South Africa

Moving/Relocating To South Africa: 5 HIDDEN Secrets EXPOSED

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If you want to live in a country with plenty of job opportunities and a vibrant cultural scene, then moving to South Africa might just be your best choice.

Therefore, we would like to share 5 hidden secrets exposed about living in South Africa. These are the things to know before moving to South Africa that will help you with your relocation preparation. The information below will also help you to settle in South Africa easier.

1. What It Is Like Living In South Africa

Before you start your preparation for moving to South Africa, it is best to learn about what it is like living in this country.

Vibrant Culture

South Africa is home to people from different nationalities, races, and ethnic. You can find this diversity in the dishes, architecture, and cultural attractions, so be prepared for a vibrant culture!

Security Should Be Your Priority

South Africa is an excellent place to live in. However, the high crime rate has been a concern in this country.

It is advisable to find an apartment building or house with security and a high fence. This way, you can reduce the possibility of thieves breaking into your home.

Limited Public Transport

Most people in South Africa may think that having a private car is the best way to get around. Driving is the most practical way to commute, but it is not the safest. You have to compete with the minibus taxi drivers that often drive recklessly. Besides that, you might be the target of carjacking.

Therefore, taxis and ride-hailing apps are popular in major cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg.

If you want to travel to other cities in South Africa, trains will be your best option. There is also an affordable luxury train service operating between Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban, so it’s best to check it out.

brown wooden bench on gray concrete road during daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

2. South African Cities That Offer Best Neighbourhoods

If you plan to move to South Africa, you need to determine which city to live in. It is best to do some research to find a city that offers opportunities and the best living spaces.

The following cities are the top destinations for many expats living in South Africa.

Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the capital cities of South Africa. It offers beautiful scenery and is an excellent place for outdoor enthusiasts. You will have easy access to enjoy diving, surfing, hiking, or biking here.

In addition, this city also offers plenty of opportunities in various industries. Some of the sectors growing in Cape Town are the fintech, manufacturing, medical, and film industry.

Johannesburg (pictured above)

If you want to live in a vibrant city with world-class shopping malls, entertainment, and abundant job opportunities, moving to Johannesburg can be a great decision.

This city also offers private schools that provide excellent education services. Therefore, Johannesburg is also suitable for raising a family.

In addition, as the largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg offers plenty of things to see, such as gardens, monuments, and nature.


Despite being one of the capital cities in South Africa, Bloemfontein maintains its small-town vibe.

Living in Bloemfontein will give you access to beautiful nature, such as rose bushes at King’s Park. It also has a city-centre nature reserve, Franklin Game Reserve.

This city is perfect if you prefer to live outside the buzzing metropolitan towns.

3. The Cost Of Living In South Africa Is Manageable

The cost of living in South Africa is relatively affordable. To make a budget for your living expenses, you will need to convert your currency to Rand (R). This way, you can figure out how much you’ll need to save before leaving your home country.

A single person can live in South Africa with R20,270 (1,285.07 USD) a month. This figure includes the monthly rent in a non-expensive neighbourhood.

Since safety should be your priority when living in South Africa, it is recommended to pick a home with a good security system. You may spend more on housing costs, but it will be worth it.

Nelson Mandela artwork at daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

4. Things To Explore In South Africa: Local Attractions And Delicacies

South Africa is vibrant with the cultural scene. You will find many exciting places to visit, such as national parks.

Besides that, you will also find various tasty local foods to satisfy your taste buds. Therefore, we’ve put together some recommended places and dishes when living in South Africa.

Exciting Tourist Attractions

To start your exploration of South Africa’s iconic attractions, you can spare some time to visit the following places:

  • Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces,
  • Western Cape in Cape Town,
  • Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park in Northern Cape (pictured above), and
  • Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga.

two rhinoceros on brown grass field during daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

Famous Local Dishes

South Africa is the best place if you want a culinary adventure. It is a melting pot with people from many nationalities and cultures. This means you will find a wide variety of local foods in South Africa. Here are some must-try local dishes when you’re living in South Africa:

  • Cape Malay curry,
  • Malva pudding (pictured above),
  • Chakalaka & pap,
  • Bunny chow,
  • Melktert, and
  • Biltong & droewors.

5. Learn About The Things To Know Before Moving To South Africa

Before moving to South Africa, you need to ensure that your relocation is well prepared. Here are some of the things to know before you pack your bag and move to South Africa.

Create A Relocation List

A relocation list will save you from stress since you won’t have to memorise everything regarding your relocation. Having a list will also help you track the progress of your relocation easily.

Here are some things you can include in your relocation list (you can adjust them accordingly):

  • important documents,
  • important contacts,
  • things to pack,
  • items to sell or donate,
  • a relocation budget, and
  • travel precautions.

To help you track your progress easily, include a timeline. This way, you can also determine what should be prioritised and what can be postponed.

Engage Sanelo To Help With Your Relocation

Moving to another country requires more preparation. Moreover, if you are moving with your family, getting help from a moving company will be the best decision.

A moving company like Sanelo will help you through the relocation process, from the shipment of your belongings to the paperwork needed for the immigration clearance.

Conclusion On Moving To South Africa

South Africa is a country that offers cultural diversity, excellent cities to live in, plenty of job opportunities, and a reasonable cost of living.

To ensure you can move and settle in smoothly, you must be well prepared. Making a relocation list and engaging Sanelo are the most practical tips to save you from a stressful relocation.

Find out more about our international relocation services and check out our articles about moving to the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Italy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To South Africa

Is South Africa A Good Place To Live?

In general, living in South Africa will be a good experience. You will have a balanced lifestyle since this country is home to beautiful places that you can visit to de-stress.

South Africa also offers excellent private education and is a great place to raise a family. The local people are friendly and warm, positively affecting your family.

Is South Africa A Safe Place For Expats?

Many expats have been living safely in South Africa for many years. Even though this country has a relatively high crime rate, you can live safely by taking some safety precautions.

One thing you need to know to avoid being a crime victim is to be cautious when going out drinking with friends. It is crucial to not go home alone while being under alcohol influence since you’d be vulnerable to violent crime.

Can A US Citizen Live And Work In South Africa?

Non-South Africans, including US citizens, can live and work in this country as long as they obtain a work visa.

US citizens can even live permanently in South Africa if they have valid documents.

When Is The Ideal Time For Contacting Sanelo Before My Moving Date?

It is best to contact Sanelo three months before your relocation, especially for international moving. This way, our team will be able to prepare for the shipment of your belongings and adjust the relocation process to meet your needs.


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