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5 destinations where South Africans can travel to for even cheaper now

By comparing data from 2019 to now, locals can explore their continent for cheaper, and experience a sought after island holiday. 
Windhoek, Namibia. Image: Shutterstock

Global flight search and travel deals website,, reveals the destinations that are cheaper  for South Africans to travel now compared to a pre-pandemic year. By comparing data from 2019 to now, locals can explore their continent for cheaper, and experience a sought after island holiday.

The borders remain closed for many destinations around the world, but recent news shows that South Africans can start travelling to a select few places around the world. Not only that, but it should be for a significantly cheaper price than what it was in 2019, pre-pandemic. From the lowveld in South Africa to the vast dunes of Namibia, below are 5 destinations locals can explore for a smaller budget.

An island holiday in the Maldives

In late April, the Maldives announced that they would be opening their borders to South Africans to visit. Known as ‘vaccine tourism’, South Africans should be able to travel to this well-loved destination to get their jab while on holiday. Locals are able to find flights to the Male for as little as R11 855 on average which is 7,4% less than two years ago.  Lower cost led to increase in interest to this destination. Cheapflights registers a seven-fold increase in searches for flights to Male which is surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The picturesque island has always been known as an exclusive destination visited by the wealthy, but has now been made more accessible for those looking to travel there. Some of the exciting things to do include beach visits, snorkelling, and browsing the local markets.

Exploring sea and sand in Namibia

Staying closer to home, Namibia is a destination that offers something for everyone. Previously a little more expensive to travel to, South Africans can now secure flights to Namibia from as little as R3 721,00 on average, which is around 16% cheaper than the price of flights in 2019. It seems that South Africans are sharing the excitement about traveling to the neighbouring country as a number of searches for travels to its capital Windhoek jumped by 27%. Those who are looking for a different winter getaway, the weather is perfect around this time. Travellers can go to Swakopmund – a coastal town famous for its beaches, and is great for surfing. The Namib desert creates an opportunity for desert adventure activities like sandboarding, 4×4 or quad bike tours, as well as fishing, boating and coastal tours.

Visiting Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

Arguably the most beautiful waterfall in Africa, Victoria Falls is known around the world. And now is a good time to plan a trip there. If you’ve always wanted to take a trip, but it didn’t quite fit your budget, now is a good time to plan it. Flights can be secured for as little as R3 677 on average, making it one third  more affordable than in 2019! As Cheapflights data shows, South Africans are taking this opportunity with flight searches beling 39% up.

With two-thirds of the waterfall being in Zimbabwe, it serves as the better option to seeing this sight, listed as one of the seven wonders of the world.

Getting up close with wildlife in Uganda

This landlocked country in East Africa is growing in popularity for its tourist activities and receives almost twice more searches than pre-pandemic. Previously, flying to Uganda would set you back a pretty penny, but since 2019 the flight costs have come down by around 16%. This means it’s possible to travel from South Africa to Uganda for as little as R4 925,00 on average.

Uganda is known for its lush natural landscape and vast wildlife. This would be the perfect trip for someone interested in being up close and personal with nature. The country’s largest national park, Murchison Falls, is over 1 500 square miles, and located in the northwestern part of Uganda. There are a plethora of animals to sightsee here on a safari, both on land and sea, as the Nile River runs through this park.

A quick break at a local game reserve

Travellers who want to take an international trip just yet, but still are in need of an escape, can visit a local game reserve. Flights to Nelspruit are much cheaper now than they were in 2019, and you can save up to around 27% with flights as low as R3 517 on average. But as domestic travels are on the rise this year, trips to Nelspruit are also picking up fast and flights are searched by 131% more often than two years ago.

You are spoiled for choice with the number of game reserves in this beautiful province, with something suited for every budget. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to the sounds of birds chirping in the distance, or watch elephants and cheetahs around the watering hole from your balcony, while sipping on coffee? The winter season is also the best time to visit game reserves, making it the ideal time to book your trip to the Lowveld.

Before traveling, South Africans are advised to check each country’s local government travel rules and requirements related to Covid-19.


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As long as you dont get locked out of SA again when trying to come back.

LOL you actually want to come back?

When I was young, my middle-class parents could afford a 2 or 3 week holiday every year in SA, in a decent though not luxurious holiday flat.

Today, with my wife’s and my salary combined, and we theoretically have better jobs than our parents did, we’d be extremely hard-pressed to do the same. A totally mediocre holiday flat, in so-called peak season when it’s school holidays, is easily R3000 per day. Who can blow R60k on accommodation only for a 3-week holiday, and then you’ve not eaten or travelled to your destination, let alone brought your kids a treat or two?

SA’s tourism industry seriously needs to come back down to earth.

@Incitatus. Indeed. I can relate.

You describe the consequences of the continuous process of inflation in combination with taxation. Inflation takes purchasing power from citizens and hands it over to the government. Therefore, inflation is a form of tax.

Inflation also raises the salary and the profits in nominal terms, although not in real terms. Taxation is based on nominal values, not on real values. This implies that inflation is a tax on a tax, a double tax. The inflation-adjusted value of your house is stable over decades, but the nominal value, on which the municipal taxes are based, rises with inflation. The municipal taxes take a larger chunk of your real salary every year. The dysfunctional municipality redistributes the value of your house and your salary to the squatter camp and for the salaries of municipal employees.

The middle class has been taxed to death over the past 30 years.

It sucks. But unfortunately, it’s a case of supply and demand.

Totally agree. Just compare a Mauritius holiday to an equivalent 4 star resort holiday in SA.

Unbelievable property rates, expensive utilities (when available), duplication of govt services for backup purposes, staff who are constantly trying to steal from you and having to me a member of a whole bunch of industry mandated councils and associations that, apart from a free magazine, contribute nothing to your business when you need them to lobby govt against shutting down your business in order “to save lives”.

Also keep in mind in those days a family didn’t have or “need”- dstv, cellphones, PC’s or laptops, (per family member) branded clothing, aircons, playstations, daily cappuccinos, and so on.
Add it up. The numbers are quite different.

“…Victoria Falls, ARGUABLY the most beautiful waterfall in Africa…”


NO. It IS the MOST beautiful waterfall in Africa. And what a humbling experience it is.

(“Arguably” perhaps in the world…)

End of comments.





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