Banned for 5 years

Vioolsdrift Border Post, South Africa

“You have two options.”

“What do you mean?”

“Either you go back to Capetown, and wait for your visa to be ready. Or you go into Namibia and you’re banned for 5 years.”

“What?! But I’ve already been waiting 17 weeks! They told me it would be ready in 10 weeks! Here, look at my receipt!”

“Yeah.. That receipt only counts for being legally IN the country, not for LEAVING the country.”

“But wait. I paid for my visa extension and everything. And here, look at the screenshots, my visa is not ready yet! Even though, I applied on the 13th of November!”

“I see, so if you decide to leave, you can appeal. But I will have to block you in the system for now. — And you will have to decide now, because I’ve already put you in the system.”

“Jesus, ok. Miss, I need to make one phone call. It is quite a difficult decision to decide right now, you understand?! — You see, I am travelling alone on my bike and, I am not sure if it is a good idea to be banned out of a country with the best health care in Africa, in case something happens!”

“Ok, you can make one call.”

After calling my girlfriend I decided to go into Namibia, appeal and hope my sanction will be discarded. Quite a tough decision. The thought that if something happens to me, and not being able to get good health care because I am banned out of South Africa, sounds horrible. But still, I didn’t feel like returning and waiting until who knows when to finally, ‘legally’ leave South Africa…


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