Last updated: 8 Feb 2021



Bangladesh is a fascinating and beautiful country with a friendly, welcoming population.

With a mostly pancake-flat landscape dissected by wide rivers, annual flooding is a fact of life that frequently causes widespread destruction. Such flooding also brings fertility and as a result Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely populated countries.

The world's longest and broadest beach, Inani Beach, is just south of Cox's Bazar, a thriving regional tourist centre and beach resort in the extreme southeast of Bangladesh

Go birdwatching in the Rajendrapur National Park, about 50km north of the capital, which is noted for its varied birdlife.

An excursion to Kaptai Lake in the Rangamati Hill District, east of Chittagong, offers sailing, swimming and fishing as well as an opportunity for a glimpse at Chittagong Hill Tracts tribal culture.
Official Name: The People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Capital:  Dhaka (DAC)
Currency:  Bangladesh Taka (BDT)
Language:  Bangla (or, Bengali). English is widely spoken. Several tribal languages are spoken, including Garo, Khashia, Magh, Manipuri, Munda, Chakma and Tipra.
Dialling code from SA:  + 880
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +6 (4 hours ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021: 

Feb 21; Mar 17, 26; Apr 14; May 1, 13-15, 26; Jul 20-22; Aug 15, 19; Oct 19; Dec 16, 25

Side of the Road: Left. International Driving Permit required.
Best Time to Go: October – February. March – Mid May is the hot season and May – October is the wet season.
Best for: Archaeological Sites, Cultural Exploration, Beach Resorts
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Sockets accept a mixture of British-style three-prong plugs, standard European rounded two-pin plugs, rounded three-pin plugs and American-style two-pin plugs
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised.
Health: Medical facilities are very limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies.  Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage. If you require any medication on your travels 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 left hand is considered unclean and shouldn’t be used to greet or pass food.  Women should dress conservatively (keep their arms and legs covered). Respect to religious customs should also be shown during the month of Ramadan.
Local Offences / Laws: Homosexual relationships are illegal. There are severe penalties for possession and trafficking of drugs. Do not photograph military installations. Identification should be carried.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Check the local political situation before finalising travel plans. Protests should be avoided as they tend to turn violent. ATM’s are common in the main cities, but cash should be carried if visiting smaller towns. Credit cards may be accepted in Dhaka, but have limited acceptance elsewhere. Pickpocketing is frequent and aimed at tourists. Public transport can be unsafe. Permission should be asked before photographing people, especially women.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Bangladesh by travellers over 18 years old without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 225g of tobacco.
• 2 bottles of alcoholic beverages of up to 1.25L.
• 250ml of perfume.
You can buy duty-free items at Dhaka Airport's duty-free shop on arrival.
Prohibited Imports: Firearms and some animals

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: If you are travelling to Bangladesh, you must take a COVID‑19 PCR test before departure and submit a health card on arrival. Effective 25 January 2021, passengers arriving from the United Kingdom (directly or through any intermediate points) are required to undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for at least 14 days.

Sourced from:

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

Bangladesh High Commission
410 Farenden Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria 0002
Tel: (012) 343-2105-6
O/Hrs: 08h00 - 16h00 Mon - Fri (closed for lunch between 1230 and 1330) (Fridays 1230-1400 closed for Prayer)

Visa Requirements

South African Nationals are required to obtain a visa to enter Bangladesh.

REQUIREMENTS: (Visas should be obtained before purchasing the airticket)

• 1 completely filled out application form
• 2 Passport size photo’s (colour)
• Letter of invitation from Bangladesh and proof of accommodation plus copy of your host's Bangladesh passport or national ID.
• Valid passport (minimum 6 months validity) PLUS A COPY. Ensure there are 2 blank pages in the passport.
• Copy of flight details / itinerary
• 3 Months bank statement & employment letter (tourist visa)

• Letter of invitation from Bangladesh company
• Official or company letter from concerned Authorities
• Invitation letter from company in SA (on company letterhead)

Visa Processing Time

10 working days.

Visa Validity

2 months.

Visa Cost

  • Free to South African passport holders
  • Applicants can apply in person or via a courier service. 
  • Note: If using a courier, the sender covers the courier service cost. Applications to be submitted no later than 1500 and a copy of the passport is required.

SA Representative

SA Honorary Consulate
Jahangir Tower, 10 Kazi Nazur Islam Ave
Karwan Bazar, Dhaka
Tel: + 880 2 912 5792 (ext 103)
Fax: +880 2 811 5978

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Japanese Encephalitis (Not available in SA), Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk