DJI Mavic, Air and Mini Drones
Friendly, Helpful & Knowledgeable Community
Join Us Now

Bringing my drone into South Africa as a tourist

Nilesh

Member
Joined
May 12, 2024
Messages
5
Reactions
2
Age
24
Location
Mauritius
Hello pilots, I have a Dji Mavic Mini and I'm planning to visit South Africa and Namibia in October. I am traveling from Mauritius and wanted to know if ever my drone will be confiscated at the airport. Did any of you guys had a similar experience please share with me what did you do and how it went. Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4006448
Hello pilots, I have a Dji Mavic Mini and I'm planning to visit South Africa and Namibia in October. I am traveling from Mauritius and wanted to know if ever my drone will be confiscated at the airport. Did any of you guys had a similar experience please share with me what did you do and how it went. Thanks!
Hi Nilesh,

I’ve flown numerous times in South Africa and had no problem at all getting through the airport with my drones.

Customs at ORT in my experience are not as strict as some other countries - after clearing passport control, you basically walk past the customs area where there will be a few officers next to two large bag scanners. I’ve never seen them stop anyone and I’ve never been stopped or questioned myself.

I’ve not flown in Namibia though so can’t speak for that one.

Happy flying in beautiful SA !
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Nilesh
Hello pilots, I have a Dji Mavic Mini and I'm planning to visit South Africa and Namibia in October. I am traveling from Mauritius and wanted to know if ever my drone will be confiscated at the airport. Did any of you guys had a similar experience please share with me what did you do and how it went. Thanks!

Hello pilots, I have a Dji Mavic Mini and I'm planning to visit South Africa and Namibia in October. I am traveling from Mauritius and wanted to know if ever my drone will be confiscated at the airport. Did any of you guys had a similar experience please share with me what did you do and how it went. Thanks!
Recently I posted a very long story of a very poor experience bringing my Mini 2 into Kenya last Oct, 2023. It did not go well. My drone was discovered on the scanner in Nairobi and confiscated. After our trip was over, I had to return to the airport 3 hours earlier to retrieve it. I was shuttling between three terminals for several hours using a driver. I first went to my departure terminal and had to wait for them to open the check in which was late at night. After getting my departure boarding pass (required to get the drone out of storage), I had to then go to a terminal where a police officer issued me a pass to get back into the terminal I had arrived at in the country. Then I had to ride to the terminal where my drone was, pay the storage and get my drone back. Then, another ride back to. my departure terminal. I was exhausted by all of this. Do not bring in a drone unless you have a permit from the country.

My new rule of travel is, no drone allowed, no travel to that place!

Dale
Miai
 
Hi Nilesh,

I’ve flown numerous times in South Africa and had no problem at all getting through the airport with my drones.

Customs at ORT in my experience are not as strict as some other countries - after clearing passport control, you basically walk past the customs area where there will be a few officers next to two large bag scanners. I’ve never seen them stop anyone and I’ve never been stopped or questioned myself.

I’ve not flown in Namibia though so can’t speak for that one.

Happy flying in beautiful SA !
Hello Stevie, thank you for replying. Yes, I also heard that it's not too strict in SA but to be safe I sent an email to the SACAA hoping they'll be of help. I think I need to be prepared to answer some questions if ever they stop me.

As for Namibia, I will drive from SA to Nam so I guess carrying the drone there won't be an issue.
Thank you for the help and if the drone made it safely there I'll post some photos :)
 
Recently I posted a very long story of a very poor experience bringing my Mini 2 into Kenya last Oct, 2023. It did not go well. My drone was discovered on the scanner in Nairobi and confiscated. After our trip was over, I had to return to the airport 3 hours earlier to retrieve it. I was shuttling between three terminals for several hours using a driver. I first went to my departure terminal and had to wait for them to open the check in which was late at night. After getting my departure boarding pass (required to get the drone out of storage), I had to then go to a terminal where a police officer issued me a pass to get back into the terminal I had arrived at in the country. Then I had to ride to the terminal where my drone was, pay the storage and get my drone back. Then, another ride back to. my departure terminal. I was exhausted by all of this. Do not bring in a drone unless you have a permit from the country.

My new rule of travel is, no drone allowed, no travel to that place!

Dale
Miai
Hello Dale, thank you for sharing your experience! It sounds like you had quite an adventure with your drone in Kenya. However, It seems that the situation is different in South Africa. Drones have been legal there since 2015, and you can bring your drone without any issues. Thats according to the internet and some people. You can never be sure though.

