As I type this post, it’s been about a month since I returned from my first ever trip to South Africa! It will most definitely not be my last! It is truly an amazing country, if you have not been, do add it to your list. Because the country is so vast, this post is the first of my South Africa blog post series. Here, I will share with you the places where I stayed. My suggestion: Airbnb all the way, especially if you are on a budget!
Although I took a different route once in Cape Town, only because I wanted to check out a place that was referred to me by friends who had visited South Africa the year before, I would personally have chosen Airbnb. Read on for in-depth experiences:
I stayed in a two-bedroom apartment home in the Sandton area. Michelle is a fantastic host and person! We bonded over everything. It's a bonus that she is a world traveler, as we had a lot to talk about in regards to our travels. She also knows a lot about Johannesburg which was helpful as I am very much interested in the history of a city when I travel and not just the best places to go and the best way(s) to get around as there are multiple in Jozi. She also has a very homey feel in the guest room - coloring books, candles, and bright colors. I loved how she told me that she teaches yoga, with that being said, I could tell she actually lives it - sending love and light everywhere with her bright personality!
I also loved how I didn't feel like I had to meet a curfew, the gates are locked, but I was truly free to come and go as needed. She traveled for work during my stay. When she was there, she was amazingly helpful, accommodating and gave me a ride when needed. When she wasn't there, her world-traveling friend, Katy, was there to be of assistance. While here, I was able to experience both Uber for less than $5 and the local taxi (shared van). If you're a female, looking for a sisterhood, this is the place to stay. If you are looking for someplace quiet just to chill and drop and go, this is the place to be! I spent $105 for four nights! I'm so honored to have shared space with a fellow Nomad traveler, who is just as open minded and intelligent as I am. I felt so safe, especially for my first actual international solo trip, and she felt like family, so thank you for your genuine kindness and hospitality.
Want to book this room? Tell her I sent you! https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10269214
This place was best for couples. So if I could persuade my husband to come back to South Africa with me, I would stay here again. Otherwise, I had an okay experience.
It’s called Mbalente Guesthouse located in an area called Montana. It’s affordable yet luxurious for $176 for 4 night.
Beautiful yet missing some things. I believe it is relatively new because when I went, I had to pay for my own everything...ride...food..., etc. It was not until I arrived that I realized that it was self-catering. The online reviews showed otherwise, as they were offered some delicious cooking for breakfast. I missed that train ride! But nonetheless, it required me to step out and further explore Cape Town in all its beauty.
Note, that I spent more than $10 a day on Uber in this location because it is further from the city.
Also, there were no printed rules, so there was no wifi for me until I was able to ask the manager the next day. The current manager, Florence, is very kind. I met her the next day. A guy checked me in who barely speaks English, and payment is cash only.
The highlight of my stay: the clean and comfortable beds in a quiet environment.
The area was called Glenwood. This by far was the friendliest Airbnb I have ever stayed in. I get a place big enough for 4 even though it was only me. It was secluded and quiet and still close enough to the main tourist attractions; my Uber rides were $5 and less. The bonus was that the host was also a photographer. He was kind enough to take me around to the photogenic spots, and it was interesting to learn his entrepreneur story. This place was $233. I didn’t exactly realize it was a really nice area until I arrived, hence the reason it’s higher than the previous accommodations, for the same four nights. There were some basics in the fridge, but for the evening I wanted to stay in, I still went to the nearest grocery store to buy groceries. Also, there was a higher cleaning and service fee with this Airbnb. I probably would have felt it was worth more of my money if hubby was there. Nonetheless, it was nice to have a clean place with my own space to do some work on my laptop in each of my locations, which was super important to me.
Want to book this room? Tell him I sent you! https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10954551
All in all, the total I spent on these accommodations:
Keep in mind their currency is Rands, so the prices I am giving you are based on the currency exchange rate at the time I traveled.
The only other thing I would change: not returning back to Johannesburg at the end; that expense I could have saved within my two weeks in South Africa.
Here’s $35 off your trip on me: www.airbnb.com/c/znayyar
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