Airline passengers who tried to leave South Africa on Monday were left stranded at the airport.
Countries around the world last week announced travel bans affecting the region following the emergence of a new coronavirus strain, omicron.
Some passengers described the situation as a nightmare.
"This is frustrating because it was a short holiday and then it turned out to be a nightmare." Ronald Magwala, traveler from the UK lamented.
"I flew in on Tuesday to Johannesburg from the U.K. Obviously, the bans came in Thursday, Friday and so I got stuck. I think there are several thousand Europeans trying to get home via the only routes available, which I think now are Kenya and Ethiopia. And of course, if you want to avoid hotel quarantine, you need to stop there for 10 days or 14 days, if you're going back to Dubai. So it's a mess for everyone." Edward Baring, a traveler from the United Kingdom narrated.
Cindy McKinney, visiting South Africa from New York was amongst those trying to find alternative routes to fly back home.
Her initial flight was scheduled to pass through Amsterdam, where flights from South Africa have been banned.
U.K. citizen Edward Baring, 48, said he was returning home but would go through Kenya to avoid a hotel quarantine in the U.K.
At the airport, Travelers are expected to pay up to 1,500 rand which is equivalent to ($92) for a PCR test for a results may be available in two hours.
The World Health Organization called on the international community to avoid imposing travel restrictions on southern African countries in response to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.