Top 20 Most Powerful Passports In Africa(2024)

The National Passport a person holds could make or mar their traveling experience. All over the internet, numerous videos and articles are produced by people who document their travel experiences because of their national passports. From positive experiences to tear-and harassment-filled experiences, what could be the reason different people are treated differently in their pursuit of visas?…it all boils down to the ranking of their national Passport.

How Are Passports Ranked?

The Henley Passport Index ranks all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without first applying for a visa. The index is created based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This index has been running for over 18 years, and countries score one point for every destination they can visit visa-free; this applies if citizens are issued a visa on arrival, a visitors permit, or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).

How does Africa Rank in this global index?

Currently ranking at No. 25 in the Henley Global Passport Index, Seychelles, the Island Republic off the coast of East Africa, is Africa’s most potent Passport. Owners of this Passport have visa-free access to 156 countries worldwide. Seychelles is home to numerous beaches, coral reefs, and nature reserves, making it an excellent vacation spot.

Mauritius, another island country in East Africa, is ranked number 30 in the world and is the second most powerful passport in Africa. This Passport grants holders visa-free access to 150 countries around the globe. South Africa ranks 50th with 107 visa-free destinations for its passport holders, making Africa’s top 3 most powerful passports: Seychelles, Mauritius, and South Africa.

Botswana holds the fourth position with a global rank of 59 and 89 visa-free destinations for its holders. Lesotho and Namibia are in fifth and sixth position, respectively, with both countries granting their passport holders visa-free access to 80 countries.

Another Southern African nation, Eswatini, has a strong passport that allows access to 78 destinations worldwide. It ranks 66th globally and 7th in the continent. The East African countries of Kenya and Malawi tie for the 68th global position, while Tanzania is in the 69th position worldwide; they hold the 8th, 9th, and 10th positions in Africa.

Below is a summary of Africa’s top 20 passports:

South Africa50107
The Gambia7270
Cape Verde Island7467
Sierra Leone7467

Although Asian countries top the chart when it comes to having powerful passports, the African continent still has its own contenders. Planning on traveling around the world? Apply for a Passport from any of the countries mentioned above and enjoy an easy and hurdle-free travel experience.