February 17, 2016  By: Rob Howard


If you have always wanted to go to Africa, but you thought it was too expensive, I have news for you. The rand, the currency of South Africa, today is exchanged for American dollars at the rate of R15.65 to $1 (at time of publication). In the abstract, of course all that means is that a rand is worth about 6 cents. In 2011, a rand was worth just over 14 cents, so the value relative to a dollar has fallen by more than half.

Without accounting for inflation, this means that a travel in South Africa today would cost roughly half of what it would have cost 5 years ago. Have I got you attention?

Even just going back one year, the rand has fallen from R11.5 per $1, which equated to a rand worth just over 9 cents.

I wish I could tell you this trend will continue and a trip to South Africa will cost even less next year, but I can’t predict how currencies will fluctuate. And, I can’t tell you how much camps, lodges, transport companies, airlines and other suppliers in South Africa will raise their prices in 2017, although I suspect it will be 10%-20%. However, I do know that right now, visiting South Africa is a bargain.CONSULT A SAFARI SPECIALISTSouth Africa presents the perfect vacation opportunity for almost everyone. South Africa is known for world class golf, with greens fees at the top courses currently under $100. Sophisticated cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, beach resorts, more than 100 wineries, many of them considered world class by critics, and top restaurants and spas are all part of the South Africa experience.

And then there is the number one reason to go to Africa—wildlife safaris, which in South Africa are everything you expect them to be, but for a lot less money than you might expect. Did I mention that English is the predominant language of South Africa?

In a recent column in Forbes, travel writer Larry Olmsted noted that after a round of golf at a top course, he and a couple of friends hit the clubhouse bar for a drink, where two Johnnie Walker Black scotches and a beer rang the bell to the tune of $7. He noted that the mini bar in his room had beer for $1.25. I doubt if there are many bars in the US where you could get a single Johnnie Walker Black for $7.

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LEARN MOREWhile prices on international travel and exchange rates change everyday, we are now routinely seeing cheaper roundtrip airfare to South Africa than we’ve seen for quite some time, and direct flights are available from several US cities, with convenient flights from many other cities as well.

You may think that traveling to Africa is difficult. While it’s not the sort of vacation people take on a moment’s notice, it doesn’t have to be difficult. We work with our clients to design trips that are perfect for them, and for their budgets. You can easily spend an entire vacation in South Africa, or you can use South Africa as a base from which to visit the rest of the continent.

Africa Adventure Consultants has offered customized safaris to East and Southern Africa since 2001. The company has been recognized and featured by South Africa Tourism, Travel & Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, Conde Nast Traveler, Men’s Health, Outside Magazine and many more leading travel publications. For more information, call us at 866-778-1089.

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Our passion for Africa began with a dream of living on the continent – a dream realized. We explored parks, rivers, mountains and villages, learned about the flora and fauna, fell in love with everything, and came away wanting to share our passion for a remarkable continent. Africa Adventure Consultants was born of the desire to give more people the chance to experience Africa’s wonders. Let us guide you into the wilderness.

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Africa is enormous. There are endless things to see and do, and it can’t all be done in one trip. That said, we realize that many people believe that a trip to Africa is ‘once in a lifetime’ (though many more end up realizing once is not enough!). What do you most want to see? What experiences have you been dreaming of? Visit our destination pages to narrow your choices down, browse our safari types to get a sense of the activities and styles available, or talk with a Journey Specialist to hone in on the areas that will deliver the journey of your imagination.

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We know it can be hard to narrow down what to do on vacation, especially with the wealth of choices that are available on the African continent. That’s why we have created an array of sample itineraries to inspire your travel. Browse through them – you’ll find everything from family safaris to honeymoons to Kilimanjaro climbs – and find the places and activities that excite you. From there, you can contact a Journey Specialist to start the process of crafting a customized safari just for you!

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