Where the Pound Still Packs a Punch
With the pound so strong against the rand there has been no better time to visit South Africa and experience everything this wonderful country has to offer.
Oudtshoorn is home to some outstanding scenery
I should stress that just because things don’t cost much in South Africa, this is no reflection on their quality. The museums, parks and restaurants easily hold their own against competition from around the world.Andrew Hunt, South Africa Programme Manager
The pound might have dropped but the rand has plummeted. Here we find bargains aplenty in the country that offers big five safaris, excellent dining and world-class boutique hotels.
The current exchange rate for the South African Rand is around 12 to the pound: the weakest the Rand has been for about five years.
So, whilst anywhere with Euros is more expensive compared to a year ago, and travelling to places where prices are tied to the dollar is not as much fun as when there were two dollars to the pound, South Africa is one of the very few places in the world where your Pound is going further than it used to.
All of this is of course great news for anyone travelling to South Africa. It means that, compared to most other similar destinations, South Africa is the best place to forget about rollercoaster markets and collapsing financial institutions!
However, just because things don’t cost much in South Africa, this is no reflection on their quality. The museums, parks and restaurants easily hold their own against competition from around the world, and are right out in front in terms of their value-for-money.
Examples of just how far your money goes at the moment
The Table Mountain cable car (R145 or £12.26)
This is for an adult return trip to Cape Town’s answer to the London Eye, but much cheaper!
A visit to Robben Island (R150 or £12.68)
For this price you get a return ferry ride to the island and a tour of the island and prison, the latter is guided by a former inmate.
Whale-watching boat trip (R500 or £42.27)
Not bad for a two hour trip to see some of the most spectacular wildlife on the planet!
A day in Kruger National Park (R132 or £11.16)
For access to a wildlife reserve the size of Wales, which is home to 145 mammal species, over 500 bird species and 330 tree species.
Eight course meal with wine matched to each course (R1080 or £91.35)
The Tasting Room at Quartier Francais in Franschhoek was the 2007 Restaurant of the Year according to Eat Out, one of the definitive restaurant guides to South Africa
*Prices correct as of October 2009.