Last updated: 17 Feb 2021

Georgia

About

Georgia is an old state in the Caucasus. With a beautiful coast, great mountain scenery and interesting towns, it is regarded by many as the most beautiful country on earth. Civil problems following independence after the break-up of the Soviet Union, has seen Georgia suffer, but it is now developing its tourism potential and making the full range of its attractions safely and readily accessible to travellers.

Appealing accommodation for all budgets is becoming available across the country and opportunities for exploring by foot, horse or vehicle are expanding fast

The capital, Tiblisi, is by far the biggest city, and has the atmosphere of an age-old Eurasian crossroads. Yet it’s also a 21st-century city with European-style nightclubs and eye-catching new architecture.
Capital:  Tbilisi (TBS)
Currency:  Lari (GEL)
Language:  Georgian. Russian, Armenian, Azeri, Ossetian and Abkhazian are also spoken. English is widely spoken.
Dialling code from SA:  + 995
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +4 (2 hours ahead of South Africa) 
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1, 2, 7, 19; Mar 3, 8; Apr 9, 30; May 1-3, 9, 12, 26; Aug 28; Oct 14; Nov 23

Side of the Road: Right
Best Time to Go: May, June, September
Best for: Religious Sites, Mediterranean Coastline, National Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sulphur Baths
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-type, two-pin plugs are used. The supply of electricity can be intermittent between November and March, and visitors are advised to bring a torch with them.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated.
Health: 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. Doctors will require cash payment regardless of whether you have health insurance.
Customs: If visiting a church, men should wear long trousers and women should cover their heads. 
Travel Tips / Warnings: Georgia is a cash society, but credit cards are increasingly accepted in restaurants and hotels. Check the local political situation before travelling to Pankisi Gorge and the separatist regions (South Ossetia, Abkhazia and the upper Kodori Valley).
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Georgia without incurring customs duty:
• 400 cigarettes or 50 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
• 4L of alcoholic beverages
• Goods up to the value of GEL500 per 30 calendar days or GEL3,000 if arriving by air, up to 30kg in weight.
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited or restricted imports include weapons or explosive materials, narcotics, antiques and art, plants and animals.
Prohibited Exports: Authorisation is required to export art and antiques.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Starting from 1 February 2021, the following regulations apply:

  • All foreign visitors to Georgia can freely enter the territory of the country if they provide COVID-19 vaccine certificates saying that they have received two full doses of vaccines. 
  • Non-vaccinated visitors, who are nationals or residents of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Israel, the U.S., the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Turkey and Qatar will not need to self-isolate. Upon entry to Georgia, including through transit, they will have to provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours (96 hours for visitors traveling from the U.S) before their arrival and undergo a second PCR test at their own expense, on the third day of arrival in Georgia.
  • Non-vaccinated visitors, who have traveled to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland within the last 14 days are subject to a 12-day quarantine.

REFER: georgia.travel/en_US/article/covid-travel-alert

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

Embassy of Georgia, Pretoria
204 Carina Street, Waterkloof Ridge, 0181
Tel: +27 (0)12 346 1831
Email: pretoria.emb@mfa.gov.ge
Web: http://rsa.mfa.gov.ge

Honorary Consulate of Georgia
7th Floor, Norton Rose House (was Southern Life Centre), Cape Town, 8001
PO Box 3235, Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 421-6355
Fax: (021) 425-3374
Cell: 082 575 8888
E-mail: consulgeorgia@telkomsa.net
Web: http://www.mfa.gov.ge
Office hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1700

Visa Requirements

Visas are not required by SA passport holders for up to 90 days, every 180 days.
Passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months and please ensure that there are at least 2 blank pages in the passport.
The final decision of entering, however, rests with the immigration officer should circumstances so require.

No visa is required for the cruise ships which stay in port in Georgia for less than 72 hours.

SA Representative

Representation accredited from Kyiv, Ukraine.

Travel Health

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