South Africa Travel Budget - Visit South Africa on a Budget or Travel in Style

How much does it cost to travel to South Africa?

You should plan to spend around $90 (R1,653) per day on your vacation in South Africa. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $21 (R382) on meals
  • $16 (R288) on local transportation
  • $96 (R1,754) on hotels

A one week trip to South Africa for two people costs, on average, $1,262 (R23,146). This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to South Africa cost?

A one week trip to South Africa usually costs around $631 (R11,573) for one person and $1,262 (R23,146) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to South Africa on average costs around $1,262 (R23,146) for one person and $2,524 (R46,291) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in South Africa will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to South Africa on average costs around $2,704 (R49,598) for one person and $5,408 (R99,195) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

How much do package tours cost in South Africa?

Organized tours are usually more expensive than independent travel, but offer convenience and peace of mind that your trip has been planned by a travel expert.

The average price for an organized tour package in South Africa is $280 per day. While every tour varies by total price, length, number of destinations, and quality, this is the daily average price based on our analysis of available guided tours.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is South Africa expensive to visit?

South Africa is a reasonably affordable destination to visit. It is in the top 25% of countries in the world for its affordability. If you're traveling on a budget, then this is a good destination with affordable accommodation, food, and transportation.

Within Africa, South Africa is moderately priced compared to the other countries. The overall cost of travel here is comparable to Madagascar or Tanzania.

For more details, see Is South Africa Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to South Africa?

The average South Africa trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these South Africa travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) R1,754 ($96)
Local Transportation 1 R288 ($16)
Food 2 R382 ($21)
Entertainment 1 R315 ($17)
Tips and Handouts 1 R24 - 73 ($1 - 4)
Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps 1 R270 - 809 ($15 - 44)
Alcohol 2 R94 - 283 ($5 - 15)
Accommodation Budget in South Africa
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in South Africa is $48 (R877). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in South Africa is $96 (R1,754). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

Hotel Prices in South Africa

Looking for a hotel in South Africa? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.


Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in South Africa based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $78. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

Local Transportation Budget in South Africa
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in South Africa is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $16 (R288) per person, per day, on local transportation in South Africa.

  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

What did other people spend on Local Transportation?

Typical prices for Local Transportation in South Africa are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the Local Transportation prices in South Africa, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

  • Taxi Ride

Food Budget in South Africa
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in South Africa can vary, the average cost of food in South Africa is $21 (R382) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in South Africa should cost around $8.32 (R153) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in South Africa is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day


Entertainment Budget in South Africa
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in South Africa typically cost an average of $17 (R315) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Recommended Activities

Tips and Handouts Budget in South Africa
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in South Africa is $2.66 (R49) per day. The usual amount for a tip in South Africa is 5% - 15%.

  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers

Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps Budget in South Africa
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Unfortunately, bad things can happen on a trip. Well, you've just got to deal with it! The average price for a scam, robbery, or mishap in South Africa is $29 (R539), as reported by travelers.

  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1

Alcohol Budget in South Africa
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $10 (R189) on alcoholic beverages in South Africa per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day


Water Budget in South Africa
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $1.97 (R36) on bottled water in South Africa per day. The public water in South Africa is not usually considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

South Africa On a Budget
South Africa Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa
South Africa is a great place to immerse yourself in the African culture. It's a large country that's located on the southern tip of the continent. It has a large diversity of landscape, culture and industry. It also has one of the strongest economies on the continent, and as such it is an influential political power in the area. Many people visit South Africa for its wonderful and diverse wildlife, but there are so many other things to see and do here. Kruger National Park is one of the most visited parks in all of Africa and you can spend days, or even weeks, exploring it's ecosystems. The cities are multicultural and cosmopolitan so there are many museums, restaurants, and entertainment options nearby. The beaches are beautiful and there is no shortage of adventure sports, whether you want to swim with a great white shark, surf some of the best waves around, or go whitewater rafting on the Orange River.

