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Here Are 15 Cheap Holiday Destinations For South African Travellers


With the Rand in a not-so-great state at the moment and our politicians determined to fill their pockets and empty the treasury, personal treasuries have become well guarded nests to be carefully allocated to the most important things.

South Africans could be forgiven for thinking a holiday overseas is out of reach this year, but we have good news for you.

With some careful research and a good eye for exchange rates, foreign shores are well within your grasp. To help you out, Cheapflights.co.za compiled this comprehensive list of international cheap holiday destinations for South African travelers.

We’ve covered: Africa and Europe

Keep it handy and let us know if you have any other suggestions.

Africa

1. Egypt

Egypt

Of all the holiday destinations you can think of, there’s no one in the world quite like Egypt. It’s famous for its iconic ancient sites like the Pyramids of Giza and the Valley of the Kings. Elsewhere, there’s plenty to keep you busy, from the serene coral-filled waters of the Red Sea to the lively nightlife of Sharm el Sheikh.

Flights to Egypt From R5413

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 0.62 Egyptian Pound*
• Average Hotel Room:
R700 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Egypt 29% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
Blue Lagoon, the Great Pyramids of Giza – a must-see Ancient Egyptian landmark and a river cruise along the life-giving Nile.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

2. Kenya

Kenya

Kenya lies on the equator, covering an expanse stretching from Lake Victoria to Lake Turkana. Get away from the bright lights of Nairobi, the capital city, and you can hunt down the big 5 on a photo safari, visit the mosques in Mombasa, and explore coffee plantations and tasting rooms.

That’s before you get started on natural wonders like Mount Kilimanjaro and the numerous beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline.

Flights to Kenya From R5191

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 7.09 Kenyan Shilling*
• Average Hotel Room:
R1000 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Kenya is 44% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
Lamu Old Town – a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Nairobi National Museum (with its Snake Park, Botanical Gardens and Nature Trail), and the rock art on Mfangano Island.
• Visa Info:
No Visa required for tourism or business purposes for a stay of up to 30 days.

3. Madagascar

Madagascar

Madagascar has been described as the eighth continent, and it’s easy to see why. A biodiversity hotspot, the island boasts flora and fauna that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Here, you can get up close to more than a hundred types of lemur, and stand under the shadow of majestic baobab trees. And along the coast, world-class beaches and fantastic dive sites lie ready and waiting.

Flights to Madagascar From R6626

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 221.23 Malagasy Ariary*
• Average Hotel Room:
R800 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Madagascar is 51% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
The Ranomafana National Park, The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga – one of the most sacred spots on the island, and Ifaty – a pair of idyllic fishing villages.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

4. Morocco

Morroco

Morocco’s landscape is characterized by rugged mountains and large portions of desert. This wind-swept, untamed terrain adds to the intrigue that the country holds. No trip here would be complete without a wander around the bustling souks and maze-like alleys of Marrakech.

Flights to Morocco from R5767

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 0.68 Moroccan Dirham*
• Average Hotel Room:
R800 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Morocco is 8% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
Marrakesh Medina, Rabat’s Oudaias Kasbah neighbourhood and Volubilis – Morocco’s number one Roman ruin.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

5. Tanzania

Tanzania

Tanzania is perhaps best-known for Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, but there’s plenty more to the country. Visitors who enjoy local music will be enthralled by the traditional sounds of Tanzania, with string-based taarab and a hip-hop style known as bongo flava.

And beach fans will be in their element, thanks to the sandy stretches that line the Indian Ocean coast.

Flights to Tanzania from R3244

Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 153.96 Tanzanian Shilling*
• Average Hotel Room:
R1000 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Tanzania is 9% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
Ruaha National Park, Pemba Island and Lake Manyara – home to almost 300 different species of birds and flamingos in the wet season.
• Visa Info:
No Visa required.

6. Uganda

Uganda

Landlocked Uganda packs a lot into a small space. It’s situated in the African Great Lakes region, and is also home to part of the Nile basin.

Safaris are a big business here – you can tick off the big 5 in one of the many national parks, and hang out with mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. On the whole, Uganda is still pretty much off the beaten track, so get here before everyone else does.

Flights to Uganda from R5513

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 233.45 Ugandan Shilling*
• Average Hotel Room:
R850 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Uganda is 29% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
Ssese Islands, Kampala and the Ndere Centre that aims to “rekindle, rehabilitate, galvanize, promote and sustain the positive sense of pride, confidence, self-radiance and efficacy of the Ugandan person as… a contributing member of the global human family.”
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

Europe

7. Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the “heart shaped land,” prides itself on an unmatched level of hospitality and a unique blend of eastern and western culture. Recent years have seen more and more tourists visiting and, as such, it’s becoming easier and easier to get around and explore.

Flights to Bosnia & Herzegovina from R9160

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 0.12 Bosnia-Herzegovina Convertible Mark*
• Average Hotel Room:
R850 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Bosnia & Herzegovina is 25% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
Sutjeska National Park – 17,500 hectares of untouched wilderness, the 16th-century monastery situated alongside the Buna river and The Humac Museum which hosts a collection of ancient relics.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

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8. Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Bulgaria, located in southeast Europe in the most northeast part of the Balkan Peninsula, is a melting pot of ancient cultures and modern lifestyle.

