Businesses in South Africa can be graded on a 5-star basis by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. Many establishments make use of this service and you will see the star rating on most promotional material.
- 1 star – Clean, comfortable and functional.
- 2 stars – Good: High quality facilities, service and guest care.
- 3 stars – Very good: Better facilities, service and guest care.
- 4 Stars – Superior: It offers excellent comfort and a very high standard of furnishing, quality service and guest care.
- 5 Stars – Exceptional: First-class quality and luxurious accommodation that meets the best international standards. Impeccable service and guest care.
Backpacking lodges or hostels are common throughout the country. Most establishments offer cheap tours and activities in the areas. There is a large transport network in the country, making it suitable for solo travellers and younger travellers. Some lodges offer meals, especially in the more remote areas. Most rooms have self-catering facilities and shared bathrooms, although en-suite bathrooms are also common.
Bed-and-breakfast accommodation is becoming increasingly popular. Accommodation is usually in a (private) family home and the owner/manager lives in the house or on the property. Breakfast is usually served. The bathroom may be en-suite. The guest usually shares the public areas with the host family.
Houses, cottages, chalets, bungalows, flats, studios, flats, villas, houseboats, tents or similar accommodation with facilities and equipment for guests to prepare their own meals. (This may include a refrigerator, oven, cooker, microwave, etc.). The facilities should be sufficient for the maximum advertised number of residents that the facility can accommodate.
A guest house is a house or manor house which has been modified to accommodate guests, although it can also be a purpose built facility. A guest house is run as a commercial enterprise and is often owner-managed. A guest house has areas exclusively for the use of the guest. The owner/manager lives either outside the house or in a separate area within the property.
Camping and caravanning
You can find caravan parks in most towns that are holiday destinations. Most caravan parks also offer campsites where you can pitch a tent (check, as sometimes tents are excluded).
The parks usually have central sanitary facilities.
There are many timeshare resorts in South Africa, most of which participate in international exchange agreements. Many timeshare owners also rent out their time when they cannot use it.
A number of South African Estate agencies also provide a rental service. The rental properties are mostly available as unfurnished long-term rentals, but you will also find furnished properties on offer with leases from 1 to 12 months
Your local branch of an international real estate agent with a presence in South Africa may also be able to help.