The country is divided into nine different provinces, each of which has something unique to offer visitors. You'll find Johannesburg in the Gauteng Province. This is where you will most likely enter the country if you're are arriving by plane. The Western Cape is one of the most popular provinces for tourists. This is where you will find Cape Town, Table Mountain, the Garden Route, and any number of great wineries. The Garden Route also crosses into the Eastern Cape which is also home to several great surfing beaches and a few national parks. The Northern Cape has the lowest population despite having the largest size. Free State is where you'll find the World Heritage Site of Vredefort Dome. KwaZulu-Natal is a great area for hiking and waterfall spotting and the North West has Pilanesberg Game Reserve. You'll have to cross through Mpumalanga if you're headed to Mozambique, and if you're looking for Kruger National Park you'll find it in Limpopo.

South Africa is a popular starting point for those who are hoping to explore the entire southern region of Africa. It's the easiest country to reach with international flights and is a great introduction to the region. Whether you plan to spend your entire holiday in South Africa, or are using it as a jumping off point to explore other countries, it's sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
At A Glance
  • Many people choose to rent a car during their time in South Africa. This provides you with more freedom and flexibility during your travels, but there are some things which you should be aware of. Rental cars are available almost exclusively with manual transmissions. If you want an automatic they are often very expensive and in short supply. Prior to renting the car, also make sure you understand any restrictions you might be under like driving on dirt roads or geographic limits. Many rental cars also limit the waiver they provide on damage. Inquire about this prior to signing a contract.

  • Road signs in South Africa are different from those found in most places. If you plan to do any lengthy driving make sure you familiarize yourself with what the signage means. Vehicles also drive on the left hand side of the road. If this is new to you, it may be tricky in the beginning.

  • Cycling in the rural areas is a wonderful way to experience the country. It is generally best to avoid riding a bike in the major cities because of reckless drivers and crime, but on rural roads it is a beautiful and fun experience.

  • It's a good idea to use precautions anytime you travel wherever you are. Try to use ATM's that are inside of buildings such as shopping malls or banks. Also make sure that nobody can see you enter your pin number. If someone offers you assistance, tell them no thanks and wait until they leave before you continue your withdrawal.

  • If you're shopping in an indoor store, the prices are usually fixed and non negotiable. If you're in an outside market however, there will likely be some room for haggling.

Looking for a hostel in Marrakesh, Cape Town, Nairobi, or Zanzibar?
Top Tourist Attractions
The country of South Africa is full of sights and activities. From natural beauty such as the wildlife and mountains to the historical sights found in Johannesburg or Cape Town, this dynamic country offers something for everyone. Many people suggest that you spend two weeks in South Africa, or more, just to see it all. Below are some of the highlights.

Kruger National Park: This park is one of the most popular national parks in Africa. It is one of the best places to do a safari. It's located in the northeastern part of the country and is quite diverse in its landscape and wildlife. It has many different sights and a great infrastructure which makes it easy to explore.

Cape Peninsula: This is a beautiful area that is made from a rocky peninsula that juts out into the the Atlantic Ocean. On it you will find many different places of interest including Table Mountain, scenic beaches and excellent shopping. On the southern end you will also find Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope.

Garden Route: This is a region with incredible beauty and great opportunities for outdoor sports and activities. It runs between Mossel Bay and St. Francis along the Indian Ocean and it is one of the top tourist attractions in the area.

Popular Foods
South African cuisine has been influenced by both its colonial past as well as its indigenous cultures. It's very multicultural in nature in large part because of these diverse influences. Countries that have somehow impacted this country's cuisine include Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, India, Malaysia, and Portugal. You'll see all of the flavors represented in traditional South African dishes.

Braaivleis: This is a common way of preparing meat during social gatherings or on the weekends. The meat is grilled over an open fire that is made from either wood or charcoal. It is then served with a variety of side dishes.

Potjiekos: This dish is typically prepared along side of Braaivleis. It's a meat and vegetable stew that is prepared in a cast iron pot over an open fire.

Boerewors: This is a fast food style dish that is made with spicy sausage that is served on a hotdog bun. It is usually garnished with onions and tomato relish.

We've been gathering travel cost data from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of destinations around the world.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

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