Africa Around The World South Africa Travel

Move To South Africa | British Expat Guide

move to south africa

Contemplating shifting from the UK to South Africa? Just remember to learn this information first.

There are considered greater than 212,000 Brits at present dwelling in South Africa, they usually have made the transfer for good cause.

This huge nation is among the most lovely on the earth, with awesomely numerous surroundings of majestic mountains, pristine seashores, lush vineyards, bush land and prairies teeming with wildlife, quaint cities and villages, and vibrant cities.

The local weather is heat and sunny and excellent for numerous outside actions.

English is extensively spoken, the South Africans are notoriously pleasant, and the British pound goes impressively far within the nationwide property market.

Consuming out could be very reasonably priced and the standard of recent produce is astounding.

South Africa provides an unimaginable high quality of life for British expats — right here’s our information to all you want to find out about relocating to this superb nation…

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South Africa Visa Necessities for Brits


Brits visiting South Africa should have a passport which is legitimate for a minimal interval of 30 days from the date of exit from South Africa.

Nevertheless, some immigration officers nonetheless request that a passport ought to have a minimum of 6 months validity on the date of entry to South Africa, so it’s greatest to satisfy this requirement simply to make sure to keep away from any issues.

Your passport ought to have no less than 2 clean pages once you current it at immigration to enter or depart South Africa.

If the period of your keep in South Africa (whether or not for enterprise or pleasure) is not than 90 days, you don’t require a visa. Nevertheless in case you’re intending to remain longer than 90 days you will want to use for a short lived residence allow so as to stay and work within the nation.

The momentary residence allow will cowl you for an prolonged interval in South Africa of greater than three months however not more than three years.

Purposes for a short lived residence visa ought to be made at your nearest South African embassy earlier than you journey to South Africa.


A short lived residence allow is important should you intend to settle and work in South Africa.

There are 12 several types of short-term residence allow, every of which is appropriate for various teams of individuals based mostly on sure elements reminiscent of age, occupation, and size of meant keep.

The permits most related to British expats embrace:

  • Research permits for many who intend to review at any degree in South Africa
  • Enterprise permits for worldwide enterprise individuals trying to spend money on South African companies or establishing a brand new enterprise within the nation themselves
  • Common work permits for these with common qualifications trying to work in South Africa – one of these allow will apply to most individuals
  • Important expertise work visa for expats with expertise and qualifications which might be considered important or distinctive by the South African authorities

It is suggested to use on your residence allow earlier than you journey wherever potential.

move to south africa from uk

Everlasting Residency

Making the leap to everlasting residency can take time (as much as 18 months) and price cash.

There are 7 several types of everlasting residency permits out there to expats, together with relative’s permits for organic relations of South African residents, spousal & life associate permits for married couples the place one half of the couple is South African, 5 years steady work permits for many who have already lived and labored in South Africa for five years, enterprise permits, and retirement permits.

When making use of for any sort of allow in South Africa it’s all the time greatest to be properly ready as it can prevent time and make issues run extra easily.

Important paperwork that you’ll want to have prepared embrace passport pictures, a passport with greater than 6 month left to run, delivery certificates, a medical certificates, radiology certificates, and police clearances from the previous 6 months, and a wedding certificates when you have one.

Means of Life in South Africa

Way of life

Because of the blissful local weather, the life-style in South Africa has a robust give attention to the good outside.

This can be a nation the place you possibly can expertise actual journey, looking for the large 5 within the bush or on the plains, diving with sharks, or just enjoying a couple of rounds of golf or lazing on the seashore.

The social scene is equally thrilling, and the South Africans are very laid again and have a heat and pleasant disposition in the direction of newcomers.

Barbecues listed here are often known as braais, they usually play an enormous half within the social lifetime of the locals and you may anticipate to be invited to chow down and get to know your neighbours.

That is a particularly cosmopolitan nation which is racially and culturally numerous. Cities boast stylish eating places and glitzy purchasing malls, and are residence to in depth expat communities.

Nevertheless there’s a darkish aspect to this luxury way of life.

In some areas of the nation poverty and crime are rife, and this impacts residents and companies. The nationwide theft and homicide charges have proven an increase in 2018, with Nyanga, in Cape City being probably the most harmful place in South Africa, and rural crime has additionally risen barely.

Regardless of advances, racial tensions nonetheless persist in South Africa, and it’s prudent to train due care and warning whereas dwelling right here.

living in south africa

Getting Round

South Africa is an enormous nation, and one of the simplest ways to discover it’s by automotive because it gives probably the most freedom.

