Best Places to Retire and Live in South Africa: 2022

Retirement can be one of the happiest times of your life if you choose to utilize it well. You could have a comfortable, fun, and secure retirement and participate in a bunch of leisure activities, spend the time gardening and sipping wine or attending book clubs, or spend time with your friends and family. You could have it all. You just need to have prior planning and a safety cushion to fall back on. No one will ever teach you how to retire well. But, we would talk about the best place to retire so that you have everything you want around you. So, here is a list of the best places to stay and retire in South Africa.

Why should you Retire in South Africa?

South Africa is a popular destination among retirees primarily because of warm weather, affordable living costs, and a large ex-pat population. It is incredibly affordable, and although housing prices have increased in the past decade, it is still comparatively cheaper. The affordability also stretches out to things like theatre, cinema, dining out, memberships, and more. They offer first-class medical service. The weather is fantastic. It is neither hot nor humid, but the sun continually shines. They have many attractions like- Table Mountain, coastlines of Durban or Cape Town, and more. It is very typical to employ household staff here, and they do not demand much. They have immigrants from all parts of the world and are quite like a rainbow nation that brings together everyone. 

1. CapeTown: Best City to Stay and Retire in South Africa

Cape Town Tourism (2021): Best of Cape Town - Tripadvisor

One of the three capital cities of South Africa and also called “Mother City,” Cape Town is known to be the perfect blend of the urban and natural. It is absolutely beautiful, with South Atlantic Ocean on one side, mountains on the other, and a spine of hills running right through the center. The flat-topped Table Mountain overlooks the entire city. You can hike and cycle and surf and dive. You could also visit the local wineries like the flowery Cape Floral Kingdom and the colorful Cape Malay district of Bo-Kaap. The weather is nice and moderate.

  • Monthly Rent: $673/month
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Good
  • Cost of Living: Average
  • Health and Safety: Good 
  • Climate: Moderate
  • Connectivity:  Good
  • Traffic: Low
  • Public Transport Facilities: Decent 
  • Life Quality Index: Good

2. Johannesburg: Best Adventurous City to Stay and Retire in South Africa

Johannesburg | City, History, & Points of Interest | Britannica

Known as the Gold City, Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa. The hustle of Johannesburg has attracted a lot of people. It is the hub of South Africa’s financial and entertainment industry. You will find all the fancy malls with designer boutiques, glitzy casinos, and multicultural markets. They have botanical gardens and Lion Park, and also you can hike, bike, bungee jump in  Soweto, the nearby town.

  • Monthly Rent: $382/month
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Good
  • Cost of Living: Affordable
  • Health and Safety: Decent
  • Climate: Good
  • Connectivity: Average 
  • Traffic: High
  • Public Transport Facilities: Average
  • Life Quality Index: Good 

3. Pretoria: Best Beautiful Place to Stay and Retire in South Africa

Explore the best of Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa | Femina.in

Another one of South Africa’s three capital cities, Pretoria, is the country’s administrative capital and many government buildings. They are all gorgeous and of sandstone color. Other than government buildings and museums, they have a lot of wildlife around. They have botanical gardens and zoos and Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, famous for breeding African wild dogs, brown hyenas, and Cape vultures. You will have plenty of fun enjoying and walking around.

  • Monthly Rent: $216/month
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Good
  • Cost of Living: Affordable
  • Health and Safety: Average
  • Climate: Average
  • Connectivity:  Good
  • Traffic: Low
  • Public Transport Facilities: Good
  • Life Quality Index: Average

4. Port Elizabeth: Best Place to Stay and Retire in South Africa

Google Map of the City of Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Nations Online  Project

Known as the Friendly City or The Windy City, because people are friendly and the weather windy. It is a city that continually sees sunshine, so outdoor activities are considered very popular. You will continuously see dolphins and whales swimming past the Algoa Bay and visit Addo Elephant National Park, which is nearby. With The Boardwalk seaside entertainment complex, adventure golf, and a full-service spa, boutique shops, and more, this city is one of the best places to reside in.

  • Monthly Rent: $339/month
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Excellent
  • Cost of Living: Affordable
  • Health and Safety: Average
  • Climate: Good
  • Connectivity: Good 
  • Traffic: Average
  • Public Transport Facilities: Decent 
  • Life Quality Index: Average

5. Durban: Best Beach to Stay and Retire in Soth Africa

Durban, South Africa 125 years after Gandhi - TheseBoots.Travel

Durban is warm throughout the year, and its tropical climate is one reason people choose this city. People love the best beaches and nightlife offered here. The people here party all night and watch the sunrise over the Indian Ocean. The city has a massive community of Indians, and the Indian markets here are so colorful and beautiful. This is one of the most affordable towns concerning the property.

