Finally had time to start booking accommodation today. I immediately regretted taking nearly two months to start looking. I was definitely not expecting such long term planning by those who had partaken in the ticket process. For months, I had heard anecdotes of people who had turned back tickets or who did not know how they would get to South Africa. This definitely lulled me into false sense of having no urgency in booking places to stay.
That sense was reset today as Alisa and I went down the list of backpackers and hostels and Bed & Breakfasts in the areas located near in the host cities (Rustenburg, Joburg, Bloemfontein, and Pretoria). Granted it was only one day, and I have been able to map out our first 10 days, it is no where near as affordable as we had once thought. I had figured 50 USD per day including food, but we are looking are more like R450 (60 bucks) only on lodging. This is going to significantly impact our budge, but seeing as its only a 16 day stretch that we need to be near match locations, hopefully we can balance it out by staying at some lower end places later on our trip. Many of the more affordable places were predicably already booked, so we’re having to go more midrange, but even that doesn’t help considering most places are raising their rates by 400%. I knew rates would be higher than when we were there in 2007, but this is quite the extreme. We can only hope that rates will come back down once the world leaves ZA in mid July.
In more uplifting news, we got a great rate on a car for a 15 day period between the 10th and the 25th. We went through Tempest Car Hire, who far and away had the best rates. Seeing as Alisa, nor I, have much experience driving with an automatic (our ‘privileged’ upbringing playing a part), we decided to simply stick with an automatic, and we were able to secure a Toyota Corrolla (or like model) for less than 1,000 USD for that period (R6300 to be exact). A significant amount of coin, but this is the most critical period for getting around, and not making it to a match because of transportation delays would simply make any money we saved worthless in the end. If you’re looking for a car hire in South Africa, definitely check those guys out. We looked at Avis, Thrifty, Aroundabout, Budget (who require international drivers licences), Imperial/Europcar, Kenning, Kulula, and 1First. Europcar was the closest by R500.
We’ll be sure to let you know the service and support that they offer for their discounted rates.
Hopefully tomorrow will see finalizations on the lodging part as Alisa and I are waiting for South Africans to wake up right about now and start writing us back….