As any local sans ancestral visas or dual citizenship may know, travelling on a plain old green South African passport is no joke.
Before even thinking about entering most countries around the world, we are required to pass the ultimate endurance test: a visa application.
Reams and reams of paperwork, sweaty-palmed interviews, exorbitant amounts of money and throbbing admin headaches later, we may or may not be allowed to hop in and out of a destination as fast as our little legs can carry us.
And for all those endowed with a generous dollop of wanderlust, it really just is a bit of a party pooper.
Or, at least that's the general perception.
However, if you delve just a little bit deeper, it turns out that the world is actually a whole lot more open to us than we may have thought!
All in all there are 97 countries around the globe we can enter on our passports alone, and while they may not be the US, Canada, Australia or most of Europe, there are some pretty dang exciting places to go.
Here's a round-up:
Most SADC countries are accessible to us without a visa, as long as we're going there for vacation. Any form of work - even volunteering - requires some form of a visa, so make 100% sure what the rules are beforehand.
Here is the full list of African countries we can enter without visas:
Benin, Botswana, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Senegal, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
And then a few where we get a visa on arrival:
Cape Verde, Comores, Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Tongo, Tunisia and Uganda
South and Central America
The good news is that pretty much the ENTIRE South and central America is accessible to us on nothing but a passport, with the exception of, among others, Suriname, French Guiana, Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
Here is a full list of the South and Central American countries we can enter on our passport:
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Sorry, folks, it's a no go. Visas are a must. Check out what you need for the US Visa application process.
Well, it's mostly closed to us, but there are a few surprising destinations we can enter sans visa.
Ireland, Kosovo and, this just in, since 1 March South Africans no longer require visas to get into France's Reunion Island.
Also see: Reunion Island - an eruption of unusual landscapes
Georgia, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Visa on arrival
Armenia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and Timor-Leste
Israel and Jordan
Visa on arrival
Oman and Turkey
Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated states of Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
Check out the Department of International Relations and Cooperation's comprehensive list of visa requirements for ordinary South African citizens