That stated there’s additionally a superb journey infrastructure, with 15 regional airports, a number of bus corporations with routes throughout the nation, and a superb practice community.

Practice journey is comparatively sluggish however snug, and supply the chance to admire beautiful surroundings alongside the journey.

Vacationer trains function sleeper lodging for two to four individuals with shared loos and showers.

Buses are an reasonably priced method to journey, and are outfitted with bogs and air con. Fares range based on the space coated and time of yr, with peak fares corresponding roughly to high school holidays.

Households with youngsters get their very own personal compartment on the practice, and under-5s journey free.

Minibus taxis are a well-liked method to get round, cowl almost all over the place within the nation, and price not more than taking the bus an equal distance.

Nevertheless, there are issues related to them comparable to harmful driving, fights between rival taxi corporations, and being weak to felony assault when parked up.

Personal taxis are a safer solution to get round — notably in cities the place crime charges are larger.

Home flights are the easiest way to journey if in case you have lengthy distances to cowl and are brief on time. South African Airways presents the perfect flight choices, and there are sometimes cash saving particular gives out there.

Driving in South Africa

Whether or not it’s in your personal transport or by rental automotive, driving in South Africa presents probably the most freedom when travelling the nation, and it’s the easiest way to succeed in the extra distant areas.

The South African street system is superb, with nicely maintained highways, and car rental is comparatively low cost.

In contrast to within the UK, petrol stations are manned by pump attendants who fill your tank for you and supply to wash your windscreen and examine your oil and water ranges as a part of the service for a small tip.

Identical to the UK, South Africans drive on the left aspect of the street.

It pays to remain protected and concentrate on different drivers always. Automotive accidents are extra widespread in South Africa, so maintain your wits about you and keep distance between your self and others.

Disguise valuables out of sight when parked up as there’s a small danger of automotive jacking. When parked up in cities you’ll typically see automotive ‘guards’ maintaining a tally of the automobiles who will shield your automotive for a small tip.

Climate in South Africa

Because of its huge measurement and numerous panorama, South Africa has a assorted local weather.

brits in south africa

The south west of the nation has a extra Mediterranean local weather with delicate, wet winters and heat, sunny summers. and the north east is extra subtropical.

Temperatures nevertheless are pretty comparable from north to south, with an annual common of round 17ºC, and summers within the mid 30s.

The massive plateau in the midst of the nation tempers the summer time warmth however cools the winter nights; and the east of the nation experiences extra rainfall than the west.

On the entire, South Africa is a comparatively dry nation with good yr spherical temperatures however with chilly nights throughout winter.

Value of Dwelling in South Africa

Way of life

The price of dwelling in South Africa isn’t as low cost because it was, however it’s nonetheless very affordable by UK requirements.

A struggling financial system, excessive ranges of unemployment and the fluctuating worth of the Rand have pushed costs up barely — notably for gasoline and utilities — and there’s a marked distinction between wealthy and poor throughout the nation.

However, common shopper costs in the UK stay virtually 63% larger than in South Africa.

Meals –- and particularly wine –- is such good worth in South Africa, and consuming out could be very reasonably priced.

Groceries and public transport are additionally cheaper than within the UK, however automobiles, cell phones and electrical gadgets are somewhat costlier. 


 As with all nation, rental prices in South Africa differ relying on location.

Rental costs are costlier within the cities, alongside the vacationer routes and on the coast.

Each short-term and long run leases are extensively out there and the usual of lodging is sort of excessive. Renting a property is simple, however you could have to show that you’ve adequate month-to-month revenue to cowl the lease.

Even within the cities in South Africa rental costs could be virtually half the worth of an equal property within the UK, and most expats will in all probability be capable of afford renting an honest property in one of many many gated communities discovered all through the nation.

cost of living in south africa


The general public well being service in South Africa is notoriously underfunded and underneath resourced, and most expats select to go for personal healthcare.

The usual of personal healthcare is superb, however medical insurance coverage is required to cowl session charges and remedy prices.

Primary medical insurance schemes solely cowl hospital care whereas complete medical insurance plans may even cowl visits to your GP.

It’s essential to decide on your insurer correctly and guarantee that you’ve long run cowl from an organization which doesn’t reserve the proper to cancel insurance policies when you’ve got a critical sickness.

Medical insurance premiums can typically be paid both month-to-month, quarterly or yearly.


