Traveling around the world is easy, and really affordable. I’ve traveled rich and poor countries on a budget of $5 a day. It’s easy and I want to show you how. South Africa is developing, quite a few people are wealthy, but most people make from $2500 to $10,000 per year. Life in SA isn’t super cheap, but its easy affordable, with a little practice you can live on 50 South African Rand ($5) a day without too much trouble.
If you want to stay in a hotel, in most of South Africa you can find one for $5 a night for a private room and less for a dorm. Sure it can be a little difficult but that’s why I’m here, to teach you.
First go online and check out Agoda, it’s a great website for finding a room and you might find something useful. If you don’t find what you want, and you may not because sometimes only the biggest and best hotels list themselves on Agoda, then I suggest then I suggest going to Hostelworld, has some pretty good deals all over South Africa, and if you still can’t find anything there, then start exploring. Even in Pretoria, Cape Town & Bloemfontein you can find cheap places to stay as long as you avoid the main areas. The hotels, or hostels you are going to find for $5 a night are often cramped, overused but full of lots of interesting people from interesting countries like yourself.
Of course you don’t need to stay in a hotel, there are other options. Consider Couchsurfing, and Trampolinn, there you can find people who will host you in South Africa for free. If that doesn’t work then you have one other really good option: Village hopping. It works in every country, including South Africa.
Food is great and cheap. You can find most local foods for about a dollar a plate. In some of the tourist areas and in Pretoria, Cape Town & Bloemfontein the prices rise in the center, but if you leave the main area and head away on side roads you can find a lot of cheap food. Depending on the time of the year that you arrive in South Africa some foods will be a lot cheaper than others, just look through the marketplace and you will find a lot of great deals. If you are not in South Africa yet, then Wikipedia has a great article about the food. Mmm. South African Cuisine.
Transportation in South Africa is usually pretty cheap for the locals. Mostly they get around on bikes, motorcycles, old cars, and buses. The buses are sometimes what you think buses should look like and sometimes modified trucks, cars, and tractors. Inside Pretoria, Cape Town & Bloemfontein you’re not going to have too many difficult getting around but in the countryside you will lose most of your best options.
Don’t worry! Joining the locals is fun, it teaches you a lot but wow is it exhausting. There is one other option. Hitchhiking. Hitchhiking works, getting a ride in South Africa is easy. Normally people will pick you up in pickup trucks or cars and give you a ride. Sometimes they will even invite you home to stay with their family. Don’t hitchhike on the superhighways. Either find a smaller road, which there are plenty of, or make your way to a gas station on the highways and ask people for a ride. Hitchwiki.org is a really good source of information on how to find the gas stations and other sweet spots around SA.
If you want to know more about my travels around the world on a budget of less than 5$ per day, then check out my book Where the Wind Blows: Traveling around the World on $5 a day