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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

14 September 2010

Budget Update South Africa

Written by Maureen, financial director of M&M Ltd

I’m happy to report that, after 50 days in South Africa, we are running at £100 under budget. In fact, we could have spent less, but our budget of £100 a day seems to be spot-on for our style of travel.

Car and petrol cost us approx £27 per day. Although the car hire was relatively inexpensive, we filled the tank 16 times for a total cost of £500 to cover 10,000km. We could have spent a lot less by staying in one place, but I’m glad we didn’t because the variety and beauty of this country is astounding.

Our average spend on accommodation was £48 per night, although this ranged from £28 for a basic hut in Kruger’s Lower Sabie camp to a stomach-churning £142 at Cathedral Peak hotel (we tried to find a B&B but there were none!). We moved around a great deal and stayed for only one or two nights everywhere but four places. On the whole, B&Bs in South Africa are excellent and comparable in price to a private room in a Backpackers hostel.

We ate out 25 times (including in three “fine dining” restaurants), had 4 braais, and self-catered the rest of the time. Food is cheap in South Africa and by self-catering, the budget traveller might spend as little as £10-15 per day on food. My personal chef also spent a few rands on a non-stick frying pan – essential equipment for cooking a spanish omelette, which is a tasty and easy dish to make on the road. See below for recipe.

We didn’t take part in many paid activities, mainly whale watching in Hermanus, game drives in the Kruger and a visit to the Moholoholo animal rehabilitation centre. Some of this came out of our special fun budget. Luckily hiking is free (in most places). We did spend 24 days in various National Parks and nature reserves, but saved a lot in conservation fee by investing in a Wild card.

We didn’t do any shopping except for books and essentials. A warning to the budget travellers – new books are expensive in South Africa, so check out second-hand bookshops instead.

Matt’s spanish omelette recipe:

4-5 potatoes (depending on size)
4-5 eggs (depending on size)
1 medium onion
Olive oil

  1. Halve then thinly slice the onion, peel and thinnly slice the potatoes (£1 coin thickness or less)
  2. Start frying the onion on a medium heat in about 4tbsp olive oil in a NON-STICK pan
  3. Add potatoes, season generously, and turn them over until all coated in the oil
  4. Turn to the lowest heat, cover, cook for 25-30 mins or until the potatoes are cooked through – lift the lid every 10 mins to stir them over so the bottom ones don’t burn
  5. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, season, then dump the potatoes and onion into the eggs
  6. A little more oil in the pan, then add the mixture and cook uncovered on low for 15-20 mins
  7. Carefully slide the omelette out of the pan onto a large plate
  8. Put the pan back over the plate and omelette, then use gloves to turn the whole thing upsidedown
  9. Now cook the other side for about 5-10 minutes
  10. Leave to cool on a plate – spanish omelette is much better at room temperature

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3 Responses to “Budget Update South Africa”

  1. Jane says:

    If I can be just a little bit of a bummer (sorry)… one of my biggest heartbreaks in my relationship dissolution is that my former personal chef will never cook a meal in tandem with Maureen’s personal chef…. 🙁

    But, excellent budgeting, Financial Director!

  2. Jane says:

    bless you!

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