Expat Exchange

Moving to South Africa

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Moving to South Africa? Expats talk about what you need to know before moving to South Africa.

What do I need to know before moving to South Africa?

Live in South Africa? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to South Africa, they said:

"Choose a home with very good security and hire a security company. Choose a house with mostly north facing windows for maximum benefit from the Sun in winter. Reconsider moving if your family has respitory problems. The pollution is very bad in Johannesburg. Visit http://www.earthlife.org.za/campaigns/toxics/air.htm for more information," said another expat in Johannesburg.

"Don't bring too many big items as the exchange is still good (even coming from NZ) and it is cheaper to buy here. Check with the local police station in the area you are looking in to find out what the crime is like there. Spend time in that area getting the feel for it and for the traffic if you are working in he city," added another expat who made the move to Cape Town.

"Use an estate agent. But, more importantly, ask other people who live there. That is how we found our community and we really love it. The pace of life and the weather here are wonderful!!!," explained one expat living in Johannesburg, South Africa.

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

How do I find a place to live in South Africa?

Live in South Africa? Answer this Question

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Wanted somewhere that was close to the beach (5 mins away) somewhere not too close to the city but not too far (15min drive away from city central) and somewhere that felt safe. Table View has all that going for it and I really love it here," said another expat in Cape Town.

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Allianz Care International Health Insurance

Get a free international health insurance quote from our partner, Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

Learn MoreGet a Quote

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in South Africa?

Live in South Africa? Answer this Question

"I don't know any expats here in South Africa at all - only been here 4 months and not so easy to meet people. Its a free standing house with a big yard and a pool - lovely!," said another expat in Cape Town.

"Single family home in a gated community. It is very typical for most expats. In fact, I have been told that the majority that live in there are expats. Bacause it is in a secured community, our child can walk and play in freely. But, there are too many walls with the community," added another expat who made the move to Johannesburg.

What is the average cost of housing in South Africa?

Live in South Africa? Answer this Question

If you are thinking about moving to South Africa, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Lower, but so is the quality of the house. No, central heating and very large single pane windows to give examples," commented one expat who made the move to Johannesburg.

"Haven't lived in NZ for a while but compared to UK and Ireland and US where I lived it is much cheaper (except food) - I could never have the lifestyle anywhere else that I have here," remarked another expat in Cape Town, South Africa.

"Housing costs are much lower than in the U.S. I do not know the average cost," said another expat in Johannesburg.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What should I pack when moving to South Africa?

Live in South Africa? Answer this Question

We asked people living in South Africa to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:

"My family, More photos, Native forest I could have left my winter clothes behind and made my suitcase lighter - doesnt really get cold here. I really only moved here with a backpack and a bag so I need everything I brought with me," said another expat in Cape Town.

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!
AGS Worldwide MoversMoving to South Africa Soon?

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!
Get a Quote

How are healthcare services South Africa?

Live in South Africa? Answer this Question

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in South Africa, they replied:

"I have insurance that covers hospital stays and some surgery. I also pay for "gap insurance", which pays most all of the shortfall in coverage for surgery. Result is that almost 100% of the costs were paid for the five major surgeries that we have had in the post 10 years," stated one expat who made the move to Cape Town.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

South Africa GuideSouth Africa Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in South Africa.

South Africa Forum South Africa Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in South Africa on our South Africa forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

South Africa Index South Africa Index
An index of all of our site's South Africa information.

Contribute to South Africa Network Contribute
Help others in South Africa by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in South Africa.

Expat Healthcare Advice in South AfricaHealthcare & Health Insurance in South Africa

Expats in South Africa offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in South Africa.

Real Estate in South AfricaReal Estate in South Africa

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in South Africa.

Guide to Real Estate in South AfricaGuide to Real Estate in South Africa

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in South Africa.

Cost of Living in South AfricaCost of Living in South Africa

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in South Africa.

10-Tips-for-Living-in-South-Africa10 Tips for Living in South Africa

The reviews of expat life in South Africa are mixed. Some expats feel that crime is a big problem and causing an expat exodus. Others debate that the crime rates match those of other big cities in the world.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

South Africa GuideSouth Africa Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in South Africa.

South Africa Forum South Africa Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in South Africa on our South Africa forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

South Africa Index South Africa Index
An index of all of our site's South Africa information.

Contribute to South Africa Network Contribute
Help others in South Africa by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in South Africa.

Expat Healthcare Advice in South AfricaHealthcare & Health Insurance in South Africa

Expats in South Africa offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in South Africa.

Real Estate in South AfricaReal Estate in South Africa

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in South Africa.

Guide to Real Estate in South AfricaGuide to Real Estate in South Africa

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in South Africa.

Cost of Living in South AfricaCost of Living in South Africa

Digital Nomads & Expats offer insight into the cost of living in South Africa.

10-Tips-for-Living-in-South-Africa10 Tips for Living in South Africa

The reviews of expat life in South Africa are mixed. Some expats feel that crime is a big problem and causing an expat exodus. Others debate that the crime rates match those of other big cities in the world.

Guides to Cities in South Africa
Johannesburg
Country Resources
Health Insurance Moving & Shipping More Resources

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