South Africans: Read this please: Taking pet to South Africa

Mods, before you move this to the Exporting Pets out of Taiwan sticky thread, please note that the vast majority of the information in that particular thread is about taking a pet to North America, which is, I have discovered, very different from taking a pet to South Africa.

Maybe you could make this one a sticky?

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I found a tiny stray kitten in the street a few months ago. It was terribly skinny and covered with fleas, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but I couldn’t just leave it there. I got it cleaned up, (and fattened up :wink:) , and she’s a lot healthier looking now, and quite an affectionate, not to mention playful little thing. I’ve fostered a few strays here, and it’s always been heartbreaking to part with them when it was time to send them to a permanent home. This time i just couldn’t do it - so I decided that I was going to keep this one. I’m going home in July, and as such have started to look into how things are done getting a pet into South Africa.

Unfortunately, the process is far, far more complicated and costly than it seems to be to take a pet to Canada or the US.

I looked at a few government websites, and it turns out that you CANNOT bring a pet into South Africa as manifest (booked) cargo, NOT hand luggage or excess luggage. If you do that, the animal will be denied entry and sent back to the country of origin. This means that the airline fee will be pretty steep for the animal.

Dogs require a quarantine period of 3 weeks, cats require a quarantine period of 14 days.

Dogs and cats need to be vaccinated against rabies before they enter the country, and MUST be microchipped.

A variety of import and quarantine papers, requiring a notice period of 5-8 weeks prior to departure are needed. F**cking beauracracy.

I contacted a pet shipping company in South Africa who handle all of this. they quoted me around NT20,000. :noway: :help:
On top of this, that’s ONLY for the SA side of things… They said I will also need to get hold of an agent over here (in Taiwan) to organise for the pet to be transported out of Taiwan. More $$, more hassle.

Then, there is the additional problem of the fact that there are no direct flights to SA from Taiwan; all require inter-airline transfers. And most airlines seem to have very different policies about the transporting of pets.

:help: :snivel:

I really don’t know what I can do, short of finding my poor kitten a new home here…

If any South Africans here have had a different experience, please let me know ASAP.

[quote]This time I just couldn’t do it - so I decided that I was going to keep this one. [/quote] What a lucky kitty that is. :slight_smile: I knew one of them would grow on you sooner or later.

Sorry, I can’t help much but I know one thing for sure, that cat has found the perfect home.

I wish you both the best.


Sorry, I cannot be of much help either. But if this is not the one you tried, maybe you can look into this company:

And if you find out anything, let the rest of us know.

Yes, I got that information from I’m gonna try a few other pet agencies too, see if I can get anything else.

It’s pretty crazy… Really not looking good at the moment… :frowning:

Are Schonken and Johann participants in this thread? How about Obie? They have been back and forth with different pets, maybe they could help. Been here a long time, maybe they have some info. Good guys!

Friends of mine had to go through exactly the same hassle…NT$ 20 000, papers, chips etc etc later and the cat ran away the day after they landed…never to be seen again.

I’ve sent off requests for quotes to about 5 different pet agencies in South Africa. The latest one was half of the previous quote (just over NT10,000), which sounds much more reasonable. All the charges are accounted for in that figure.

However, Taiwan seems to be regarded as a “bird flu risk zone” by the powers that be in SA, so that means that the cat would have to spend 2 weeks in quarantine. :fume:

On top of that, however, there is still the actual air freight charge of shipping the cat, as well as whatever vet fees I would need to pay to get the cat chipped, and have a rabies shot.

I have no idea how much the freight charge would be. Anyone have any idea?

:fume: I can’t believe South Africa has such utterly ridiculous rules for bringing in pets… Why in God’s name they require animals to be transported as manifest cargo, I have no idea…

That last quote (about NT10,000) was from by the way. They replied to my request for a quote in less than 24 hours, and seem to know exactly what they’re doing. Now I need to find out how much freight charges would cost… :frowning: [/url]

Any updates on how this has all turned out?

Yeah, I’m just waiting until the whole process is totally done before posting all the details (because then they can be verified as correct).

I have gone with They’ve been pretty helpful throughout the whole procedure. I’ve had the rabies shot done, and a microchip inserted by a local vet. This procedure cost NT1500 (registration costs). You need your passport when you do this, as your passport number is required to complete the registration form.

