Last updated: 6 Jul 2020

Antigua and Barbuda


Low-lying and volcanic in origin, Antigua & Barbuda form part of the Leeward Islands group in the northeast Caribbean and have certainly adopted the notoriously ‘Caribbean' way of life. This is a place to take things easy, stroll around markets, sip the fresh juices of coconuts and pineapple and meet friendly locals. Antigua & Barbuda's way of life is governed by water.

Crab-race: ideal for the very lazy, this eccentric sport is staged in certain bars once or twice a week. A punter may win enough to pay for the next round of drinks, but the moderate stakes are unlikely to make anyone a millionaire!

Play Antigua & Barbuda’s national game of Warri - an ancient board (‘count and capture’) game that was traditionally played using shells placed in cups: a National Warri Festival is held every year. Go for a bush safari in Barbuda. Stop for a picnic in the shade and watch for the wildlife amongst the sparkling salt ponds.
Capital:  St John's (ANU)
Currency:  East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)
Language:  English. There are some Spanish-speaking communities. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 268
Time Zones: UTC / GMT -4 (6 hours behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 1; Apr 10, 13; May 4; Jun 1; Aug 3, 4; Nov 1, 2; Dec 9, 25, 26

Side of the Road: Left
Best Time to go: December to April
Best For: Island relaxation
Plugs: 220/110 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style two-pin plugs are standard. Some hotels also have outlets for 240 volts AC; in this case European-style, two-pin plugs are used.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended, although doctors will require cash payment regardless of whether you have health insurance.
Customs: It is customary to greet before engaging in transactions or conversations (i.e., Good Morning / Good Afternoon / Good Evening). Dress code is informal but conservative. Swimwear should be reserved for the beach / poolside. 
Local Offences / Laws: Dressing in camouflage clothing is illegal. Homosexuality is illegal. 
Travel Warnings / Tips: Tropical reef fish are poisonous to eat.
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into Antigua & Barbuda without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
• 1L of wine or spirits
• 170ml of perfume
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited items include arms and non-prescription drugs. Restricted goods requiring a licence include vehicles, plants, fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and firearms.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Antigua&Barbuda is open for International Tourism, subject to the following

- Persons planning to travel to Antigua and Barbuda are asked to register with the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment via the online form
- All passengers arriving by air MUST have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven (7) days of their flight. 
- Visitors may be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 on arrival or at the hotel or place of lodging as determined by the Health Authorities. Whilst travellers await results they do need to limit their movements, as instructed by the Quarantine Authority. 

For more information, please visit:

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

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SA Representative

The SA High Commission in Kingston, Jamaica is accredited to Antigua & Barbuda.

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio