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Where Do Expats Choose To Live In South Africa? An Overview Of Popular Locations

Expats are often attracted to the natural beauty and diverse culture of South Africa, a place that enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year, has a friendly population and where the cost of living is reasonable. Expats will be able to find comfortable and affordable options for accommodation in the big cities and other regions of South Africa. Here are some of the expat hotspots in South Africa.

Cape Town

Cape Town is known to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Home to the Table Mountain and several nature reserves due to its high concentration of flora and fauna, Cape Town is also a modern city with all the urban amenities and conveniences.Even in the midst of traffic, you will have a spectacular view of the mountain or the ocean. The city also has many vineyards that are the birthplace of many internationally reputed wines. The Mother City, as it is called, is also the cultural hub of South Africa and allows its residents a rich lifestyle, which is why many South Africans and expats flock to the city. The areas around the base of the Table Mountain such as Central Cape Town and Oranjezicht are popular areas to live in. For a more multicultural setting, there are areas like Woodstock and Bo-Kaap, where many younger people prefer to live with their families. Cape Town’s southern suburbs have more expensive housing, but are also in close proximity to the best schools. Kraaifontein and Durbanville in the north and the suburbs of Parklands and Sunningdale on the West Coast are also becoming increasingly popular.

Platinum Mile and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Seaboard have some of the most expensive homes and apartments in the country.


Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport is proof that the city is one of the most modern in the world. Johannesburg is also a large city and there are multiple options of accommodation. Like Cape Town, nature is on full display here too. There are several things for families to do together here like visiting the botanical gardens and nature reserves just outside of the city. On the other hand, the city also has many modern malls with shops, theaters and restaurants.

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Johannesburg used to be known for its high crime rates, but these have touched their lowest levels in 2013. The large size of the city means that expats may need to select their accommodation depending on where they work to avoid a long commute. The Sandton area in the north of Johannesburg is popular among expats, although accommodation here is on the expensive side. The surrounding areas of Rivonia and Hyde Park are also expat hotspots. Areas like these provide all modern conveniences and also house many posh shopping areas and parks. The schools are also among the best, which is why many expats choose to settle here. Expats also gravitate towards areas further away from town like Midrand and Fourways, where real estate prices are still high, but the areas have their own clinics and hospitals. The Central Business District (CBD) in Johannesburg is usually considered to be an out of bounds area due to the crime levels. Soweto is another area that has witnessed a troubled past and still remains isolated and unsafe, although it is slowly moving towards stability.

The Garden Route

This stretch of the country’s southeastern coast lies between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and is rich with vegetation, lakes and lagoons. It has the mildest climate in the country and also the second mildest in the world. The towns in this area are considered to be safe and the housing estates are well secured. The area is also known for its prime golf real estate in towns like George and Knysna.

Cape St. Francis

This quiet seaside retreat is close to Port Elizabeth and is popular among retirees as well as younger people. However, the place does tend to get busy with tourists during peak season.

Port St. Johns

Located on the coastline of the Indian Ocean, Port St. Johns is a sleepy town that offers a peaceful lifestyle. It lies in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The town has a population of about 6,500 people.

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