Top budget travel destinations in South Africa

Travel makes me happy. It inspires me everyday and puts the #FireYourSoul. I eat, breathe and sleep travel!  I love exploring my country – there are so many destinations you can visit that don’t won’t break the budget.

Most people head to Cape Town, The Garden Route or Durban for their local holidays. If you get off the beaten path a little (and travel outside peak season) you can travel for a lot less. 

Here are some of my favorite budget travel destinations in Mzansi to #FireYourSoul

The Wild Coast

The Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast is perhaps my favorite local destination. As a kid we spent many a family holiday in Port St Johns, Coffee Bay and various spots on the former Transkei Coast.  I love the rugged beauty of this area. Stay at one of the local backpackers and save some serious moola. You don’t have to share a room, book a private room or a cottage.

Coffee Bay has become a backpacker hotspot.  Stay at the super fun Coffee Shack Backpackers for the party vibe and the cheapest surf lessons in SA. Take a day hike to Hole in the Wall or cliff jump the Mapuzi cliffs – a sure way to fire your soul!

Chinsta, an hour from East London, is another one of my favorite spots on the Wild Coast. I always stay at Buccaneers Backpackers located on the Chintsa lagoon. They have cozy log cabins and a great campsite and backpacker’s hostels too.  It’s like a backpacker resort, complete with kayaks, volleyball court and a big swimming pool.

KZN South Coast

While the Kwazulu- Natal North Coast is more popular these days, the South Coast offers better value. I love the South Coast, its super chilled vibes and golden beaches.

Rent out a holiday apartment with your mates and explore the hidden beaches of the area.  Most people stay in Margate, but I prefer the quieter towns like Port Edward and Southbroom. Off season, you can get a holiday house super cheap. Visit the Oribi Gorge, go fishing or just park off at the beach.  Beach holidays are great on the budget – all you need is a swimming cossie and a beach ball – fun for days!

The Karoo

The wide open spaces of the Karoo keep bringing me back there.  The big skies with a zillion stars will certainly fire your soul. On a clear night, you’re certain to see the Milky Way. This is road trip country with dozens of quirky small towns to be explored. In Nieu Bethesda, visit the Owl House, the home of artist Helen Martins which is now a museum. Visit Prince Albert feast on local produce, fabulous olives and Karoo lamb, and the gorgeous viewpoints from the Swartberg pass.


This area of Limpopo is lush and green with great forest hikes, birding and adventure activities. The Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour through the forest is a must do when you’re in the area! Stay in log cabins at Kurisa Moya Lodge and go bird-watching with a local guide. Explore the village of Haenertsberg for fabulous farm food and go berry picking in season.  The area is also famous for its fresh produce, so stock up of fresh fruit.

What are your favorite South African travel destinations that fire your soul??

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Zappa, but all views and opinions expressed are my own.



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