As it turns out, my suspicions were correct. South Africa has gotten significantly cheaper. During my 2010 visit, the US Dollar (USD) was able to purchase about 7 South African Rand (ZAR). As of today, the dollar can now get 11.16 rand. That is over a 59% devaluation of the rand to the dollar!
To give you an idea of prices, I spent all of December in Australia. While I was there I ate several times at a popular South African chain restaurant called Nando’s.(they specialized in grilled chicken) The average meal at Nando’s in Australia would run me about US$21. The same exact meal at the same exact chain in South Africa was a bit over $7. A similar meal in the US would probably run around $12-15. That meal was also in Cape Town which is probably one of the most expensive cities in South Africa.
I’ve had many meals here in Durban where I never had to pay more than $5. The hotel I’m staying at is rated at 4-stars on Hotels.com (but I’d call it a 3-star). It is located across the street from the beach and is very nice by my standards. I’ve been paying US$38/night.
I’m renting a car in Durban for a one-way rental to Johannesburg. One-way rentals usually cost a lot more than regular rentals. I’m able to get a car for US$18/day….taxes included.
Basically, right now South Africa is the most affordable it has been in the last several decades. For those wondering, it is also at record lows vs the Euro, the British Pound, the Canadian dollar, and the Australian Dollar.
To put it bluntly, NOW is the best time to come to South Africa.
South Africa is far and away the most accessible country to visit in Africa and now is the best time in decades to do it. It has the infrastructure on a par with any developed country, but at fraction of the price.
…which brings me to my photography tour :)
We still have seats available. Due to the nature of the trip, there are a few more seats this year than we’ve had in the past.
This year’s trip is approximately 1/2 the cost of last year’s trip to Italy and prices on the ground here in South Africa are obviously cheaper than Italy by a wide margin. You can book on the G Adventures website, talk to a real person on the phone (numbers available on their website), or even book the tour through your local travel agent. Whatever you are most comfortable doing.
This is the best deal you are going to find for a photography tour lead by an award winning travel photographer. Period.