Visit the Danube River and the Black Sea coast, where you’ll stumble upon intriguing festivals, local traditions and a profound spiritual heritage that has been passed from generation to generation.

Flights to Bulgaria from R6048

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 0.12 Bulgarian Lev*
• Average Hotel Room:
R600 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Bulgaria is 44% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
The Rusenski Lom Nature Park and the Ivanovo Rock Churches/Monasteries, Balchik – the home of Bulgaria’s most popular botanical gardens and the National Folk Art Festival in Koprivshtitsa.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

9. Estonia

Estonia

It is possible to fly, sail, ride or drive to Estonia from anywhere in Europe, which makes it a popular travel destination for international and European travellers.

Its capital, Tallinn, is the best preserved medieval city in Northern Europe. It’s easy to while away the hours just wandering around, taking in the atmosphere.

Flights to Estonia from R8404

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 1.70 Estonian Kroon*
• Average Hotel Room:
R850 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Estonia is 15% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
The Karksi Village Museum, Luke Manor Park – one of the few manor parks in South Estonia where the original plan has been preserved in pristine condition and the Mihkli Gild where professional artists collaborate to work and share their skills with the public.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

10. Hungary

Hungary

Fondly referred to as the “land of waters,” Hungary plays host to Europe’s largest lake – Lake Balaton – and is intersected by a variety of mighty rivers situated throughout this region. Its interesting history tells tales of great battles, secret alliances, intrigue and royalty.

Flights to Hungary from R6417

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 19.22 Hungarian Forint*
• Average Hotel Room:
R800 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Hungary is 15% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
The caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst in the Aggtelek National Park in north-eastern Hungary, its thermal springs and the Hungarian National Museum.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

11. Latvia

Latvia

Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, bordered by Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. Folk music and celebrations are an important part of traditional Latvian culture. Legend has it that its capital Riga will never be complete and will always be changing and developing.

Flights to Latvia from R8445

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 0.04 Latvian Lats*
• Average Hotel Room:
R600 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Latvia is 20% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
Rundale Palace and Museum in the south, The Gauja National Park – the largest and oldest national park in the country and Aglona Basilica, the major Roman Catholic shrine of Latvia.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

12. Lithuania

Lithuania

Head to Lithuania for breath-taking views, hectares of greenery and medieval, gothic, Renaissance and baroque architecture. Its capital, Vilnius, is particularly attractive to artists who enjoy becoming immersed in its cobbled streets and courtyards, its traditional churches and the last remnants of Soviet times.

Its local cuisine resembles Scandinavian cuisine, and there are plenty of options when it comes to tucking in.

Flights to Lithuania from R9354

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 0.21 Lithuanian Litas*
• Average Hotel Room:
R700 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Lithuania is 23% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
The St Anne and Bernardine Churches, The Devils Museum – a one-of-a-kind exhibition, and the open air museum of Lithuanian ethnic culture in Rumšiškės.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

13. Moldova

Moldova

As far as holiday destinations go, little Moldova packs quite a punch. Its picturesque, agricultural expanses allow tourists to soak up the rural lifestyle. As a wine country, there are 142 wineries of which 23 are open to visitors for tours and tastings.

A number of cultural attractions include the cave monasteries, archaeological complexes and the remains of medieval fortresses.

Flights to Moldova from R9832

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 1.38 Moldovan Leu*
• Average Hotel Room:
R750 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Moldova is 33% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
The Prut Toltres natural monument, The “Alexei Mateevici” House & Museum and the Cricova Winery.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

14. Romania

Romania

Mountains, hills and plains provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor entertainment and relaxation in Romania. The country is home to the last real wilderness of Europe where packs of wolves and bears can still be spotted.

Another draw is the region of Transylvania known for its medieval castles and a former resident also known as Count Dracula.

Flights to Romania from R10313

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 0.28 Romanian Leu*
• Average Hotel Room:
R750 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Romania is 35% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
Black Sea Resorts, traditional villages in the Apuseni Mountains and the Bran Castle, built in the mid-1300s and legendary home to Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

15. Serbia

Serbia

Serbia is not a mass tourism destination, which makes it an ideal spot for travellers who want to avoid sites that draw large crowds or in-season visitors.

Its attractions include its mountains and spas, many of which are frequented by domestic travelers. Belgrade however, is the preferred choice of foreign visitors.

Flights to Serbia from R6314

• Exchange Rate:
1.00 ZAR = 7.57 Serbian Dinar*
• Average Hotel Room:
R800 per day*
• How affordable is eating out?
Eating out in Serbia is 27% cheaper than in SA*
• Top Attractions:
Djavolja Varos (or Devil’s Town), the Nikola Tesla Museum and the Nis Fortress – an 18th century fort that was built on a medieval foundation.
• Visa Info:
Visa required.

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