Cycle Touring In South Africa

by jpc_touring-bicycle

Self-supported bicycle touring doesn’t need to price an arm and a leg. I demonstrated this level final month after I cycled throughout western South Africa and Lesotho and spent solely $705.13 USD.

This month (Could, 2013), I accomplished my bicycle trip throughout South Africa, whereas on the identical time biking by the neighboring nation of Swaziland, touring the notorious Kruger Nationwide Park, and flying out of Africa with my bike in tow and returning to japanese Europe.

On this article I will probably be sharing with you every of my journey bills over the course of the final month. My hope is that by sharing this info with you, you’ll have a greater understanding of how a lot it prices to journey by bike in a rustic like South Africa.

As at all times, you probably have a query about something on this article, don’t be afraid to go away a remark for me on the backside of the web page. I’ll reply to your questions and feedback simply as quickly as I probably can.

Visitor Homes – $514.12 USD

My greatest expense this month was two separate week-long stays in two totally different South African visitor homes. Whereas I used to be within the tiny city of Malelane, I got here down with a horrible case of meals poisoning, so I stayed put for a complete week in a small visitor home exterior the town and nursed myself again to well being. That one visitor home price me 300 Rand per evening.

Then, per week earlier than flying out of Africa and returning to Europe, I stayed at one other guesthouse in Pretoria. This guesthouse was way more costly (nearer to 500 Rand) per evening, nevertheless it had a vast Web connection (one thing that could be very uncommon in South Africa for the time being), a swimming pool and got here with breakfast every morning.


Lodge – $252.80 USD

Along with the visitor homes I stayed on this month, I additionally stayed in a variety of resorts all through South Africa. I believe I stayed indoors extra this month (somewhat than tenting) as a result of my bicycle touring exploits in Lesotho completely wore me out (extra mentally than bodily). After being on the highway for greater than a 12 months and tenting in my tent for greater than 5 months of that point, I reached some extent in my bicycle tour throughout South Africa the place I wished to be indoors extra usually than I wished to be sleeping in my tent. The chilly nights and frequent lack of privateness didn’t assist a lot.

Meals – $182.24 USD

Meals was one other main costly throughout my bicycle tour throughout South Africa and Swaziland. After struggling for per week with a horrible case of meals poisoning (I believe I acquired it after consuming some dangerous water in Swaziland), I went out of my method to verify I used to be consuming purified water and consuming solely the easiest meals. This absolutely added to my meals invoice for the month, however on the subject of your well being, I believe spending somewhat more money is nearly at all times price it.

Bicycle On Aircraft – $134.79 USD

As a way to fly my bicycle from South Africa to Poland, I needed to pay an additional 100 Euro charge with my airline (Lufthansa). This charge was along with the $900 USD round-trip ticket I had paid for months earlier than arriving in southern Africa. That mentioned, this was not a shock expense for me. I knew that I must pay for the bicycle on the airport as soon as I flew again to Europe. I used to be glad to do it although – particularly after going by the way more drawn out process of mailing my bicycle to South Africa a number of months prior.

Clothes – $115.38 USD

After a complete of three months of touring by bike in South Africa, nearly all of my garments have been soiled, stretched out, torn or worn skinny. So on the final day of the month, after flying again to Europe, I went on a small procuring spree and bought myself a brand new pair of denims, two new pairs of shorts (each for biking in and strolling round city in), two new T-shirts, and a brand new biking jersey. These new clothes gadgets will both change a few of my current garments, or add to my present (and intensely restricted) bicycle touring wardrobe.


Safari – $91.32 USD

After biking by Swaziland, and simply earlier than coming down with that terrible case of meals poisoning, I participated in a one-day guided safari drive inside Kruger Nationwide Park. I used to be ready to spend thrice as a lot cash as I did on this safari, however was delighted to find that it price solely 820 Rand for a at some point tour contained in the park (though I gave my tour information a further 100 Rand tip). It was a wonderful day, so it was definitely definitely worth the cash. I noticed elephants, lions, zebras, hippos, rhinos, warthogs, giraffe, buffalo, impala, and a complete lot extra. Click on right here to see my images from Kruger Nationwide Park.

