Last updated: 19 Sep 2021

Bosnia and Herzegovina

About

Bosnia & Herzegovina's urban centres are a wonderful surprise, especially the cosmopolitan capital of Sarajevo with its Turkish heritage and lively cafe scene.

White-water rafting along the country's many mountain rivers is popular. Rafting tours are available along the Neretva, Una and Tara rivers, which offer some of the most exciting locations in Europe for this activity. Kayaking is another water sport for which Bosnia & Herzegovina offers great potential.

The Winter Festival in Sarajevo (usually held in February/March) is a two-month celebration of worldwide talent and is a symbol and celebration of creativity and freedom within diverse cultures. The Sarajevo Film Festival is the most popular of all of Sarajevo's festivals, held in August. It showcases films from mostly neighbouring countries that consistently produce films of an excellent artistic standard.
Capital:  Sarajevo (SJJ)
Currency:  Konvertibilna Marka (BAM). Some Euro notes may be accepted. 
Language:  Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. German and English are widely understood.   
Dialling code from SA:  + 387
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa) 
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sunday March to last Sunday October: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1, 2, 6, 7; Apr 2, 4, 5, 30; May 1-3, 13; Jul 20; Dec 24, 25

Side of the Road: Right. An International Driving Permit is required. The law stipulates that you always have to carry a spare tyre, a jack, an extra headlight bulb, a first-aid kit, a tow rope and a hazard triangle. This may be checked during a routine police stop. In the winter period, snow chains are vital.
Best Time to Go: Year Round. For skiing, January – March are the best months. 
Best for: Museums, Architecture, Religious Sites
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are in use.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink.  
Health: Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage. Doctors will expect to be paid in cash. Outside of the main towns, adequate medical facilities and pharmacies are very rare. If you are visiting a small village and require any medication it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it. 
Customs: The local people observe very traditional hosting etiquette. The unwritten rule is never to light up without offering the people around you a cigarette as well. It is best not to discuss politics or the war.  Avoid drinking alcohol in the presence of Muslims.  Some women dress very conservatively. 
Travel Tips / Warnings: Credit cards are widely accepted in the major towns (Visa and Mastercard being the most popular). In smaller towns and villages, credit cards are not widely accepted and ATM’s are not common. Avoid political protests.  Apart from the mines, Bosnia & Herzegovina has limited safety concerns. 
Landmine Safety: The mine-clearing process is underway, but it may take several decades until they are all cleared.  Although mines are a safety concern, there are few incidents involving mines. Follow the mine safety rules:
- Highly populated areas, national parks and conservation areas are all clear of mines and safe to visit.
- Stay away from taped areas, whether in yellow or red, whether the markings are new or old: do not enter these areas.
- If you are in the countryside, stay away from areas that are not obviously frequented by people. Look for cut grass, tire tracks, footprints or rubbish – all indications of safe areas. Areas in which people are walking, jogging, etc are safe.
- Abandoned villages and ruins – however much fun it seems to explore them - may pose a threat.
- The most dangerous areas are the former lines of confrontation in the countryside. Many mountain ranges and some rural areas are still contaminated. As tourists and travelers would not normally know much about the location of these former confrontation lines, it is best to take a guide or a local who knows the terrain. Mountain associations and eco-tourism organizations are your best bet for a safe mountain adventure.

- There is plenty of safe hiking, walking, wandering and exploring to be done in Bosnia and Herzegovina – it is simply not wise to do it alone.
For more information, you could visit the Mine Action Centre (MAC; Zmaja od Bosne 8 in Sarajevo) or visit the centre’s website (www.bhmac.org)
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Bosnia and Herzegovina by travellers aged 17 and over without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco.
• 1L of spirits over 22% and 2L of wine.
• 60ml of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette.
• Gifts and souvenirs to the value of KM200 (around US$140).
Prohibited Imports: You must apply for a permit to import sporting or hunting weapons and ammunition.
Prohibited Exports: Works of art.

Travel Alerts

Last updated: 07/09/2021

Entry is permitted to passengers from all countries, with health requirements.

Form requirements

  • Passengers are required to submit a completed Public Health Passenger Locator Form (PLF) on arrival in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Test requirements

  • Passengers are required to hold a negative PCR test or Rapid Antigen Test for Covid-19 obtained within 48 hours prior to arrival in Bosnia and Herzegovina if it was obtained in a European country, or 72 hours prior to arrival if it was obtained outside Europe.
  • This does not apply to the following passengers:
    • Nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
    • Nationals of Croatia, Montenegro or Serbia, including minor children and spouses, provided travelling directly from the country of which they are citizens,
    • Temporary or permanent residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina who travelled to Croatia, Montenegro, or Serbia for less than 48 hours;
    • Passengers who hold proof that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and received their final dose at least 14 days prior to arrival;
    • Passengers who hold a certificate from a doctor confirming that they have recovered from Covid-19 between 14 and 180 days prior to arrival;
    • Passengers under the age of 7, provided the adult they are travelling with meets testing, vaccine, or previous Covid-19 infection requirements;
    • Nationals of Turkey who cross the border daily to carry out works on the construction of the Rača bridge who are on the list of persons submitted by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Communications;
    • Air crew members whose final destination is Bosnia and Herzegovina,
    • International goods transport personnel, provided their stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina is no longer than 12 hours,
    • Freight train and ship crew members,
    • Diplomatic, consular staff and staff of international organizations in the performance of their official duties, provided holding an appropriate valid passport,
    • Civil protection services and teams travelling for urgent reasons,
    • NATO, Partnership for Peace or EUFOR military personnel,
    • Heads of states and governments, including members of their delegations, whose arrival and departure from Bosnia and Herzegovina have been announced to the Border Police,
    • Passengers in transit, provided returning to their country of residence,
    • Minors whose parent is a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or
    • Passengers who are the spouse of a national of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

There is no representative for B&H in South Africa.

Embassy of Bosnia & Herzegovina in London
5-7 Lexham Gardens
London
W8 5JJ
Tel: 00 44 20 737 30867
E-mail: embassy@bhembassy.co.uk
Web: www.bhembassy.co.uk 

Visa Requirements

South African Passport holders do require a visa.

If citizens of South Africa have valid multiple entry Schengen or EU visas, they are not required to have a visa for B&H for a stay no longer than 6 nights, 7 days. This is valid ONLY if they are arriving in B&H FROM THE EU OR SCHENGEN COUNTRIES that issued their visa. (ie NBNBNB Pax must enter from the issuing country.)

Passengers who still require a visa, may apply from ANY Embassy or Consulate-General of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For requirements and more info contact the Embassy in London.

SA Representative

Non-resident, accredited from Athens, Greece.

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus, Polio