Tag Archive for: living in South Africa

This guest article was written by Howard Baker.

South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and a popular choice for many expats. It is therefore not surprising to see people from other countries in South Africa. 

If you ask anybody living there why it’s such a great idea to relocate, they would rattle off a long list of pros without breaking sweat or skipping a beat. 

This is because the country’s aesthetic appeal is so great that a lot of visitors end up staying longer than they intended, and some even settle permanently. 

Some of the attractions that can be found in South Africa are unique to the country and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. 

If you’re looking for convincing perks to help you make up your mind on whether to move or not, here are some reasons.

The Landscape 

South Africa offers a highly diverse landscape. It is, therefore, no wonder that it is referred to as “A World in One Country” now and again. 

Given that the country boasts of 2,500 kilometers of coastline that stretches all the way from Namibia and the Atlantic Ocean, goes around Cape Agulhas, precisely the tip of Africa where it becomes the Indian Ocean and then further up to where Mozambique’s border is found, it does deserve to be called that. 

There is the Kalahari Desert just on the borders of Botswana and Namibia where temperatures often go as high as 40 C (105 F). 

In contrast, just in the middle of the country, you would find the Drakensberg which is an impressive range of mountains that tower at about 3,500 meters and are usually covered in snow. 

The landscape also features a rolling green hills, as well as lush farmland, amongst others. 


South Africans are known world-round for their friendliness and this is perhaps one of the most striking things you would notice on your arrival.  Expect to be welcomed warmly with arms wide open. 

Furthermore, they would bring you up to date on what living in South Africa is like, the pluses and the minuses, the pros and the cons. Just like any other country, you would have to be security-conscious here as well. 

The country overall is peaceful, however crime is a concern, so you should remain vigilant and aware at all times.

The Lifestyle 

Whether you are visiting or planning to relocate to South Africa, one guarantee that is unshakeable is the fact that the lifestyle there is amazing. 

Housing is of world-class standard and if you’re relocating, and while private education may be expensive, the quality is excellent. 

Since South Africa houses so many different nationalities, you can easily deduce that the culture would be diverse. The various cultures can be found in the styles of housing, cuisine, events, and traditions.

South Africans are known for maximizing their leisure time which is often spent working out, socializing with friends and family, spending time outdoors, as well as other pleasurable activities. 

The people are gracious hosts and if you get an invite for Sunday lunchtime braai, rest assured that you might be staying well into the evening. 


If you’re moving from a very busy city where your constant sights were buildings and people with little or no nature, South Africa offers a major change. Seeing wildlife up close is definitely one bit that anyone moving to South Africa looks forward to. There are many national parks and nature reserves to visit, within close proximity to major cities.

The country boasts of several game parks with the most popular being the Kruger National Park. You can check out both government-owned and private parks, with the promise of hospitality that South Africa is so well-known for. 

Similarly, the flora is not left out and is very appealing to the eye. With up to 22,000 indigenous plants from about 230 different families, South Africa boasts of being home to 10% of flowering species in the world.

If you want to see some particular beautiful and well-kept indigenous flowers, then you should pay a visit to the Western Cape, which usually sees a lot of visitors coming to check out the sights. 

The Weather 

The weather in South Africa is just amazing!  The country had a great climate with the sun shining through in spring, summer, autumn and winter. 

Sometimes, temperatures go as high as 37 C (100 F) during the day in certain places, however, does come significantly down at night.

Eastern Cape and the KwaZulu-Natal Midland sometimes experience cold winter nights, however, by morning, the temperature will have risen considerably. 

For living in South Africa in the winter, you might be needing some extra clothing layers, however snow is not a challenge anywhere. 

Slower Pace

The pace of living is very much lower than most cities in the world. This does not however imply that it is altogether slow. 

Durban is considered to be the slowest in terms of pace of life, followed by Cape Town, and then Johannesburg as the most busy. However, Cape Town has the worst traffic.

In South Africa, you would need to be very patient particularly when it comes to how time is regarded there.

The Food 

If you’re a fan of great food and exquisite wines, South Africa offers only the best. 

The legendary status of South African wines is common knowledge and there are several wonderful restaurants to explore. 

Some restaurants in Johannesburg and the Cape would definitely boast about Michelin stars if stars were awarded in Africa. 

Indigenous foods such as boerewors, bunny chow, Chakalaka, and chutney are also worth having a taste of, and you might just find yourself falling in love with them. 

The Bottom Line 

Learning facts about Africa is a great way to start your education if you intend to relocate. You would adjust better and not feel like a stranger for so long. 

Furthermore, you’re bound to have an incredible time, so, just relax and go with the flow.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Due to improved sentiment about South Africa, it would not be surprising to see an increasing demand for SA residential property among foreigners and SA expats, according to John Loos, household and property sector strategist at First National Bank.

This is despite demand levels for SA domestic property from foreigners and SA expats being down significantly compared to 2015 and 2016, according to the FNB Estate Agent Survey for the first quarter of this year.

Estate agents surveyed estimated that 4.3% of total home buying for the two quarters up to and including the first quarter of 2018 was by foreigners.

The survey estimated that the percentage of SA homes being bought by SA expats was 1.51% of homes in the first quarter of 2018, after declining since 2015.

The survey also indicated that the number of buyers from other parts of Africa purchasing residential property in SA has slowed faster than overall foreigner home buying here in recent years. For Loos this could arguably reflect tougher African economic conditions compared to those in more developed countries in recent years.

The estate agents’ estimates about a weakening demand among foreigners and SA expats throughout 2017 reflected “dampened investor sentiment” towards SA in general, according to Loos.

In his view, this was likely caused by the stagnation of SA’s economy over a number of years, uncertainty about the SA government’s future economic policy, and “negative news” about the country such as sovereign rating downgrades to “junk status”.

“However, we have started 2018 with a noticeably more positive mood in South Africa, partly due to the political leadership change in the country following the ruling party’s elective conference in December 2017,” said Loos.

Positivity has also been reflected in a stronger rand and a rise in the RMB-BER Business Confidence Index in the first quarter of 2018.

“We will wait for further quarterly surveys before concluding that foreigner and expat buying levels are picking up meaningfully or not,” said Loos.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: Fin24 [1]. Image sources: [1].

To read more about emigrating to South Africa written by our very own director, Rene Stegmann, please click here

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