Restaurant – $70.36 USD

As a result of I selected to journey with no range on this explicit bicycle tour (see my full packing checklist right here), I used to be not in a position to prepare dinner my very own meals in South Africa. As a substitute, I ate both chilly picnic fashion meals every day, or I went out to eat at native eating places for a heat meal. In April I spent near $90 USD on meals at eating places. However this month I ate out rather less, having spent solely $70 USD on quick meals or tremendous eating.

Sleeping Mats – $50.44 USD

Over the course of the final 12 months, I’ve gone by 5 totally different sleeping mats. Three of these sleeping mats have been in simply the previous one month alone. As soon as my Exped Downmat7 sleeping pad died, I changed it was an inexpensive inflatable sleeping mat I discovered in Beaufort West, South Africa. That sleeping mat solely lasted about two weeks earlier than it too grew to become fully ineffective and I used to be compelled to buy a budget blue foam mat you see within the picture under. This blue sleeping pad was giant and uncomfortable, nevertheless it labored to get me by the previous couple of nights of tenting in South Africa. As soon as I returned to Poland, nonetheless, I bought a brand new sleeping mat – the small orange one you see within the picture under. I haven’t examined out this new mat but, however my fingers are severely crossed. I desperately need to discover a high quality sleeping mat for my travels by bike.


Film Leases – $35.34 USD

I rented a number of DVDs in Ficksburg, Ladysmith and Vryheid, South Africa, however after I was sick with meals poisoning in Malelane, I should have watched shut to twenty totally different films. I used to be in mattress for a complete week and on most days I’d watch not less than two or three separate movies. If it hadn’t been for that small film rental retailer in Malelane, I’d have been each sick and bored out of my thoughts. The most effective film I watched this month was “The Wrestler” – starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wooden.

Web – $33.75 USD

Web entry in South Africa is extraordinarily troublesome to search out. I paid 40 Rand to entry the Web for two hours at a small Web Cafe in Ladysmith, South Africa, however I had probably the most success accessing the online with a small USB Web stick that I bought in Cape City again in late March. With this small USB stick plugged into my laptop computer, I used to be ready to hook up with the World Vast Net from nearly wherever in South Africa, however the velocity of the connection was often so poor that it could take greater than 20 minutes at occasions only for me to examine my emails. Once I ran out of net information in Malelane, South Africa, I bought 2 additional GBs of information… and this set me again a further 300 Rand.


Bus – $29.78 USD

Whereas my unique plan was to cycle again to Johannesburg from Kruger Nationwide Park, I didn’t really feel like I may do it after coming down with such a horrible case of meals poisoning, so I made a decision to take the bus as a substitute. It was a 6+ hour trip on the bus, however the ticket was low-cost – solely 300 Rand.

Present – $27.79 USD

On the finish of my tour in South Africa, I used to be invited to stick with Olivia and Greg once more. This superb couple hosted me originally of my tour, they usually have been good sufficient to host me on the finish as properly. They got here and picked me up at my guesthouse in Pretoria, drove me again to their residence in Johannesburg, fed me for a number of days, let me sleep of their residence for 3 nights, after which drove me to the airport on my method in a foreign country. Throughout all this, they’d hardly let me pay for a factor. So after I left their residence, I left a small present on their bedside desk – the entire South African cash I nonetheless had in my possession. In any case, as quickly as I reached the airport and flew again to Europe, the cash could be nugatory to me. The amount of cash I left them doesn’t come near repaying them for what they did, however I’m together with my small “thanks” right here in my complete journey bills for the month.

Card Video games – $24.72 USD

After months of being on the highway and continuously interacting with individuals who converse little or no English, I had this concept at some point that it could be nice if I may discover a card recreation or one thing comparable that I may play with folks that I meet on my travels. So I bought two separate card video games this month. The primary one I purchased was fairly lame, so I’ve since bought one other and the jury remains to be out on whether or not or not this second card recreation I purchased is actually any good. Whether it is, I’ll let you realize!

Toiletries – $17.35 USD

I additionally spent a small amount of cash on toiletries this month. I purchased a brand new tube of toothpaste, some face wash, cleaning soap and a roll of bathroom paper.

