The 6 Major Cities in South Africa

The best and Major Cities in South Africa are all very different from each other. South Africa is the best the country in Africa and an incredibly interesting place to live, but almost all expats who live in the country are concentrated in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. There are a fair number of expats in Durban as well, but nowhere close to the first three.

The economic situation in South Africa has had an impact on the expat community in the Country and today, most expats are concentrated more in some cities. That isn’t to say that there are not any opportunities outside the few most populated cities.

On the contrary, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit there are likely even more opportunities outside Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. If you are more career-focused, then there some other cities that would probably be the best choice simply due to the sheer number of opportunities available.

The 6 Major Cities in South Africa

No list would be complete without the three cities above, and there we will start our list of the best cities to live in South Africa, so if you are interested in learning about some of the lesser-known cities of South Africa with a quality of life that may even be better than the above three mention cities, read on;

1. Cape Town, South West

Best City to Live in South Africa

The Western Cape is a province of South Africa, situated on the south-western coast of the country. The city of Cape Town is recognized as the most entrepreneurial city in South Africa with Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity.

The Western Cape offers you Cape Town with its cosmopolitan population and atmosphere, picturesque coastal towns and villages, small Karoo farming towns and villages along the whale route.

It is also the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament it is also the legislative capital of the country.

The Cape Town is one of the Major Cities in South Africa and is an extremely cool city that is mostly known for its natural beauty. The reputation for safety in Cape Town is still one of the best in South Africa with its huge population.

Western Cape, South Africa is well known for its wine production and vineyards. The Winelands are divided into six main regions: Boberg, Breede River Valley, Cape South Coast, Coastal Region, Klein Karoo and Olifants River. Each has unique climate, topography and fertile soil.

2. Johannesburg, North East

Best Cities to Live, Johannesburg South Africa

Johannesburg North East is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is located in Region C of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. Johannesburg’s northern suburbs include areas to the north of the distinct ridge that runs west to east across Florida Hills, Sophiatown, Emmarentia, Westcliff, Parktown, Houghton, Observatory and Linksfield

Inspect to Cost of living in Johannesburg, a single person estimated monthly cost is 610.71$ (9,417.97R) without rent. Cost of living index in Johannesburg. Johannesburg has a cost of living index of 44.49.

Johannesburg is on the list of the Major Cities in South Africa owing to the fact that it has an organised environment. The climate of the city seems to seep into its people’s souls, making it the world’s friendliest city.

There are plenty of safe areas to go, however every tourist should take some precautions to avoid any problems. Tourists should be on alert at all times, keeping tight hold of shopping bags, purses and other baggage.

There is a lot to do and see in Johannesburg. If you’re interested in culture and history, must-see stops are the Apartheid Museum, Liliesleaf Farm, and the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto.

Sandton is in Johannesburg and the most developed part of Johannesburg. Due to the high level of protection, it is usually safe to walk around, especially inside the shopping malls.

3. Durban, South East

Durban, South South Africa

Durban was formerly known as Port Natal, it is the largest city of KwaZulu-Natal province and chief seaport of South Africa, it is located on Natal Bay of the Indian Ocean. The city is also known for its African, Indian and colonial influences.

Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town and the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Mugging and robberies are a issue in South Africa than petty theft. In Durban, these are not issue as in other cities of South Africa.

Durban has won the city with the best quality of living in South Africa for three years running. The annual international survey by Mercer ranks cities in the world based on quality of living. Durban came ahead of Johannesburg and Cape Town and was placed second after Port Louis, Mauritius as the best city in Africa.

Durban hotels range from $30 to $96 per night with an average of $62, while most vacation rentals will cost $100 to $420 per night for the entire home.

A vacation to Durban for one week usually costs around R4,760 for one person. So, a trip to Durban for two people costs around R9,520 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs R19,040 in Durban.

All you need any time of the year in Durban is warm weather clothing. Pack light cotton or linen clothes, short sleeve shirts, shorts, sundresses, hats and swimsuits. Khakis are popular. A simple cardigan or jacket for cooler evenings should be all that is required.

4. Pretoria, North East

Pretoria City, South Africa

Pretoria, is one of South Africa’s three capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government, and as the host to all foreign embassies to South Africa. Pretoria, a city in Gauteng province and administrative capital of the Republic of South Africa.

Pretoria City of South Africa is named after the Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius, and within South Africa sometimes called the “Jacaranda City” due to the thousands of jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens. It is one of the best cities to live South Africa

Pretoria is a beautiful city with some gracious old architecture, significant historical sites for South Africans of all races, prosperous leafy suburbs, and wide streets lined with jacarandas that burst into a beautiful purple haze in October and November. It is an important hub in South Africa, offering expats planning on living in Pretoria many opportunities. Moreover, its both modern and ancient atmosphere, along with its cultural diversity, makes Pretoria a vibrant and lively city.

Thinking of when to take a trip Pretoria, the cheapest month for flights to Pretoria in February. The most expensive month for flights in December, and the busiest month for tourism in Pretoria, South Africa in September, followed by August and January. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months.

Pretoria is considered to be a safe city by South African standards and violent crime against tourists is not common.

Pretoria costs $1,587 per month to live and work remotely with 6 Mbps internet speed, is an okay place for digital nomads to live. Today it’s 30°C with good air quality. The cost of living for expatriates in Pretoria is low in comparison to other places in the world.

5. Port St John’s Eastern Cape

Best City to Live in South Africa

Port St. Johns is Located on the Wild Coast on a coastline of about 270 km long. It is found at the mouth of the Mzimvubu River, a river running through a gorge known as the “Gates of St John” into an estuary located on the Indian Ocean. The distance between Durban and Port Saint John’s is 242 km. The road distance is 339.1 km.

There is so much more to Port St. Johns than gorgeous beaches. The wildlife in this region is just spectacular, and there are many great hiking trails.

Crime is generally very low in Port St Johns and the surrounding areas. There are no pickpockets, hardly any begging, and virtually no chance of your car getting broken into. These have made it one of the cities in South Africa where one can comfortably live.

6. Port Elizabeth, south coast

Places to Live in South Africa

Port Elizabeth city, the south coast is located 260 km from Knysna and + 800km from Cape Town. It is known for its sunshine and safe sandy beaches. It is the most populous city of the Eastern Cape and the sixth most populous city in South Africa. The most populous city of Eastern Cape; and the cultural, economic and financial centre of the Eastern Cape.

For the tourist wanting a total South African experience, Port Elizabeth is the perfect complement to the Garden Route, Settler Hinterland, Sunshine. Port Elizabeth, with its rich cultural heritage is known as the friendly city of the Sunshine Coast.

What is Port Elizabeth known for? the city has been an important port and harbour on the South Africa east coast ever since the first British settlers began arriving from 1820. Today it is a multi-cargo port on the western perimeter of Algoa Bay.

On whether Port Elizabeth is safe? The City is a very safe city compared to other South African cities.

According to, the cost of living in Port Elizabeth city for Family of four estimated monthly costs are 1,753$ (27,019R) without rent (using our estimator). A single person estimated monthly cost is 505$ (7,789R) without rent.

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I hope this helped you?

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