Expat Exchange

Retire in South Africa

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Retirees share their experiences living in South Africa. What are the challenges and rewards of retiring in South Africa?

How do I meet people in South Africa?

Live in South Africa? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in South Africa about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"I would suggest either an involvement with the Women's International Club or a similar group. I am not personally involved with any such groups, but have found I have met many people through going to the gym. Also, if you have children, you can always get involved with the school (generally) and meet other parents that way," explained a retiree in Johannesburg.

What is life like in South Africa?

Live in South Africa? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in South Africa what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Work seems to be the general feel of Johannesburg..... accented with lots of holidays during the 'festive' season (Dec & Jan). People are quite social on the weekends and plan large all day 'braiis' (barbeques) with loads of families and loads of food and drink. Going to the 'bush' is also important when one can take the time," said another retiree in Johannesburg.

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What do I need to know before retiring in 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:

"The biggest concern for this country is crime. You have to be careful and have to sacrifice a bit of freedom in terms of moving out," said another retiree in living in Johannesburg, 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 a retiree in Johannesburg.

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.

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
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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.

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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.

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
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.

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