traveling to Port Alfred and i was wondering if i could bring sealed candy that is in a box. will it get taken away at the airport, if it is in my suitcase? thanks for your help!
  • We have been about 12 times (from the U.S ) and have never had a problem with powdered supplements ,vitamins,candy,sealed food products.Don't bring in Fresh fruit,veg,cheese, meat. We also found a lot of stuff we were taking in to be available in local shops so you may want to pack lightly.
  • Yes there are no restrictions on the items you mentioned.
  • I'm travelling to visit family for Christmas and was wondering if I'd be allowed to take home made chutneys and cordials, or possible even a traditional Christmas cake. Any ideas?
  • I'm travelling to visit family in South Africa for Christmas and was wondering if I'd be allowed to take home made chutneys and cordials, or possible even a traditional Christmas cake. Any ideas?
  • Yes you can, only live, raw or fruits are banned. Sealed bottles and cooked products are all sterile safe, therefore not likely to bring nasty bugs or bacteria with them. I've had fruit confiscated in Aus, but never anything entering the UK or RSA. Don't think they care much to be honest.
  • Hi there, I'm travelling to SA for Xmas and new year, I'm on a restricted diet due to a medical condition and can't be accommodated by airline meals. I was planning to take food (rice cakes, oat biscuits, porridge oats, peanut butter, soya yoghurts) in my hand luggage to eat on the plane aswell as my medication and supplements as I need to take them every few hours. Does anyone know if I'll be able to do this? I was thinking about getting a letter from the hospital stating why I need the food/meds with me. Will this help me get the food through?
    thanks in advance!
  • good day.i am a nigerian going to SA on tour n visit friends after.Given the negative scare of US with the nigerian bomber, the effect on travellers has been terrible.i would like to know if i can travel with some local food seeds in their raw form or if it should be blendede.g melonseed .Also our nigerian brand of indomine noodles which is rare outside the country.
  • Could I please add on to the above questions in regard to where is the best place to put sealed food - my sister has asked me to take Australian sweets for the children and I thought my checked in luggage would be best. Any comments?
  • Hello there - I am travelling to Capetown in 3 weeks and my daughter has asked if I can bring her over some Chocolate bars which you can only get in Australia. I was wondering if this is allowed. She asked me to bring Cherry Ripes which are sealed. Can anyone tell me if this would be ok.

    Thank you - Dorry
  • Dorry - absolutely no problem bringing sealed sweets over. I've just come back with 30 Clif Bars in my luggage!
  • I would like to take English clotted cream to South Africa which has been packed to go through the post, would this be OK?
  • Is it possible to buy clotted cream anywhere in South Africa - does anyone import for retail please?
  • I am going to south africa soon and want to take some boilies over ( fish food ) cause i want to go fishing for a week, does any one know if that is aloud?
  • I'm going to SA in Nov. I would like to take in some Brownies, cookies etc. Maybe an Apple Pie. Of course this would be carried on. Can I?
  • I am a SAfrican going back from the UK at the end of the year..I would like to take some tinned Haggis (contains meat products) as a gift for a SAfrican friend, who is of Scottish descent...can anyone tell me if this would be allowed into SA or not?
  • I am going to SA in April for my son's 40th birthday and want to take him a birthday cake. Where can I find out whether it is possible to import it?
  • Hi,

    I would like to purchase some medication from Australia and have it sent over to South Africa. What do I need to do? Who can I contact? Any help will be appreciated.
  • I am going to South Africa and am a vegetarian. May I bring nuts, trailmix and peanut butter?
  • @maritude - sure you can bring these in, no regulation to prevent you. But these products are available everywhere here, even branded organic. Why on earth would you bring them with you?
  • Hi David, as it seems you know a lot from this topic I was hoping you can also advise me :-) We are travelling to SA at the end of the month and we are planning to bring typical Belgian food for our friends who live there like little bottles of beer, chocolates and sealed cheese. I am pretty positive the chocolate is OK but I am not sure about the Belgian beer and cheese, would you be able to advise? Thanks!
  • Hi Katleen, the chocolate and beer are fine. Regulations do forbid the importation of live culture foods such as certain cheeses - but in practice, you will walk straight through the green channel (undeclared) on arrival so go ahead and bring them. I have never been searched coming in to OR Tambo after 30+ flights.
  • Thanks David - we'll spoil our South African friends with Belgian goodies! :-)))
  • I would like to mail a package to a friend in South Africa which would include some purchased food items but I would also like to bake some cookies to send. Will these items be okay to mail? Thanks!
  • Hi, my son is planning to travel from South Africa to the Philippines within the next 2 - 3 months, and his sister-in-law has asked him to bring some cacti and succulent plant seeds with him when he comes over to visit them. What are all the custom rules and regulations about taking this in one's luggage? Would appreciate your advices with regards to this.
    Thanks alot.
  • Hi.
    My N.Z partner and myself are travelling back to South Africa. We have supplements like Maca powder and DHEA (hormone replacement) in a medium quantity...maybe 1kg worth. Are these safe to bring into S.A?
  • Can I take chocolate into South Africa ?
  • Liz: You can definitely bring chocolate into South Africa!

    Gaura Hari: You may run into problems at customs with such a large quantity of powder, as drug smuggling is taken seriously here. If you absolutely must bring your supplements, try to bring new, sealed containers and perhaps a doctor's note explaining what they are.
  • ok why may you purchase cheese at the duty free in Netherlands and they take it at OR thambo???? this is theft to me.  they say you need a permit where do you apply for this??

  • To the person wanting to bring cactus seeds... don't! Introducing alien species into another country is a serious problem, and has the potential to disrupt the ecosystem! If the seeds are found in your luggage, they will be confiscated and you will be fined.
  • wow , nice idea
  • im going to south Africa on 22 of sep. can i bring peanut butter or nutela to south africa ???????
  • Why would you bring them when you can buy them in South Africa.
  • Alethia is right... they're available in every supermarket.

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