Cape Town boasts many free activities for travellers. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town boasts many free activities for travellers. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Where to go in SA when you are broke

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Oct 27, 2020

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As many people are trying to save money due to the impact of Covid-19, more people are seeking free activities to do in and around South Africa.

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Here are some fun and free things to do in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town:


Durban Art Gallery

The Durban Art Gallery is one of the city’s oldest attractions, having opened in the early 1900s.

The artworks support local artists and changes every 6-8 weeks.

Located in the Durban City Hall building at Anton Lembede St, Durban Central. Use the entrance opposite the Playhouse. Entry is free.

Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve

Nestled among Umhlanga's string of hotels and holiday homes, Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve is perfect for those who love nature.

Try out their many hiking routes or take up the challenge to find the route to Umhlanga beach.

If you are lucky, you may spot the blue duiker, the smallest antelope in South Africa.

The reserve is great for bird watching, picnicking, trail running and self-guided walks. Free for those who want to explore on their own.


Zoo Lake

If you want to enjoy the outdoors, Zoo Lake offers a fun day out with the family.

Known as one of the city’s biggest attractions, there's plenty to do for those on a budget.

The popular attraction was donated by Bait and Co in 1904. Entry is free. Located on the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and West World Street in Parkview.

Take a walking tour to Maboneng

Maboneng has become a popular destination for millennial travellers.

Home to a string of cafes, bars and accommodation, this neighbourhood is one of Gauteng’s hottest attractions.

While there are tours available, those on a tight can explore on their own.

Cape Town

Hike up Lion’s Head

Whether it’s an early morning hike or one after to watch the sunset, a trip to Lion’s Head is guaranteed to be magical.

The hike up is worth the effort after you see the grand views from the top. Remember, be safe when hiking up.

Try to leave your valuable items at your hotel or at home if you are a local.

Company Gardens

Known as the oldest garden in Cape Town, Company Gardens has beautiful spots for one to enjoy the magnificent beauty of the Mother City.

It also has a rose garden, Japanese garden, fish pond and aviary. It is close to places like the South African Museum, the Planetarium and the South African Art Gallery. Entry is free.

Other activities you can do for free:

Plan a beach day

If you are in a coastal city, plan a day at the beach to soak up some sun, sea and sand.


You do not need to be a fitness buff to go on a hike.

Many establishments boast beginner hikes that showcase some of the best views without having to break a sweat.

Explore the markets

While you may need to support local by buying items, entry to most markets are free.

Some markets celebrate the culture and history of a destination, while others showcase the local's talent and creativity.

Visit the destinations major attractions for a selfie

Most attractions do not require an entry cost, so grab your camera and discover new places for free.

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