Tracking the Expenses
All of the following information comes as a result of tracking our expenses with the superb mobile app MoneyControl. I had paid for the full version of both the mobile and desktop apps, but have found that the mobile app is really all you need, as you can generate reports right on your phone and export them in a variety of ways. Trail Wallet and other apps have been recommended to us (and I’ve tried them all) but have found that I prefer the ease of use, interface and reports of MoneyControl. The one advantage that Trail Wallet has, in my opinion, is the ability to deal with a variety of currencies and conversions, but the functionality is currently limited. For Lori and I, everything eventually gets converted back into USD anyways, given that that is what we’re generally paid in and what our bank accounts reflect, so I find it easiest to convert the amount to USD before entering it into the app. A huge advantage of this is that it gives you an immediate sense of how much your actually spending, as £4 (British Pounds) can seem appropriate for a grande gourmet coffee (until you realize that’s US$6.40!), and so on.
Itinerary & Lodging
We spent 29 days total in South Africa, the first five of which were spent in Cape Town getting around by public bus and taxi, and the remaining 24 getting around via rental car (Cape Town to Nelspruit). On the final day, we left the rental car in Nelspruit and took the InterCape bus to Maputo.
We stayed in 14 different guesthouses, lodges and backpackers in South Africa. Average cost of accommodation per night for two people was $40 USD, with our most expensive lodging being $56 in Cape Town and $50 in Pretoria, and our cheapest being $25 in Graskop and $28 in Port Elizabeth. Signal Hill Lodge and White Clay Lodge were our overall favorites, while Ikaya Backpackers and King’s Beach were our least favorite.
|02-07 Sep||Cape Town||Signal Hill Lodge||5 nights||US$56||AC double / en suite|
|07-08 Sep||Stellenbosch||Ikaya Backpackers||1 night||US$32||double / shared bath|
|08-09 Sep||Franschoek||Otter’s Bend Lodge||1 night||US$39||double cabin / en suite|
|09-10 Sep||L’Agulhas||Cape Agulhas Backpackers||1 night||US$33||double / shared bath|
|10-12 Sep||Wilderness||Wilderness Beach House Backpackers||2 nights||US$42||double / en suite|
|12-13 Sep||Nature’s Valley||Wild Spirit Backpackers||1 night||US$35||double / en suite|
|13-15 Sep||Port Elizabeth||King’s Beach Backpackers||2 nights||US$28||double / shared bath|
|15-17 Sep||Cintsa||Buccaneer’s Backpackers||2 nights||US$31||double / shared bath|
|17-19 Sep||Coffee Bay||White Clay Lodge||2 nights||US$42||double / en suite|
|19-22 Sep||S.Drakensberg||Sani Lodge||3 nights||US$33||double / shared bath|
|22-23 Sep||N.Drakensberg||Amphitheatre Backpackers||1 night||US$36||double / en suite|
|23-24 Sep||Soweto/Jo’burg||Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers||1 night||US$35||double / shared bath|
|24-27 Sep||Pretoria||Pretoria Backpackers||3 nights||US$50||double / en suite|
|27-30 Sep||Graskop||Valley View Backpackers||3 nights||US$25||dbl cabin / shared bath|
The following is an overview of our costs (for TWO travelers — a husband/wife couple) in each location we visited. The table does not include transport or communication costs or incidentals such as water, toilet paper, etc. — but should hopefully give you some idea of what it might cost to travel through these parts of South Africa on a month-long road trip in shoulder season. One thing definitely worth noting regarding the “Food” column is that Lori and I are not big people and often get by sharing one appetizer and one main (or sometimes just a main), so that’s something worth keeping in mind — though Lori knows full and well that if we order hamburgers of any size, she’s going to have to get her own.
For more on our rental car costs and stats, read our post: Return to Mozambique.
Table: Average spent per day (for two people), categorized by DAY, FOOD, LODGING, and SIGHTSEEING:
|Cape Town||US $104 /day||US $35 /day||US $56 /day||US $13 /day*|
|Cape Winelands & Whale Coast||$74||$32||$35||$7|
|Blyde River Canyon||$51||$22||$25||$4|
|OVERALL AVERAGES||$71 /day||$26 /day||$40 /day||$5 /day|
*Lori opted to go alone on the Robben Island tour as I had done it in 2006 and it’s not a cheap ticket to do.