  • Monthly Rent: $288/month
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Good
  • Cost of Living: High
  • Health and Safety: Good
  • Climate: Tropical and excellent
  • Connectivity: Average
  • Traffic: Low
  • Public Transport Facilities: Good
  • Life Quality Index: Good

7. Bloemfontein: Most Beautiful Place to Stay and Retire in South Africa

Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa | South africa travel, Africa,  Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein is another one of the three capital cities of South Africa. The city is known for its beautiful 300-acre King’s Park that has an annual Rose Festival. The population of the town is reasonably low. The nature reserve here is gorgeous, and Franklin Game Reserve is beautiful, and you will find giraffes, blue wildebeest, and zebra here. You can find the most beautiful view of the city from Naval Hill. The temperatures here are pretty extreme, scorching in the summers, and it is freezing during the winters.

  • Monthly Rent: $312
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Good
  • Cost of Living: Affordable
  • Health and Safety: Good
  • Climate: Average
  • Connectivity:  Average
  • Traffic- Low
  • Public Transport Facilities: Good
  • Life Quality Index: Average

8. Wilderness: Best Coastal Town to Stay and Retire in South Africa

Wilderness Tourism (2021): Best of Wilderness, South Africa - Tripadvisor

The coastal resort town is on the edge of mountains and is the place you need to settle down if you wish for a peaceful life. The natural scenery is incredible, and you can do a lot of outdoor activities along the coastline. You can find a lot of holiday homes and farm cottages to live in. The town is small and safe, and you will find many rare birds in the lagoons and estuaries of the Wilderness.

  • Monthly Rent: $415/month
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Good
  • Cost of Living: Slightly higher
  • Health and Safety: Good
  • Climate: Good
  • Connectivity: Average 
  • Traffic: Low
  • Public Transport Facilities:  Decent
  • Life Quality Index: Average

9. Franschhoek: Best Place to Stay and Retire in South Africa around Hills

Franschhoek 2021: Best of Franschhoek, South Africa Tourism - Tripadvisor

Known for good cuisine and wine, this is a complete paradise for foodies. It is one of the oldest towns and still holds on to the French immigrants’ culture 300 years back. All the places are easily connected and close to the center in the city anywhere. However, renting out a property here is not necessarily cheap. Rolling hills will surround you, and you can visit Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve for hikes.

  • Monthly Rent: $667/month
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Good
  • Cost of Living: High
  • Health and Safety: Good
  • Climate: Good
  • Connectivity: Excellent 
  • Traffic: Low
  • Public Transport Facilities: Good
  • Life Quality Index: Good

10. Jeffreys Bay: Best Seafront to Stay and Retire in South Africa

Jeffreys Bay 2021: Best of Jeffreys Bay, South Africa Tourism - Tripadvisor

Known to be the home of “perfect wave,” Jefferys Bay is known to be the capital of surfing in South Africa. Here, you will find people worldwide, surf shops, and cool cafes all across the Blue Flag beaches. You will find the main beaches and iconic surf shops here. You will find a lot of affordable places to live along the seafront. It is a small town and just walking will get you anywhere. 

  • Monthly Rent: $378/month
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Average
  • Cost of Living: Slightly higher than the others
  • Health and Safety: Average
  • Climate: Good
  • Connectivity: Good 
  • Traffic: Low
  • Public Transport Facilities: Average
  • Life Quality Index: Good

11. East London: Best City to Stay and Retire in South Africa around Forest Valleys

East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa | Provinces of south africa, Eastern  cape, South africa

The small city has stunning beaches and a forest valley and is near the Indian Ocean. The town is the gateway to South Africa’s Wild Coast and has a busy port and sandy beaches where you could indulge in whale watching. It is an affordable seaside town, and you will have a lot of spare cash despite getting a place along the coast. The weather is relatively warm, and you can always do some swimming and such and hang out with people along the beach. 

  • Monthly Rent: $302/month
  • Property Purchase Cost: 
  • Air Quality: Good
  • Cost of Living: Affordable
  • Health and Safety: Good
  • Climate: Extremes
  • Connectivity: Average
  • Traffic: High
  • Public Transport Facilities: Good
  • Life Quality Index: Good

Drawbacks of Retirement in South Africa?

The living expenses are high here. While day-to-day expenses like shopping seem incredibly affordable, some essential things like insurance and medical aid are costly. The rand is considered a very volatile currency, and you must have complete knowledge of the exchange when you move. Suppose you are from European Economic Area (EEA) and some other nations with special agreements with the UK and are pensioners who wish to retire in South Africa. In that case, you shall no longer be entitled to your annual index-linked rises on your pension while living in South Africa. Healthcare is deeply divided into public and private and if you opt for the latter, you are winning, and if, in any case, you have to opt for the former, you would not be taken care of well.