South Africa: Budget Calculator & 5 Epic Things to do?

South Africa Travel Budget Calculator
Written by Town & Tourist

South Africa is a wild land which will spark awe & wonder! From Safaris & wineries to towering mountains & endless coastline, South Africa is a dream!

Surprisingly South Africa is inexpensive, (thanks to its weak currency!).  Although there is alot of corruption, the countries beauty makes up for that!

In this post I will answer some Frequently asked questions submitted by readers of  Town & Tourist, these include the following:

  1. 5 Epic Things to do in South Africa?
  2. Is South Africa Expensive to Travel?
  3. South Africa Travel Budget Calculator 
  4. South Africa Travel Costs (Detailed) 
  5. Is South Africa Safe for Tourists?
  6. Do you need a Visa to Enter South Africa?
  7. When is the Best time to Visit South Africa?
  8. Where to stay in South Africa? 
  9. Best Tours in South Africa?
  10. 3 Essential Travel Tips? (Packing Guide)

A. 5 Epic Things to do in South Africa?

1. Visit Cape Town 

Cape Town is South Africas most iconic city! Be sure to take a hike up Table Mountain, and visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens! 

Afterwards, check out the many museums, try some extreme sports or just relax on one of South Africas idyllic beaches!

Insider Tip:

Check out the street performers at the V&A Waterfront.

Cape Town South Africa

Cape Town South Africa

2. Learn about the infamous Apartheid 

South Africa has a dark history. Be sure to visit the museum in Johannesburg,

where you can learn the story of apartheid through a series of interactive exhibits.

You can also take a day trip to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in Prison!

Robben Island Museum South Africa

Robben Island Museum South Africa.

3. Explore Kruger national Park 

Kruger National Park is the biggest & most popular game reserve in the country!

It spans over 2 million hectares, which is great for a safari!

Other options include the St. Lucia Wetlands and Addo National Park

South Africa Travel Budget Calculator (Kruga National Park

South Africa Kruga National Park Elephants. Source: African Safari tours

4. Road trip the Garden Route 

This is an epic driving road which attracts many visitors. The route runs along the Indian Ocean from Mossel Bay to St Francis.

There you will discover many idyllic landscapes & wineries.

5. Learn about the culture of Swaziland 

Swaziland is definitely one of the friendliest countries in Africa!

Here you will find many large game parks & reserves! This place is heaven for wildlife spotting!

Swaziland Tribe culture

Swaziland Tribe culture

Insider Tip:

The borders can be slow, so check waiting times before setting off.

B. Is South Africa expensive to travel?

South Africa is a developed country and thus mid range when it comes to travel costs!

A budget traveller should budget $40-$50 (USD) per day,

while a mid range traveller should budget $100 (USD) per day.  

This includes the cost of accommodation, food and transport! 

The Prices in South Africa are similar to the USA & western Europe, UKFranceGermanyItaly.

Insider tip:

Car hire is really cheap in South Africa! Check out: Ultimate Car Rental Travel Hacks!

C. South Africa: Travel Budget Calculator

To help you budget your next adventure to South Africa

Dive into our interactive Travel Budget Calculator below

User Guide: Simply select your “Travel Style”,  ” Number of Persons” and Number of Days Traveling.

Top Tip: “Group” travel budget gives the total budget for 4 people! To find out how much that is each simply divide by 4.

Family Budgets:

Families would be best using the Group selector, or those with small children should select “Couple” if the children are young enough to share a room.

We have compiled the data in the table above from our vast travel experience & other reliable sources.

What is the Currency in South Africa?

The South african rand is the currency in South Africa.

1 USD =14 ZAR

1 GBP = 19 ZAR

1 EURO = 16 ZAR 

D. South Africa Travel Costs (Detailed):

i. Budget Backpacker Travel Costs:

Budget South Africa Travel Costs
Budget DataCost (USD)
Average Daily cost:$40
Accommodation (Single Occupancy, Hostel)$22
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel)$40
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway)$7
Food & Water$10
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities)$15

ii. Mid Range Travel Costs:

Mid Range Budget:South Africa Travel Costs
Budget DataCost (USD)
Average Daily cost:$100
Accommodation (Single Occupancy, Hostel)$52
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel)$105
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway)$20
Food & Water$22
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities)$40

iii. Luxury Vacation Travel Costs:

South Africa Luxury Travel Costs
Budget DataCost (USD)
Average Daily cost:$250
Accommodation (Single Occupancy)$150
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel)$305
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway)$40
Food & Water$54
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities)$95

E. Is South Africa safe for tourists?

According to the UK Government & US Government :

South Africa is safe but you must be cautious!

Over 430,000 British tourists visit South Africa each year and most visits are trouble-free!

However, South Africa does have high levels of violent crime in remote areas (township).

Also be sure to not carry too much cash and exercise caution in crowded areas such as,

train and bus stations, airports to avoid pickpockets & scams.

I recommend purchasing a hidden money belt, I take mine everywhere. See: Travel Accessories

F. Do you need a visa to enter South Africa?

Many countries require an EVisa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Australia.

US Citizens:

According to the US Department of state: 

No Visa is required if visiting for less than 90 days!

UK Citizens:

According to the UK Government:

You DON’T need a Visa! If you’re visiting South Africa for tourism or business purposes for a period of up to 90 days.

Insider Tip:

All governments advise on a valid Travel Insurance policy before traveling.

I always recommend World Nomads, I’ve used these for years.

G. When is the Best time to visit South Africa?

The best time to visit South Africa’s Safari parks is from May to September.

This is the Dry season where you will see many animals congregate around waterholes and rivers!

The Cape has beautiful hot, dry weather in its summer months between November and February.

H. Where to Stay in South Africa?

Our Favourite hotel was the luxurious Lion Sands, its actually inside Kruga National Park!

Its a was an experience of a lifetime staying here! My husband & I loved it!

Below is an image of one of there amazing tree houses!

Kruger national Park Tree house lion sands South Africa

Kruger national Park Tree house lion sands South Africa

For our alternative recommend hotels in South Africa, follow the link HERE

I. Best Tours in South Africa?

For a selection of our recommended Safari Tours in South Africa, Follow the link HERE



J. 3 Essential Travel tips?

1. Invest in a quality Travel Camera! 

Capturing the Memories of your adventure is essential!

You will be able to show your friends, family and even grand kids all the wonderful photos captured.

For more info see, our recommend Travel Photography Gear

Photography Gear

Make sure you are equip with some great Photography Gear!

2. Important! Are you insured?

Be aware that you will need separate travel insurance if you are traveling to South Africa!

If you get ill or have an accident it will be a very costly experience!

All travellers to South Africa should have a robust travel insurance to avoid paying out thousands of dollars.

I always recommend World Nomads, I’ve used these for years,

they are the best and most reliable insurance, they also provides an unlimited medical budget!

Travel Insurance

Getting hit with a large hospital bill after getting sick or injured, could really add to your worries! Get some Travel Insurance


For more info see: Why you NEED Travel Insurance?

3. Be sure you have your Travel Essentials  

(Things You can’t travel without!)

A high quality Tent & backpack can also be great investments to help you cut costs and have more of an adventure while traveling!

To learn about our secret Hotel Hacks check out: How to find the Best Hotel Deals??

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