With tourist rates for the South African Rand now appearing to have stabilised (at least for the moment) at around R14.5 = £1.00, visiting South Africa has become even better value.
The Rand is a very volatile currency, however at the time of writing the rate is R14.65=£1.00, and this compares to an average of R13.50=£1.00 in 2007, R11.45 = R1.00 in March 2006, and R10.60=£1.00 in March 2005.
So what does this mean for visitors to South Africa? Well, a 5 night stay for 2 people at the fabulous Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town would cost R13400 in May – that is £915 at today’s exchange rate, but would have been £1264 at the March 2005 exchange rate – a saving of £349!
The same holds true for the safari lodges which also work out to be much cheaper this year compared to previous years. A 3 night stay for 2 people at Exeter Leadwood in the Sabi Sands Reserve would cost R21720 this coming May – that’s around £1483 at the current exchange rate compared with £2049 at the March 2005 rate – a saving of £566, or 27%.
The same holds true for everyplace in South Africa, from the great value guest houses of Cape Town, the Winelands, and the Garden Route, right the way through to the 5* hotels and safari lodges.
There is an argument for saying that there has never been a better time to go to South Africa, and with the low season rates starting in a few weeks time there are certainly some real bargains to be found.