This is according to Henley & Partners' latest Passport Index which ranked South Africa 52nd in the world in 2018, with South Africans able to access 102 destinations around the world visa-free or with a visa on arrival.
The UK passport grants citizens visa-free access to 189 countries.
Germany, France and South Korea tied in third, with a group of European nations - Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden and Spain - in hot pursuit.
Citizens from these Middle Eastern countries only have visa-free access to 30 countries and rank 106th in the list.
The US and the United Kingdom, both with 186 destinations, slid from 4th to 5th place, with neither having gained access to new jurisdictions since the start of 2018.
It's not just global travel, though; a South African passport is not great for getting into other African countries either.
What has been most remarkable in recent years is the UAE's stunning ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide now.
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But in territories or countries where visas are required, or where passport holders have to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score of 0 is assigned. Further, as and when changes in visa-policy come into effect, the index gets updated in real time.
According to its website, Henley Passport Index ranks all passports in the world based on the number of countries its holders can visit visa-free.
Japan recently acquired visa-free access to Myanmar, helping it beat passport rival Singapore. Newcomer Moldova, for example, which launched its CBI program in the second half of this year, has climbed 20 places since 2008.
"Along with the Henley & Partners - Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index, the Henley Passport Index is considered the most credible reference tool within the investment migration industry", it said.
The United Arab Emirates is the decade's biggest success story when it comes to travel freedom.
In a press release that accompanied the report, Dr.