Last updated: 17 May 2021



South America's giant, Brazil is a seductive country with dazzling beaches, tropical islands and picturesque colonial towns. Its verdant rainforests boast an astounding array of wildlife, while its wildly energetic cities are home to a multitude of ethnic groups.

Join the mayhem in one of the world's best parties at Rio de Janeiro's Carnival. While Rio's event is famed, Carnival is celebrated throughout Brazil. Salvador also holds a big city-wide carnival, as does Olinda, which throws the most traditional fest.

Explore the Amazon, the world's largest rain forest. It contains one-third of all the living species on earth and is crossed by 10 of the world's 20 largest rivers, including the River Amazon.

Take Rio de Janeiro's cog train to the top of Corcovado (Hunchback) mountain and enjoy one of the most beautiful views in the world from under the arms of the iconic Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue.
Official Name:  Federative Republic of Brazil
Capital:  Brasília (BSB)
Currency:  Real/Reais (BRL). USD is widely accepted in tourist areas. 
Language:  Portuguese. Spanish, English, Italian, French and German may be spoken in tourist areas. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 55
Time Zones: Brazil lies across 4 time zones:
Acre Time: UTC / GMT -5 (7 hours behind South Africa)
Amazon Time: UTC / GMT -4 (6 hours behind South Africa)
Brasilia Time: UTC / GMT -3 (5 hours behind South Africa)
Fernando de Noronha Time: UTC / GMT -2 (4 hours behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: Observed by some states in Brasilia Time from 3rd Sunday in October to 3rd Sunday in February (clocks move forward 1 hour). States which observe DST: Distrito Federal (includes Brasilia), Espírito Santo (includes Vitória), Goiás (includes Goiânia), Minas Gerais (includes Belo Horizonte), Rio Grande do Sul (includes Porto Alegre), Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina (includes Criciúma), São Paulo
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1; Feb 15-17; Apr 2, 21; May 1; Jun 3; Sep 7; Oct 12, 28; Nov 2, 15; Dec 24, 25, 31

Side of the Road:  Right. Tourists with a foreign driver’s license are authorized to drive in Brazil when their stay is less than 180 days.
Best time to go:  High Season is from Christmas until Carnaval (late Feb / early Mar). September – October and March – May has good weather and low season rates. 
Best for:  Rain Forests, Colonial Architecture, Beaches
Plugs:  Brasília and Recife, 220 volts AC; Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, 127V AC or 220V in larger hotels. Plugs are of the two-pin type. Most hotels provide 110V- and 220V-outlets, transformers and adaptors.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Bottled water is available. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Customs: Normal social courtesies. Casual wear is acceptable, but Brazilians take pride in their appearance. Beachwear should be reserved for the beach / poolside. 
Travel Tips / Warnings:  Crime in Brazil is on the increase and in particular slum areas should be avoided unless part of a guided tour. Outside of the slum areas, normal precautions against crime should be taken.  Only official taxis should be used. Women should take care when travelling alone. 
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Brazil by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty: 
• 12L of alcohol.
•200 cigarettes and 25 cigars and 250g of tobacco.
• 20 items (such as small gifts) worth up to US$10 each (or US$5 if arriving via land). 

The total value of the above items should not exceed US$500 if arriving via air or sea or US$300 if arriving via land, river or lake. 
• 24 units of alcohol.
• 200 cigarettes and 25 cigars and 250g of tobacco.
• 10 toiletry items including cosmetics.
• 3 of the following: watches, toys, games or electronic items.
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited imports include toy, replica and imitation firearms, illegal drugs, cigarettes and drinks manufactured in Brazil intended for sale abroad, unlicensed wildlife species, and counterfeit and pirated goods. Restricted items which you must declare and have prior authorisation for include firearms and ammunition, drugs (other than prescribed drugs for personal use), animals, animal products, plants and seeds.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory:

From 25 January 2021, any foreign travellers who have been in South Africa or the United Kingdom 14 days prior to their travel to Brazil will not be allowed to embark.

Brazilian nationals and foreigners with residency permits who have been in South Africa or the United Kingdom 14 days prior to their travel will be allowed to embark, but must follow a 14-day quarantine period in Brazil

PCR test and Health Declaration
All those travelling to Brazil must present the following documents to the air company, prior to boarding:

I - a negative Covid-19 PCR test done not more than 72 hours before the time of departure; a) children (2 to 12 years-old) travelling with an adult don't need to present the document above;
b) unaccompanied children (2 to 12 years-old) must present the document above;
c) minors under 2 years-old do not need to present the document above.

II - a Traveller Health Declaration ("Declaração de Saúde do Viajante - DSV") agreeing to comply with all preventive measures against Covid-19 during the stay in Brazil. The declaration is available on:


This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

a) Brazilian Embassy (Consular Section)
152 Dallas Avenue ,3rd Floor  Corobay Corner Building
Waterkloof Glen
Pretoria 0181
Suite 91, Private Bag X1, Menlo Park, 0102
Tel: (012) 366 5200 Switchboard (emergencies only)
Fax:  (012) 366 5299

Office Hours: Mon-Fri 09h00 - 12h00

b) Consulate-General of Brazil
Touchstone House, 9th Floor
7 Bree Street,
Tel: (021) 421-4040 Fax: 086 678 7599
Public Hours:1000 - 13h00 Mon-Fri


Visa Requirements

  • Visas are NOT required by SA passport holders or British passport holders for either tourist or business purposes for a maximum period of 90 days.
  • However it is required that all passport holders be in possession of a return or onward ticket, accommodation arrangements and sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in Brazil. If staying with friends, a letter of invitation is required. Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months when entering Brazil and must have 2 blank pages. 

Visa Validity

VALIDITY: strictly 90 days from entry date.

SA Representative

South African Consulate-General
1754 Avenida Paulista, 12th Floor
01310-920, Sao Paulo
Tel: (+55) 11 3265 0449

South African Embassy
Ses-Avenida das Nacoes
QD 801, Lote 6
Brasilia - DF

Travel Health

Compulsory: Yellow Fever
Recommended Travel Vaccines: Hepatitis A & B, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk