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Traveling to South Africa on a Budget

31 March 2020
Angie Watson

South Africa is considered as one of the most visited unique tourist destinations. And rightly so!

It is a country of real splendor. It consists of all forces of nature: waterfalls, deserts, rainforests, mountains, savannah, and wetlands. Its wildlife doesn’t concede a large variety of elements: large mammals, mountain gorillas, pygmy hippos, and the African fish eagle. All these species are only a part of the country’s biological diversity.

Besides being home to spectacular landscapes and abundant wildlife, the country has a lot of great reasons to choose this place for your next travel.

Even if you are going to travel to South Africa on a budget, you’ll be able to find multiple ways to have a good time and get acquainted with the local culture and nature. Just follow these useful tips to organize an unforgettable trip.

Create a Budget Before a Trip

First of all, it’s necessary to consider all possible expenses and costs to expect during the trip. Just add up all of them and compare the final price with your current financial situation.

In case if this kind of vacation is too expensive for you, you’re always welcome to choose an appropriate funding option.

The best way to cover all your South Africa travel expenses is to get a vacation loan. The most important thing to consider is that such type of loan is a form of debt. This means it could impact your finances. That’s why it’s necessary to understand the conditions and terms before the final agreement.

Besides the vacation loan no credit check, there are a lot of options, such as using rewards points, credit cards, or personal loans for last-minute vacations. In most cases, lenders don’t require a hard credit check and provide you with the fastest process of getting the funds you need for your journey.

Think of Accommodation

Budget accomodation in South Africa

The prices of accommodation depend on the city you’re going to stay in. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in Oranjezicht will cost about $40 per person. Such apartments usually have a decent kitchen that lets you avoid costly expenses on visiting cafes and restaurants and save money by cooking your own meal.

Consider that the most significant spending of the trip to South Africa is going to be the safari. But no worries – there are multiple various options for a South African safari. You’re welcome to choose between high-cost luxury lodges to budget public campsites.

For example, a night in Naledi Bushcamp, located in the Kruger area, will cost you about $202. Despite the fact it’s quite an expensive place to stay in even for a night, the price includes all the meals and different activities to choose from.

Otherwise, a night in a budget campsite will cost you no more than $50. So, if you are a fan of luxury lifestyle even during journeys, then it’s better to pay more for a comfortable place.

Find a Better Way of Transportation

Honestly, each South African town is easy to get around. So, you don’t need to take a taxi or bus and consider walking instead of it. But if you still prefer getting a taxi or renting a car, then expect to spend about $25 for a ride. Fortunately, Uber is indeed cheap. You’ll pay no more than $10 in total for three shortish rides around such a city as Cape Town.

You are also welcome to take a sightseeing bus to go to different places, whose price is about $19 for a one-way ticket. Just for the record, most tourists choose this option of getting around more than any other way.

In case if you want to travel between various towns, you’re able to take an overnight train. It will cost you approximately $215, including all meals. And be sure that you’ll be provided with as much food as you’re able to eat.

One of the cheapest tickets you’ll be able to acquire when traveling to Pietermaritzburg. The capital of KwaZulu-Natal is the home of Gandhi and the Comrades Marathon, as it’s the starting point of the annual race.

Try Different Activities

Vacation loans to travel to South Africa

When traveling to South Africa on a budget, you can consider yourself a lucky one – you’ve chosen the right place to have a good time with no much money in your pocket. Most of the activities in the country are free.

You might always consider walking along the coast, making a romantic evening with your partner at the V&A Waterfront, staring and examining an exceptional Cape Dutch architecture instead of visiting night clubs and spending a lot of money at a bar.

Fortunately for foreign culture and history amateurs, most museums are free as well. Even if it’s not, it will cost you not more than $1.50. For such nature lovers as a famous South African naturalist Eugene Marais, it’s better to visit the astonishing Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and pay only $4 for the entry or go to Kruger National Park. Just for the record, this park is considered one of the largest game reserves in Africa.

If the weather is good, you should definitely visit Cape Town’s biggest attractions – the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and take the boat trip to Robben Island. The standard price of these activities is estimated at $40. So, it’s totally affordable for you if you’re bound to a small budget.

You’re also welcome to take private wine tours to Franschhoek and Stellenbosch (including wine tastings), self-guided road trips to Cape Point, and the Chapman’s Peak Drive, etc.

Eat and Drink for Cheap

In South Africa, you’re able to have fantastic and inexpensive meals at the same time. It’s better to choose one or two meals to be cooked on your own and make one meal a lunch out.

Regardless of your requirements and eating habits, you might spend about $80 in case if you’re going to visit some food shops and a local wine store. A simple lunch out in a local café will cost you from $14 to $30, depending on the extent of your hunger.

When going out for some cocktails, make sure you have not less than $30. It’s possible that you’ll spend about $25 passing by such places as Camps Bay and Sea Point and buying some delicious and unusual drinks.

Get Closer to the Mysteries of Africa

Africa possesses a lot of fascinating ancient places that are still little explored and embraced by mystery. There are plenty of ancient artifacts and hidden traces of gone vast kingdoms across all the continent. And South Africa isn’t an exemption.

The mystery of The Lydenburg Heads – these terracotta masks are considered as the earliest and unique sculptures found in South Africa. The masks are officially dated back to 500 AD and have been found by a young boy who collected them from pieces.

The Lost Ancient City in The Kalahari Desert – a sizeable sandy savannah extends more than 900 thousand square kilometers, covering Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. People believe the ruins of ancient cities, built by an ancient civilization, lie right beneath the Kalahari Desert sands.

Bottom Line

If South Africa is already included in your wish list of the ultimate travel destinations, but you’re on a tight budget at the same time, give preference to visiting this country as a matter of priority. It will let you get the “traveling ball rolling”. And also, it will help you understand that sometimes a journey can be fulfilled even on the lowest budget.

Remember that everything depends on willingness. Apply for a vacation loan and start packing your bags on the road to South Africa!


References and Sources:
1. Ten Days in South Africa Budget Breakdown. Retrieved from
2. Great Ancient Mysteries Of Africa. Retrieved from
3. Great Reasons Why You Should Visit South Africa. Retrieved from

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