The South African passport improved its ranking from the 58th to the 51st spot on the Henley list.

The ranking by Henley is based on accessibility – specifically visa-free entry to countries. With this jump, South Africans now have visa-free access to 104 countries and territories – although this is not much of an increase as the 58th ranking ensured we had access to 103 different countries and territories.

According to Henley, at the top-most section of their ranking, travellers with an American and Swedish passport now have visa-free access to 180 destinations which is in sharp contrast with the passports at the lower end of the ranking such as Angolan and Cameroonians with only 50 visa-free destinations. This is, unfortunately, as coined by Henley, “the widest recorded global mobility gap since the index’s inception 17 years ago”.

Since 2006 South Africa has added 39 visa-free destinations, Mozambique added 40 to theirs and Botswana added 38 in the same period. The top spot on the Henley ranking is Japanese and Singaporean passports with access to 192 visa-free destinations.

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