What does it cost to visit South Africa on a budget?

So first, I think I need to say that this breakdown is based solely on my experience with planning for a trip I made in the month of March, 2016. This is intended only for the purpose of trip planning and to present a fair idea of how much to budget.
All prices stated here are either approximate values or exact values at the time of this writing.

Visa and Flight Details

Nigerian citizens visiting South Africa require a visa for entry. Visa fees vary based on the exchange rate and your location. At the time of this writing, applying from Lagos and Abuja cost the same, a total of N20,660 while applying from Port Harcourt costs N40,660. The VFS site contains up to date information regarding this.

An economy flight ticket to Johannesburg cost us N134,000 each but we could have saved a whole lot if we booked earlier. I did see a few tickets going for much less earlier the same month.


For accommodation, we scored really nice deals on Booking.com, paying only half the price for all the hotels we stayed in. We stayed in Protea Hotel, Sea Point – Cape Town, Mojo Hotel, Sea Point- Cape Town, Protea Balalaika – Johannesburg and Protea Kruger Gate – Kruger. Accommodation cost us about N120,000 in total.

Of course, this cost could have been greatly reduced if we opted to stay in hostels or couch-surf even. Hostels and a few 2-3* hotels cost between N3,000 – N6,000 per night.

Food & Drinks

This cost is quite flexible. We mixed a bit of street food with fine dining. We sometimes loaded up on free breakfast and had really late lunches that automatically translated to dinners. I would say we spent way less than N50,000 in total on food.



Again, this is flexible and is based on what you choose to do. For the basics, I’d say to budget about N3,000 – N5,000 a day.
Lastly, depending on your preferences and other factors (e.g. peak travel periods), prices could be higher or lower…

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