Last updated: 18 May 2021

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 2021: 

Jan 1; Apr 2, 5; May 3, 24; Aug 2, 3; Nov 1; Dec 9, 25-27

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

- All arriving passengers by air must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test for SARS-CoV-2 using a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab taken within seven (7) days of their flight. (This includes transiting passengers). Children below the age of 12 years, entering Antigua, DO NOT REQUIRE a COVID -19 RT-PCR test.
- Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health.
- All travellers are also subject to assessment  by Port Health Authorities for signs and symptoms through a series of checks and the completion of a health declaration form on arrival.
- All arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID-19 for periods of up to 14 days in accordance with the directions of the Quarantine Authority and the Quarantine (COVID-19) Guidelines.

For more information, please visit:

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Visa Requirements

Visas are not required by SA passport holders, provided:

a) the stay is no longer than six months
b) they possess a passport with a minimum of six months validity from their date of departure
c) they have an onward or return ticket
d) they have confirmation of accommodation
e) they can produce evidence of their ability to maintain themselves in Antigua and Barbuda

Cruise ship visitors who would normally require a visa would not require one provided that they arrive in Antigua and Barbuda in the morning and depart the same evening.
'In-transit passengers' travelling within the same day, who normally require a visa, do not need a visa for entry into Antigua and Barbuda, provided they have proof of their onward journey, and they do not leave the 'controlled space' at the airport.

For passengers who DO require a visa for entry can apply for an evisa on


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