sunset in johannesburg

What I’ve Learned After One Year Living In South Africa

It’s been one year. I’m still alive and I’m still in South Africa. I’ve gotten used to the day to day life. While I still have my “this is Africa” moments, I’ve become accustomed to most of what this country has thrown my way. I’ve done and learned so much in the last year that it’s difficult to write it all down.


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  1. It is December 26th 2020. I want to move to South Africa on a Retirement Visa but I am having the hardest time contacting South Africa embassy in America. No one answers phones, nor responds to emails, or messages I leave. Very frustrating. I’m thinking of going and extending my visa after 90 days. Then I can see SA, and get to know the young lady more. Any advice for me to stay in SA? Legally of course. Thks

    • Hey Steven, yes the embassy in the US is pretty awful. I went multiple times in NYC and they were a joke. As for visiting South AFrica, I think if you just exit the country and come back, you should be set for a new entry. So you can visit Namibia or Swaziland and can get a new entry visa. They may have rule against this by now but at alst when I was living there it was possible.

  2. I’m going to SA for a month and want to bring a friend a present from the USA. Is there anything you can recommend in general. Are there things that cost more in SA or are harder to find than in the USA? Electronics, specific name brand clothing, etc?

    • Hi Sandy, I would definitely say electronics are more expensive in SA. In fact, most places in teh world have more expensive electronics than in the US so that is always a good option. Clothes is really only a better deal for name brand stuff and even then it is a toss up. But definitely electronics! I always had friends bring me stuff when they visited.

  3. This may not be seen, as this blog was written several years ago, but I have my hopes lol. Hi Johnny, I’m a 22 year old with no illustrious career but working full time. I’m in need of some advice of some sorts.. see I’ve been very close friends for a couple years now with this, amazing girl, who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, I live in Texas. Our relationship has progressed to a point where.. I’ll just say that she means the world to me, even though we’re worlds apart. And I’m not sure what to do. This may seem, laughable or childish, but I want to be with her, and I’m open to leaving the states even if only for a few months to a year. We’ve talked about it and, I could really use some advice, and to know what my options are as a non-student, with no transferable career. This all may seem ridiculous & I understand. I’d be happy to hear back from you 🙂

    Sincerely, Grey.

    • Hey Grey, it is not easy to just show up in South Africa and expect them to take you in. At your age, I would look into doing volunteer work. You may find some jobs under the table that will pay you but will be difficult to get a rea`l job that sponsors you unles you have some crazy skill to offer. Otherwise, if you are there for a year, just do visa runs where you leave the country to Swaziland or Lesotho or Namibia and come back. Best of luck!