Skype – $10.00 USD

As a way to keep up a correspondence with my family and friends again residence (and to be able to conduct some enterprise), I spent $10.00 USD this month on Skype credit that allow me to name Worldwide cellphone numbers at extraordinarily reasonably priced charges.

Bicycle On Bus – $9.93 USD

It’s sort of a protracted story, however after taking the bus from Malelane to Pretoria, South Africa, the bus firm wished to cost me 300 Rand additional for my bicycle. They instructed me this, not after I first purchased my ticket and never after I was getting on the bus, however after I acquired off the bus in Pretoria. I used to be livid after I heard this… particularly when the ticket itself price 300 Rand. They mainly wished to cost me for one more full ticket only for having my bicycle on the bus with me. I argued with the bus firm supervisor about this, acquired the police referred to as on me at one level (I instructed you it was a protracted story), and eventually agreed to pay 100 Rand as a substitute of the complete 300 Rand they’d initially requested me for. This appeared to fulfill them, nevertheless it made me extraordinarily sad. Ultimately, it was solely an additional $9.93 USD, however I simply didn’t really feel it was truthful for the corporate to inform me they have been going to cost me additional after delivering me to my vacation spot and never earlier than I purchased the ticket. If I had recognized beforehand that I used to be going to need to pay additional for taking my bicycle with me on the bus, I’d have merely bought a ticket with one other bus firm.

Zoo – $6.55 USD

Whereas in Pretoria, I spent a day on the zoo. The zoo was fairly giant and somewhat spectacular. That they had animals from throughout Africa, in addition to from South America and a number of other different elements of the world. It was unusual, nonetheless, to see animals that I had been seeing within the wild throughout South Africa instantly locked up in tiny cages. And whereas strolling across the zoo, I used to be stunned to see simply how many individuals there couldn’t learn the indicators. Subsequent to every animal cage was a small signal with the identify of the animal and a short 10-20 phrase description of that creature. However lots of the individuals in Pretoria ignored the indicators fully and/or have been struggling to learn them. For instance, one girl a leopard in its cage referred to as it a tiger, although the signal immediately in entrance of her clearly had it labeled as a leopard. Even worse than that, I heard a grown man inform his daughter than a seal was a fish.

Stamps – $3.39 USD

I despatched out 6 postcards from South Africa. These postcards went to a few of my family and friends… and the associated fee for stamps solely set me again a number of {dollars}.

Tremendous Glue – $2.98 USD

I bought a small tube of tremendous glue after the $16 sleeping mat I bought in Beaufort West began to leak on me. I used to be capable of finding the opening the place air was escaping from the mattress, however I used to be unable to correctly patch the opening with both the tire patches I had on my bicycle or the tremendous glue I bought to make use of with the small cloth patch that was included with the air mattress.

Mailing Tape – $2.17 USD

Lastly, I bought two rolls of mailing tape in Johannesburg. I used the mailing tape to safe my bicycle field and the opposite cardboard field I used to fly my belongings again to japanese Europe.

Whole: $1,615.20 USD

Ultimately, my second month of self-supported bicycle touring in South Africa set me again $1,615,20 USD. That is greater than twice as a lot as I spent throughout my first month on the highway in South Africa and it goes to point out that journey bills will not be at all times constant. I spent much more time in resorts and guesthouses this month. I performed a one-day tour of Kruger Nationwide Park, I rode the bus from Malelane to Pretoria and I bought a brand new set of garments. All of this stuff contributed to my elevated spending through the month of Could.

In the event you take the $1,615.20 USD that I spent this month and divide it my 31 (the overall variety of days through the month of Could), you will notice that I spent a mean of $52.10 USD per day. That is greater than twice as a lot as I spent per day in April (solely $23.50 per day).

In the event you take my two months of self-supported bicycle touring in South Africa and mix them, you give you a complete price of $2,320.33 USD (though this doesn’t embody the $900 round-trip airline ticket or the $200+ price of mailing my bicycle to South Africa within the first place). And in the event you divide this quantity by 61 days, it really works out to a mean of $38.04 USD per day.

Issue within the airline tickets and the price of mailing my bicycle from Poznan, Poland to Cape City, South Africa and the overall price of the bike tour will increase to $3,428.33 USD – a mean price per day of $56.02 USD.



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