Five affordable travel destina

Image: Pexels/Supplied

Five affordable travel destinations for South Africans in 2021

From the Lowveld in South Africa to the vast dunes of Namibia, here are five destinations locals can explore on a smaller budget.

Five affordable travel destina

Image: Pexels/Supplied

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

Cheap and affordable travel deals

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. Global flight search and travel deals website, Cheapflights, reveals the destinations that are cheaper for South Africans to travel now compared to a pre-pandemic year.

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 an increase in interest in 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 travelling to the neighbouring country as the number of searches for travels to its capital Windhoek jumped by 27%. For 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 being 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 (1.6km) 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 travelling, South Africans are advised to check each country’s local government travel rules and requirements related to COVID-19.