Seychelles’ passport retains top spot as best in Africa

Seychelles. Picture: Instagram

Seychelles. Picture: Instagram

Published Jan 17, 2023


The index is prepared by London-based Henley and Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm.

The firm uses data gathered from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which manages inter-airline co-operation globally.

As IATA gathers the information in real-time, the index is also amended in the same manner as Henley and Partners also monitors any changes governments may impose on the passports and visa.

The latest figures show Seychelles is ahead of Mauritius at 34th place where passport holders can visit 146 countries visa-free. South Africa came in at 53rd place with its citizens able to visit 106 visa free destinations and Kenya at 73rd with 73 countries.

While the small island state’s passport is still faring better than many of its other African counterparts, Seychelles has slipped down by one place from its 2022 ranking.

The Seychelles – an archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean – also changed its passport to a bio-metric one in November last year, in a bid to ensure its safety.

“It is a passport that will be secure and it will not be easy for someone to duplicate it," President Wavel Ramkalawan declared at the time of receiving his own passport – which was also the first issued.

The Henley index claims to be the “original ranking of all the world’s passports covering 227 destinations and 199 passports and comparing the visa-free access of 199 different passports to 227 travel destinations”.

To determine a passport’s ranking, if no visa is required, then a score with a value of 1 is created for that passport. The same applies if you can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination.

According to the index, Japan is the country with the strongest passport for the fifth year running, with its citizens being able to freely visit 193 destinations.

Singapore and South Korea, whose citizens can freely visit 192, are in second place.