$$$ exchange rate $$$

Apr 30th, 2005, 10:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 92
$$$ exchange rate $$$

Just got back from Brazil last month asd tonight I randomly bought a Safari package at an charity auction. I am just starting my research now. I am staying in Natal .. South Africa..

#1 what's the exchange rate like???

#2 how pricey is stuff in South Africa?

#3 any tips on airfare??? (I usually use priceline.)

Kelabel is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 10:51 PM
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Posts: 92
1 more..
#4 Am I going to have a hard time finding food being that I am vegetarian in South Africa??? ... (harder than europe, Brasil or America?)
Kelabel is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 03:50 AM
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Kelabel -

Why not tell us what your safari package consists of. How many days, places to visit, hotels or lodge/camps, tours, transport between places and for how long you will be/can be in South Africa. If your package is only 5-6 days you may want to extend it - you will be traveling a long way and want to maximum your time for the hours flown. Do you have the option to extend the vacation?

While this was a charity auction, and your donation probably went to a worthwhile effort/organization... if you feel like it, do share what it cost and for how many people.

As to the exchange rate/purchasing power - well not as good as it had been 4-5/years ago (then 10-12ZAR/USD$), but I believe it's currently about 6+ZARand/USD$. Not very good for those trying to find accommodation at some of the best safari camps... but fine for general purchases in SA. You will find meals quite reasonable. Likewise for sourvenirs. Still overall better then if traveling in Europe.

For air, where are you flying from? If in the States, try contacting Premier Tours located in Phila,Pa. at


while they are tour operators, they have a great air consolidation department. Call their 800# and speak directly with one of their reps for current prices/possible deals. Are you restricted as to when you can take your trip? Anyway, keep in mind that Premier often has deals for travel late Sept thru November at about $1,000 r/t incl. taxes on SAA; sometimes special prices on Virgin Atlantic thru London.

Alternatives are to go via European gateways, maybe we a few day layover on the outbound or return, so check BA (for London), KLM (thru AMS), Iberia (thru Madrid).

Vegetarian - no problem, SA is a first-world country - they grow their own and good stuff at that. This shouldn't be a problem - but do make your needs known ahead of time to any of the places your will be staying. You shouldn't have any problem with your dietary needs.

I'm sure there will plenty here who will gladly have suggestions for you. ...Welcome to the World of Africa!

May 1st, 2005, 07:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 92
Thanks Sandi for your reply.

I paid $1,600.00 for 1 week stay for 2 here...


all my meals and my activities are included in my price (scuba diving, whale watching, turtle tours, deep sea fishing, excursion to Tembe Elephant park, etc.)... the trip is supposed to cost twice that.

Flying out from Boston. I will look into staying at least an extra week for sure but I have no idea how that would work thus far as I probablly won't be staying at the same place. I'm not sure when I want to use this .. I have up to 2 years.
Kelabel is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Just a reminder if you collect United mileage that TAP Air Portugal is now Star Allaince so routing via Lison also possible.
JamesA is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 01:38 PM
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Kelabel -

That's a pretty good deal for two people. Of course, not knowing what your additional budget might been for extended days in South Africa:

- consider visited a moderately priced safari camp at Kruger - Honeyguide (recently refurbished) on the Manyeletti Private Reserve is reasonably priced - 2 or 3/nts here.

- at least 3-days in Capetown, which can include a day in the Winelands as well as doing Capetown City Tour, a visit to Robben Island, Kirtenbosch Gardens, Cape Point.

Check out the following site:


with a wealth of information, and Selwyn Davidowitz is a regular poster here and can probably assist you with this "keeper" of a city and not to be missed.

Somewhere along the way, you'll probably have to transit thru Johannesburg (JNB), but that's okay and if you find yourself with a good half-day or more, there are threads here also "things to do in JNB."

As your planning starts to come together, don't hesitate to return here if you have any questions.

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