How To Open A Bank Account In South Africa

South Africa’s banking sector is highly concentrated, with the five largest banks holding over 90% of total assets in February 2019. At first glance, the South African banking system can seem somewhat complicated, but this means that foreigners will find a plethora of banking options available to them, interconnected by a sophisticated banking system.The heart … Read more

How To Rent Or Buy Property In South Africa

South Africa is an incredibly diverse country on the southernmost tip of the African continent. It is made up of several distinct ecosystems, including the lowveld flatlands, which are popular for safaris, and the rolling vineyards of the Western Cape. Lush forests and lagoons can be found on the Garden Route, and Table Mountain can … Read more

How To Apply For A Visa In South Africa

Citizens of the USA, Canada, the UK, most EU and EEA countries, Australia, New Zealand and many countries in Africa can visit South Africa for up to 90 days, for tourist or business purposes, without a visa. If you wish to stay longer, or to work there, the regulations can be more complicated. Wherever possible, … Read more

How To Find A Job In South Africa

South Africa is an appealing choice for many expats, with a pleasant climate and a potentially high standard of living. Its economy is stable, with several expanding sectors including manufacturing, but it has significant skills shortages which threaten the development of the economy. You will need a work permit in order to work legally in … Read more

Kim Reid, Hermanus

Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Hermanus, South Africa from the US three and a half years ago to be married.My husband is from South Africa, but grew up in America. We actually met in art school, but were just friends back then. One of the assignments that we had … Read more

A Guide To Expat Visas For South Africa

The Republic of South Africa, with its bustling cities, beautiful beaches and friendly people, can be a good destination for expats. However, before you arrive, make sure your right to stay is officially approved. South African Immigration Laws There’s a lack of clear information about how many expats live in South Africa, meaning that immigration … Read more

A Guide To International Schools In Cape Town

In spite of being located at almost the absolute tip of the African continent, Cape Town is anything but an isolated place. On the contrary, it is regarded as one of the best cities to live in by people from all around the globe. Its relaxed lifestyle, natural beauty, historic culture and mild climate make … Read more

Phil Maloney, Pretoria

Who are you? I’m Phil. I’ve been many things.A university English instructor, a musician, a picker-upper of dead bodies, and a sales guy. Where, when and why did you move abroad? In January 2016, one of our VPs in Canada asked me if I’d consider relocating to South Africa for a few years. I thought, … Read more

South Africa – Recommended Social Media Accounts

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at South Africa and some of the social media accounts you should be following if you’re thinking of moving there.SA-People – for South Africans in … Read more

Interview With Hannah Pirnie, Founder, Translating Me

What prompted you to set up Translating Me? I have kind of fallen into it 😐 I love the quote from Steve Jobs – “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future.”That’s what has happened … Read more

An Expat Guide To Wines In South Africa

If you’re a wine lover, you’ve undoubtedly tried wines from different regions around the world. If you haven’t tried a bottle of wine from South Africa as yet, then you should definitely put that region on your list. South Africa is one of the most dynamic regions in the world for the production of wine. … Read more

How Safe Is South Africa? A Guide For New Expats

Many expats live safely in South Africa for many years, enjoying lucrative careers and making lots of friends, but expats always need to keep their wits about them. It’s probably worth looking at the advice from the UK’s Foreign Office, which explicitly says South Africa has a ‘very high’ level of crime. Most of this … Read more

South Africa – Recommended Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at South Africa and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there.Travelling MarLa Whilst she calls herself “just another product of rural … Read more

Five Reasons Why Expat Children Love Living In South Africa

Foreigners from different parts of the world have made South Africa their home over the years. Most expats enjoy living and working in the country, and many of them find that South Africa is an ideal place for family and raising children. Of course, certain problems continue to prevail, such as the unstable currency, unemployment, … Read more

5 Expat Clubs In South Africa You Should Consider Joining

Expats who move to South Africa can expect to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle that is close to scenic natural landscapes and with plenty of outdoor activities to engage in. Wildlife watching, mountain climbing and water sports are among the most popular activities for expats, travellers and locals alike. South Africa has a cosmopolitan character and … Read more

5 Things You Should Know Before Moving To South Africa

It isn’t entirely possible for a person to be “fully prepared” for the changes that come with moving to a new country, but that doesn’t mean that you should not try! South Africa is probably very different from your country of origin, so you should anticipate and accept the inevitable culture shock and the emotional … Read more

10 Websites Expats Need To Visit Before Moving To South Africa

Expats with slightly higher levels of education or unique skill sets are able to find many lucrative job opportunities in South Africa. They are able to live a high quality life here in close proximity to the country’s abundant natural beauty. The stunning coastline, mountains, plains, wildlife and diversity of flora and fauna make South … Read more

Just How Dangerous Is Life As An Expat In South Africa?

Crime and safety can be a major worry for residents in South Africa. New expats feel they may not enjoy the same sense of freedom they had in their home countries and may have to live in restricted estates or gated communities for protection. The on-going trial of Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his … Read more

Amy Thom, Cape Town

Who are you? My name is Amy Thom. I’m a freelance writer, nonprofit research consultant and gypsy traveller extraordinaire. I’m originally from Chicago but escaped Midwestern winters and resettled in San Diego, California. During my 10+ years on the west coast, I earned an undergrad degree in International Studies, started a successful business as a … Read more

Which South African City Offers the Best Expat Employment Opportunities?

South Africa, ranking 25th in total landmass among world nations, is at the very least a spacious country. Though the best of the nation’s landscape is along the coastline, rather than in the brushy flatland that typifies the interior, there is ample room within both the interior and the crescent of verdant coastal land to … Read more

Dealing with Crime in South Africa as an Expat

In 2010, South Africa quietly snuck into that group of developing economies formerly known as the BRIC nations [an acronym formed from Brazil, Russia, India, China], appending an “S” to the end of “BRIC” in the process. The World Bank’s report on GDP in the following year places South Africa 27th out of 193 countries … Read more

Sine Thieme, Johannesburg

My name is Sine Thieme and I am what they call a trailing spouse. Or sometimes dragged-by-her-feet spouse. I’ve had to pack up our household and four kids more times than I can remember, leaving behind places I’d just gotten comfortable in to set out for the next adventure, and reinventing myself in the process. … Read more

Jane, Johannesburg

My name is Jane. I’m an English-born expat currently living in Johannesburg, but as with most things in my life, it is a little more complicated than that. My first expat experience was living in Paris and working as a teaching assistant at a lycee. I was only there for a year, but it gave … Read more

Caroline Collie, Gordon’s Bay

What a deep question right off the bat! My name is Caroline Collie, and I’m an American married to a South African I met in Scotland. We work for a charity called Samaritan's Feet and have one delightful little Scottish-African-American son, and another on the way this month! I first moved to Edinburgh, Scotland in … Read more