Is South Africa cheap for American tourists?

Answered by Edward Huber

South Africa can be considered relatively cheap for American tourists, especially when compared to other popular tourist destinations. However, the cost of your vacation will ultimately depend on your travel style and preferences. It’s important to note that South Africa is a diverse country with a wide range of prices, so expenses can vary depending on the region you visit.

Accommodation in South Africa can be quite affordable, with options ranging from budget guesthouses and backpacker lodges to luxury hotels and safari lodges. Prices will vary depending on the location and the level of comfort you prefer. In major cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg, you can find reasonably priced hotels and guesthouses starting from around R500 ($28) per night. If you’re willing to stay in more basic accommodations or opt for Airbnb, you can find even cheaper options.

Food is generally inexpensive in South Africa, especially if you eat at local restaurants or street food vendors. You can expect to spend around R50-100 ($3-6) for a basic meal at a local eatery. However, dining at more upscale restaurants or touristy areas can be more expensive, with prices ranging from R150-300 ($9-17) per meal. It’s worth noting that South Africa is known for its delicious and affordable wine, so indulging in a glass or two won’t break the bank.

Transportation costs in South Africa can also be relatively low, especially if you use public transportation. Local buses and trains are affordable, with fares typically ranging from R10-30 ($0.60-1.70) for a single trip within cities. Taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber are also available, but they can be slightly more expensive. Renting a car is another option, which gives you more flexibility to explore the country, but it will come with additional costs like fuel and toll fees.

Attractions and activities in South Africa can vary in price. Popular tourist attractions such as Table Mountain in Cape Town or Kruger National Park can have entrance fees, but they are generally reasonable. Safari tours can be a bit more expensive, especially if you opt for luxury lodges or private game reserves. However, there are also more affordable options available, such as self-drive safaris or staying in budget-friendly accommodations outside the main wildlife reserves.

South Africa offers a range of options for American tourists with different budgets. By being mindful of your spending and choosing affordable accommodations, local dining options, and public transportation, you can have a memorable and budget-friendly vacation in South Africa.