Get the rabies shot and microchip done at least 31 days BEFORE you go to take the cat TO THE TAIWAN STATE VET, who will sign the Health Paper (emailed to you by the agency, which you print out yourself), so that’s about 41 days before the cat’s actual departure date.

Contact the pet travel agency in South Africa
at least 3-4 months before you are planning to depart. It takes 6-8 weeks to book quarantine space in Joburg, and 8-10 weeks in Cape Town. You need to have the quarantine booking confirmed, only when you have the dates confirmed, can you book an airline ticket for your cat. I haven’t got the dates yet, so I haven’t got a ticket yet. I still have 2 months to go though, so I think i’ll be ok.

Ok, that’s all for now. I’ll keep this updated when I have the relevant info.

Thanks very much. Good luck with your endeavours.

There’s a new health form required for the import of cats. This one mentions bird flu, and requires a blood test for the cat against bird flu.
I’m going to find out if I can have it done here; then the cat won’t need to stay in quarantine at all! :pray:

I’ve found out that my cat has to stay in quarantine in Kempton Park for 5-14 days @ R11 per day. It costs R40 for the test(not sure what) and R340-R430 for the blood test. I got a chip in SA from the SPCA (R200) and my vet inserted it for free. It works fine. Which airline are you going to use, Trapjaw?

Just trying to organise an airline at the moment. I’ve looked at Singapore airlines, and I’m trying to also find out about Cathay Pacific, because they fly from Kaohsiung, where I am, which would save my cat the 5 hours it takes to get to CKS airport from here.

I’ll keep everyone updated as to the progress of the process.

This procedure has been the most incredible headache imaginable… Just a warning to the other South Africans out there. And that’s just for a cat.

Apparently cats do not have to stay in quarantine anymore. The law changed last Thursday.

A friend of ours has just returned to South Africa and she took her dog with her. He got there just fine and spent only 4 nights in quarantine. She left a file with step by step instructions on everything that has to be done to get your pet from Taiwan to SA, since a few of her other friends are planning to take dogs back in the next few years. We thought there might be more people out there who could use this information, so if you’d like to take a look at it, mail us and we’ll forward you the file.

My friend just send a large dog home…it cost her NT$ 120 000!!! Can you believe it? As a South-African, I always feel like we pay the most for everything.(phone calls, pets.)


I’m taking my dog to SA at the end of July.

For those of you who are interested: I’m going to use Singapore Airlines. The very efficient cargo agent: Fion Lin (Ms), Eagles Air Cargo Co. Tel: 886 2 2506 7986. It’s very expensive, about NT$671 per kilogram, in addition there are also numerous other fees charged by the airports and respective governments. I expect the transport ONLY will cost me about NT$30 000.
Not included here: microchip, vaccinations, tests done by vet, and cost of export permit.

Now, about SA. I’ve spent six very very frustrating weeks trying to deal with both government officials and private pet agencies. Some of the pet agencies clearly exploit the situation: For example, quotes for the 15-day quarantine stay (not including tests) ranged from about NT$ 3 000 to a whopping NT$ 15 000. If you’re going to use an agent, do you homework.

For various reasons I don’t want to state here, I’ve decided to fly my dog to Cape Town instead of Johannesburg. PM me if you’re curious as to why. The staff in Cape Town was very helpful. Call them directly.

The office in Cape Town: 021 551 2050. The staff is professional, friendly and care about animals.


Ask someone in SA to call the government office. They can then apply for the import permit online, or the documents can be mailed to your friend, filled out and signed on your behalf. The import permit costs R110 and this needs to be paid at the same time.

Once that is done, you (or your friend) can make a reservation for your pet for the quarantine period. You don’t need an agent for this. But it has to be done at least 2 months in advance. All information can be obtained, again, from the government office free of charge.

I just received the import permit two days ago. Total cost(including postage): about NT$800; quote by pet agency: about NT$ 6 000 (including delivery).

If you have family or friends in SA that can do the legwork for you, you don’t have to bankrupt yourself to take your pet to SA. Still, it is expensive, and I estimate that taking my Maltese poodle to SA will probably end up costing me at least NT$ 60 000, probably more.

I’ll post more info as I make my way through the red tape.