SA Budget Travel: Top attractions where locals get to pay less

Many a local, living in a popular destination with globally acclaimed attractions, has lamented the crazy life of expensive entry fees and pricing. 

However, more and more iconic attractions are offering locals an opportunity to share in the spoils of their heritage - for less. Sho’t Left Travel Week, launched at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019, is one such initiative.

The campaign aims to get local travellers excited about exploring their own country by offering them the opportunity to buy discounted local deals and packages for one week only. 

The Sho’t Left Travel Week sale will be taking place from 23-29 September, 2019 - but travel and experiences are not limited to this week.  Keep an eye here for full deal details. South African Tourism confirms, to date 261 trade partners have registered for this year’s instalment of the campaign.  

As September is Tourism Month and usually plays host to  a free access week across some of SA's 21 national parks - so don't miss that either.  

However, if you've been wanting to plan a winter escape of note in your own backyard, start with these three spots in and around SA, where locals can enjoy a more affordable rate. 

Robben Island 

Robben Island, just off the tip of Cape Town, is one of South Africa's most iconic World Heritage Sites. Legendary for its role as a political melting pot that moulded and developed some of SA's stalwart struggle icons and in turn shaped the democratic country we know today.

As the most recent to join a growing list of affordable iconic attractions for locals, the island has revised its pricing model after 22 years to enhance its long-term financial sustainability - with the new pricing set to come into effect from June 2019. 

This place is so much more than a tourist trap. It is the depository of painful memories turned into wise reflections of the past. With a special rate for locals, experiencing Robben Island is now a must for all South Africans.

  • Standard Fee Adult R550 and Child R300 
  • Local Fee Adult R380 and Child R200  

READ: Robben Island dives into marine conservation with new protection status

Cape Point    

Cape Point, often mistaken for the southernmost tip of Africa (which is in fact Cape Agulhas), sees more than 1.2m visitors annually. It offers panoramic views of one of Southern Africa's most exceptional vantage points. 

It's famous funicular, named after the legendary Flying Dutchman Ghost Ship, runs through dense fynbos and gets visitors up to 214m above sea level, leaving just a short flight of steps for the best view over the South Western Corner of Africa. A key appeal of this funicular is that it is also wheelchair-friendly giving the elderly and physically unfit an easy access to these beautiful views.

South African National Parks (SANParks) confirmed in November last year, conservation fees to Cape Point would be cheaper for South African citizens, SADC citizens and foreigners with a SA residency permit.

  • Standard Fee Adult R303 and Child R152
  • SADC fee Adult R152 and Child R76
  • Local Fee Adult R76 and Child R39 (this will constitute approximately 48% fee decrease for local visitors).

Cape Point also offers a Funicular with pricing remains the same – Children pay R30 for a return trip on the funicular, adults pay R70. 

READ: Cape Town, Hong Kong or Hungary: Phenomenal funiculars around the world


Joining Cape Point on the list of cheaper places for locals, is one of the world's most Instagrammed beaches. It is nature at its most pristine. And you can even swim with penguins. Bonus! (Just don't get too close, they do bite). 

READ: Boulders and Cape Point tariffs drastically dropped for South Africans

Boulders Beach, just outside Simon's Town along the False Bay coastline of the Western Cape is an itinerary-first when visiting the surrounding areas of the Mother City. Have a swim, a picnic and a big amount of chill as the kids enjoy the surf which is sheltered in a cove created by the giant boulders.

  • Standard Fee Adult R152 and Child R76
  • SADC Adult R76 and child R39
  • Local Adult R39 and child R29

SEE: Most Instagrammed beaches in the world: Boulders comes in 6th

Kruger National Park

SA's flagship national park has been offering more affordable rates for locals since 2005 - as has the rest of SA"s national parks. 

A lion taking on an impala or a pack of wild dogs in a tussle with some hyena - and even a cheeky baby hippo  pushing the boundaries by hustling a crocodile alongside its river namesake - are par for the course here. 

Wildlife sightings are second to none, and locals have no excuse not to make the most of this phenomenal enclave of Southern Africa's natural heritage.

  • Standard Fee Adult R372 and child R186
  • SADC Adult R186 and child R93
  • Local Adult R93 and child R47
PICS: The new luxury train hotel on Kruger's Selati Bridge will make your jaw drop

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