Johannesburg – Travelling the globe has become easier for South African passport holders, according to the 2014 Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index

Released in London in July, the Index is an annual global ranking of countries based on the freedom of travel their citizens enjoy.

South Africa has moved up one spot in the rankings and now occupies 41st place. The South African passport now offers visa-free access to 97 countries, up three from last year.

At the top of the rankings, Finland, Sweden and the UK have been joined by Germany and the US, with their citizens able to travel visa-free to 174 destinations. Canada has jumped from fourth place to second with 173 countries, along with Denmark.

Moldova was the big riser this year, moving up 22 places (from 68 up to 46), adding 30 countries to its visa-free status (89 in total).

The bottom four places remain the same as last year, with Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan all failing to add to the sub-32 countries to which their citizens have visa free access.

This ranking is produced in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association, which maintains the largest database of travel information.

This article was originally published in the Saturday Star.

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