Top 5 affordable countries for South Africans to visit

A couple enjoys some time out at an affordable destination. Picture: Unsplash

A couple enjoys some time out at an affordable destination. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jul 9, 2024


Finding the best experiences without overspending can be a tough balancing act but it can be done.

The beauty behind budget travel is that you can visit more destinations and enjoy travelling more frequently and for longer periods than traditional methods would allow. Another reason to advocate for saving your coins while travelling is that you don’t want to go on a trip and come back poor.

Budget travel makes you a more flexible traveller since you’re not tied to expensive hotels and activities and can take advantage of new opportunities. Travelling this way also allows you to experience local culture and meet new people.

You have the time to interact with locals, experience local culture, and discover a destination from a different perspective.

With that said, there are plenty of budget-friendly destinations around the world that South Africans can explore. These countries often have favourable exchange rates when their currencies are compared to the rand.

Here is a list of the top five countries to visit where you won’t feel a pinch.


Thailand is one of the most visited countries in Asia, and is known as the ‘Land of Smiles’.

This ancient south-east Asian nation’s fascinating culture has remained undamaged while successfully absorbing Western culture while maintaining its own heritage.

The country has glorious weather and spectacular coastlines peppered with gorgeous beaches and blue lagoons. Thailand holidays offer something for everyone from the energy and pace of Bangkok to the historic temples of Ayutthaya and beyond.


A dhow boat sailing on the coast of Zanzibar. Picture: Unsplash

Zanzibar is an island steeped in culture and history, a destination which brought adventurers, seafarers and traders from far and wide.

The Zanzibar archipelago is set in the Indian Ocean and is made up of the larger islands of Pemba and Unguja. Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, boasts a labyrinth of winding alleys, bustling marketplaces, beautifully carved wooden doors, breathtaking mosques and grand Arab residences.

Off the north-eastern coast of Zanzibar is Mnemba Island, an idyllic private island featuring luxurious accommodation, breathtaking scenery and rich marine diversity.


A temple on an island in Bali Indonesia. Picture: Unsplash

Having a stopover in myriad places in Indonesia is what makes this country a wonderful place to visit.

Indonesia offers travellers beautiful scenic natural landscapes blended with the various unique cultures of its people. Travellers can also enjoy its untouched beaches, mountains, lakes, and many more pleasing destinations as well as the magnificent city skylines throughout the country.

And when you decide to see them all, a visit won’t be enough to embrace the wonders of Indonesia.


Hot air balloons take flight in Cappadocia. Picture: Unsplash

Türkiye has everything from ancient traditions, to dance, music, art, and food. Turkish cuisine stands out for its distinct ingredients and flavours.

The country is also known for its architecture and affordable shopping.

Türkiye also boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the world including Kabak Beach, Mermerli Beach, Patara Bodrum Peninsula (filled with bars, restaurants, cafes, and various stores), and Kaputas Beach.

You can also visit the ancient ruins and go on an affordable hot-air balloon ride in Cappadocia.


Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. Picture: Unsplash

Vietnam is a safe tourist destination and is one of the few travel destinations that encompass incredible scenery, deep and heroic history. The beauty of nature is one of the major reasons to visit Vietnam.#

Other important reasons are opportunities to get to know local people and their unique culture. Vietnam is also the top choice for those in love with white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and sunshine.

Several of the world's top beaches like Da Nang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Quy Nhon, and Lang Co are located here, with many other undiscovered beaches safe for swimming just waiting for you to find them.