It is better when it gets confiscated, and they return it to you later than letting them keep it. But the struggle you mentioned above is frustrating. Hope that never happens to you again.

Btw, the pictures on your website are stunning!
Happy Flying :)
 
Hello Dale, thank you for sharing your experience! It sounds like you had quite an adventure with your drone in Kenya. However, It seems that the situation is different in South Africa. Drones have been legal there since 2015, and you can bring your drone without any issues. Thats according to the internet and some people. You can never be sure though.

It is better when it gets confiscated, and they return it to you later than letting them keep it. But the struggle you mentioned above is frustrating. Hope that never happens to you again.

Btw, the pictures on your website are stunning!
Happy Flying :)
Dear Nilesh:

Thank you for your commiseration. Bringing my Mini 2 (instead of my very expensive Mavic 3) was intention, since Could afford to lose the Mini, but not the expensive Mavic 3! It was one of the most miserable experiences of my life and my wife, who had to endure all of this riding back to the airport, has never let me forget it!

My drone was wrapped in a bubble wrap, and stored in a large metal cabinet, over stuffed with drones of all sizes. I could not identify my drone because they were all wrapped. I was FRANTIC. The agent finally found it, because it was so little, compared to the over-stuff cabinet. There was a huge ledger book recording my drone by hand, amongst hundred of others! A total nightmare. On top of everything, I had to pay a storage fee! (not very high though).

Dale
Miami
 
Dear Nilesh:

Thank you for your commiseration. Bringing my Mini 2 (instead of my very expensive Mavic 3) was intention, since Could afford to lose the Mini, but not the expensive Mavic 3! It was one of the most miserable experiences of my life and my wife, who had to endure all of this riding back to the airport, has never let me forget it!

My drone was wrapped in a bubble wrap, and stored in a large metal cabinet, over stuffed with drones of all sizes. I could not identify my drone because they were all wrapped. I was FRANTIC. The agent finally found it, because it was so little, compared to the over-stuff cabinet. There was a huge ledger book recording my drone by hand, amongst hundred of others! A total nightmare. On top of everything, I had to pay a storage fee! (not very high though).

Dale
Miami
Wow, your drone adventure in Nairobi sounds like quite the rollercoaster! Losing a drone can be heartbreaking, especially if it’s an expensive one. Glad you didn't bring the mavic 3. The struggle to find your Mini 2 among all those wrapped drones must have been intense. At least you got your Mini 2 back, even if it required some airport gymnastics and a storage fee. Your wife’s enduring memory of the whole ordeal adds a touch of humor.

Here’s hoping your future drone adventures are smoother and less eventful! Safe flying!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dale D
Wow, your drone adventure in Nairobi sounds like quite the rollercoaster! Losing a drone can be heartbreaking, especially if it’s an expensive one. Glad you didn't bring the mavic 3. The struggle to find your Mini 2 among all those wrapped drones must have been intense. At least you got your Mini 2 back, even if it required some airport gymnastics and a storage fee. Your wife’s enduring memory of the whole ordeal adds a touch of humor.

Here’s hoping your future drone adventures are smoother and less eventful! Safe flying!
Nilesh:

I don't want to belabor this thread, but all I wanted was a drone fly-over over the two safari lodges. I know enough not to try to take a drone on safari since it would spook the animals, cause a Cape buffalo or elephant stampede or something, and bother other safari goers. But I LUCKED OUT! Both lodges had a resident photographer and they were both licensed to film for commercials for the lodge. They both agreed to provide me with footage which they placed on an SD card for me and I incorporated it into my safari film. See if you can find it.
Kenya Safari October, 2023, 17 minutes. Full screen.
To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

Dale
 
Nilesh:

I don't want to belabor this thread, but all I wanted was a drone fly-over over the two safari lodges. I know enough not to try to take a drone on safari since it would spook the animals, cause a Cape buffalo or elephant stampede or something, and bother other safari goers. But I LUCKED OUT! Both lodges had a resident photographer and they were both licensed to film for commercials for the lodge. They both agreed to provide me with footage which they placed on an SD card for me and I incorporated it into my safari film. See if you can find it.
Kenya Safari October, 2023, 17 minutes. Full screen.
To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

Dale
No worries. Oh yes it can get really ugly if something bad happen while flying the drone in a safari. But it sounds like you had a stroke of luck during your safari adventure. Having resident photographers at both lodges who were licensed to film for commercials was a serendipitous turn of events. Sometimes, the best experiences come from unexpected sources. I like your safari film! It has a unique perspective
 

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
132,235
Messages
1,571,242
Members
160,980
Latest member
rahim49