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5 Ways To Save On South Africa Travel

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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International travel always means your annual budget will take a hit but that’s no reason not to explore and check off those destinations on your travel bucket list. South Africa offers a wealth of history, culture, and adventure that is certainly worth the cost. However, if you are traveling on a budget, here are a few tips to save without having to sacrifice any part of your experience.

Book Early

It’s always a good recommendation to book your airfare early to grab the best rates. Travel search engines like Skyscanner will also allow you to set travel alerts that will notify you via email when your desired flight price either drops or raises so you can snag the best rate.

It’s also good to note the high vs. low seasons for travel. According to businesstech.co, January, July, and December are the most popular and the most expensive periods to travel to South Africa, with May and November being the cheapest months. If you book your flights to depart on Wednesday, you may also get a cheaper rate.

Airbnb / Home Rental

If you are planning on traveling with a few friends, Airbnb offers the best prices for shared accommodations. For $82 to $300 per night, you can get a stunning apartment in the city of Cape Town or a mountainside home for larger groups. Taking advantage of the kitchen and in-house laundry can also save you money on daily expenses.

RELATED: The Most Beautiful Airbnbs In Cape Town, South Africa

Eat Local 

South Africa has many local dishes including biltong, a dried, cured, and spiced meat, boerewors, a type of sausage made from beef mince, and bobotie, consisting of spiced mince, an egg-based topping, and raisins or sultanas. Eastern Food Bazaar and The Golden Dish are popular local and inexpensive eateries in Cape Town offering Indian and South African soul food options for every palette. 


Public Transportation

Although Uber may be the most popular way for tourists to get around larger cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg, it’s definitely not the cheapest option. If your destination is not accessible by foot or bike, MyCiTi Buses offer modern, scheduled bus service throughout Cape Town. City buses do not accept cash, so be sure to buy your myconnect card in advance. Likewise, Johannesburg’s public transportation systems the Gautrain rapid-rail and Rea Vaya bus service, are safe, efficient and relatively easy to navigate and not to mention, cheap.

RELATED: 5 Cultural Experiences You Should Have In South Africa

Free Activities

With abundant nature reserves, parks, and historical landmarks, there is no shortage of free or low cost activities throughout South Africa. Pretoria, South Africa’s capital city, offers a variety of historical spots to visit including the Nelson Mandela Statue at the Union Buildings, Freedom Park, and Wonderboom Nature Reserve for hiking trails and stunning views. 

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Leah Freeman-Haskin

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