Here is some budget advice before heading off to South Africa.
The South African currency is the RAND (ZAR), it is subdivided into cents. The exchange rate is approximately 20 RAND to 1 POUND STERLING. Pounds can be easily exchanged everywhere.
The South African banking system is well-developed with many local banks such as Standard, ABSA and First National Bank.
Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club cards can be used to withdraw cash from most ATMs and also from banks and exchange offices. International bank cards are accepted practically everywhere for payments. Take note, you generally pay for petrol in cash.
Travellers cheques can be cashed easily.
The exchange rate is favourable for Europeans and the cost of living is slightly lower than in Europe. Note that South Africa has accommodation to suit all budgets.
Camping is very popular, the South Africans love it and is perfect for modest budgets. Campsites are well-maintained and provide good services. The cost is 80 RAND per person. Youth hostels are another option for modest budgets. They are often in magnificent locations and have swimming pools. Allow about 100 RAND for a shared room and 350 RAND for a double room.
All categories of hotels are available in South Africa: independent hotels, national and international chains. Prices vary according to the category you choose. For a 2/3 star hotel, allow 350 RAND per night for a double room.
Bed & Breakfasts offer you just that, a bed and breakfast. The price is around 400/500 RAND per night for two people. Guest Houses are houses with several bedrooms. They are comfortable and offer a more personal service from the hosts. Prices vary and depend on location and, of course, the facilities (garden, swimming pool…).
Lodges can be rustic and similar to a bush camp or luxurious with all the comforts of a hotel. Depending on your budget, you can enjoy the experience of the bush or you can enjoy the high life. They let you stay in touch with nature.
And don't forget that leaving a tip is a well-established tradition in South Africa !