When you’re arriving in South Africa with youngsters in tow you’ll have the selection of whether or not to ship them to one of many quite a few worldwide faculties, a authorities faculty, or a South African personal faculty.

Personal schooling is by far the costliest choice, however the usual of education is exceptionally excessive, with annual charges of round 80,000 rand — even greater for some worldwide faculties.

At round 30,000 rand per yr public faculty charges are considerably decrease, and these faculties however supply a very good normal of schooling.

Well-liked Areas for Brits

Cape City

One of many world’s most lovely cities, Cape City has the lot — beautiful mountain views, a vibrant waterfront, lovely seashores, fairly gardens, world class wine and eating places, superb nightlife, and a wealth of outside adventures within the surrounding areas.

With lengthy scorching summers and delicate winters the local weather right here is heat and the tradition inviting.

That is an ethnically numerous and cosmopolitan metropolis, and there are numerous expat communities right here. It’s additionally a haven for artistic varieties and lots of artists, writers, and designers have chosen to name Cape City residence. 


AKA Jo’burg, that is South Africa’s largest, richest — and arguably most dynamic — metropolis.

Extraordinarily numerous, Johannesburg is trendy and ahead considering, and a melting pot for quite a few totally different cultures.

Purchasing is a serious pastime right here and the town is affected by swanky malls, markets and boutiques. There are a wealth of museums and artwork galleries to go to, and properly as lush botanical gardens and the Lion Park simply 45 minutes out of city.

A robust ‘going-out’ tradition makes it straightforward to mingle with the locals, and there are many cool rooftop bars and prime notch eating places the place you’ll be able to whereas away your night in fashion.


In case you love solar, sea and sand, you’re positive to like Durban on South Africa’s east coast. South Africa’s largest port is right here, and the town’s seashores appeal to surfers from throughout.

The newly revamped waterfront is made up of an exquisite combine of outlets, pubs, eating places and luxurious lodging, and the state-of-the-art Moses Mabhida Stadium boasts distinctive views throughout the town and an enormous huge swing.

uShaka Marine World has one of many largest aquariums on the planet — in addition to that includes water rides, eating places, and a shopping center.

Durban can also be residence to the massive Indian group, and there’s a distinctly Asian vibe to the town, in addition to a superb choice of Indian eating places.

moving from uk to south Africa

Cape City

Backyard Route

Not a metropolis however the superb stretch of southeastern shoreline operating between Cape City and Port Elizabeth, the Backyard Route is nothing in need of spectacular.

The local weather is extremely delicate, and seaside cities on this space are thought-about to be a number of the most secure in South Africa.

This space provides myriad landscapes together with breathtaking seashores and coastal walks the place it’s potential to identify whales, seals and sharks, rugged mountains, lagoons, mysterious caves, dense forests, and large recreation reserves.

It’s additionally one of many nation’s greatest areas for wine manufacturing, and top of the range vineyards abound.

The business coronary heart of the Backyard Route is George, a pleasing, quick rising metropolis with good transport connections and a wide selection of eating places and wonderful golf programs. 

Port Elizabeth

This laid again metropolis is well-known for its fantastic seashores which supply up a number of water actions together with a few of South Africa’s greatest surf, and an abundance of marine life may be noticed within the giant, sweeping Algoa Bay.

The town will not be the prettiest, nevertheless it sports activities some engaging heritage structure, museums and galleries, and up to date redevelopment has significantly added to the city with trendy eating places and cafes.

The beachfront although stays the place to be, and it’s right here the place you’ll discover the guts of Port Elizabeth, with loads of good eating places, bars, and nightlife.

This can be a vibrant city that’s quickly altering for the higher, and it has rather a lot to supply British expats. 

move to south africa from uk

Jobs in South Africa for British Expats

Not the whole lot in South Africa is rosy.

There’s a excessive degree of unemployment, with loads of semi expert and unskilled individuals looking for work, so competitors is hard.

Companies even have a transparent bias towards hiring native staff, making issues even harder for expats in search of work.

However it’s not all doom and gloom. South African cities are quickly increasing, and worldwide enterprise are on the rise.

There are additionally critical gaps in sure sectors and the South African authorities is actively looking for to make use of staff expert in these areas.

The well being, journey, IT, agriculture, structure, enterprise, economics, and schooling sectors are probably the most missing, and foreigners can apply for jobs in these sectors with a important expertise visa (CSV) to offer them a quick monitor to employment offered that they’ve 5 years earlier work expertise and formal recognised qualifications.

Have you ever thought-about a transfer to South Africa?

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