Summer is here! And if you’re interested in getting away for a great vacation that’s also a great bargain right now, then South Africa may be just what you are looking for. Consistently rated as one of the worlds most beautiful countries, South Africa has something to offer for any type of traveler. Also, because the US Dollar has gained so much value against the South African Rand in the past year, getting away to this enchanting country located on the southern tip of Africa has never made more sense. Patrick Symmes, of Conde Nast Traveler agrees, saying “the dollar’s strength against the weak South African rand makes the country a bargain.”
One US dollar is now worth 7.476 Rand, up from just 5.612 in January of 2005, thanks to a slide in the value of South Africa’s currency. This means that because of movements in the foreign exchange market, you can now get a discounted vacation to a country world-renowned for its historical, cultural, and geographical splendor. Whether you want to visit one of Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities, Johannesburg, or explore the wonders of Cape Town, where two oceans collide, South Africa is one of the most intriguing travel destinations in the world. In addition, as one of the first African countries to gain their independence and set up a democratic government, South Africa is also one of the safer getaway destinations.
As summer sets in on the Northern Hemisphere, South Africa is entering their warm and dry winter season, with an average temperature of 60 degrees and one of the world’s highest average daily hours of sunshine with 8.5, the peaceful days stretch out and offer countless possibilities. This is perfect weather to enjoy many of the outdoor leisure activities and heritage sites South Africa has to offer. And the best part about it is that you can essentially enjoy all this for a discounted price. A one week stay (6 nights and 7 days) at a five star hotel in Johannesburg currently costs 7.00 thanks solely to a fluctuation in the exchange rate between US dollars and the South African Rand. This same hotel would have cost about 2.00 a year ago. This means your trip is cheaper now compared to a year ago all thanks to the strengthening of the dollar against the Rand.
Savings due to exchange rates are not limited to hotels, and can be had on any activity, meal, and entertainment a traveler could dream of. Just outside the “Place of Gold”, as Johannesburg is also known, sits the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site. The city also offers world class dining and entertainment, along with many museums and other cultural centers. Meanwhile, Cape Town is a coastal city with breathtaking beaches and endless outdoor activities, in addition to having all the amenities of an international metropolis. Because of the dollar’s strength, a meal at a decent restaurant in Cape Town would currently cost .75, while a year ago it would have cost .35.
South Africa is not only a travel hotspot, but also a bargain right now for those interested in getting a reprieve from the busy, muggy summer back home. So take advantage of the exchange rates moving in your favor right now and visit South Africa for an unforgettable mix of the modern and old.