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Living in South Africa

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Mar 05, 2024

Summary: The approximate population of South Africa is 57.7 million people. The largest cities in South Africa are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, and Port Elizabeth. Expats love living in South Africa for its diverse culture, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people. Life in South Africa is often described as vibrant, exciting, and full of opportunity. Popular foods in South Africa include braai (barbecue), pap (maize porridge), bobotie (a curried mince dish), and boerewors (sausage). The cons of living in South Africa include a high crime rate, poor infrastructure, and a lack of job opportunities. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500 to $2,500 per month, depending on lifestyle and location.

What do I need to know about living in South Africa?

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

"Before retiring in South Africa, expats should familiarize themselves with the country's visa and residency requirements. They should also research the cost of living in the area they plan to live in, as well as the availability of healthcare and other services. Additionally, expats should consider the safety and security of the area they plan to live in, as well as the local culture and customs. Finally, expats should make sure to have a valid passport and any other necessary documents before arriving in South Africa," said one expat who made the move to South Africa.

"Work with a relocation person to find out about shopping, schools, banking, etc. Check out Joburg (if possible) in advance. There are a lot of problems with crime so one has to be hyper aware at all times. But hey, it's Africa and Joburg in particular has it's own kinda vibe.........not a bad thing. Good luck," explained one expat living in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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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.

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Traveling Mailbox lets you view your postal mail online anywhere and it's is affordable, simple, and flexible.
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Traveling Mailbox lets you view your postal mail online anywhere and it's is affordable, simple, and flexible.
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