It’s the 21st century, and online bookings are the way to go when it comes to securing a spot for your next adventure…

Bookings online allow travellers to secure their own preferred accommodation options without being limited by tour guides or packages. Whether you’re a backpacker, love self-catering, or want to explore the world in luxury, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

One of the major players in the online bookings industry is Airbnb, but a South African system, Afristay, is making waves with its focus on local, personalised, and professional service.

Afristay CEO, Rupert Bryant says that the platform is thriving in the South African market because it is “by South Africans, for South Africans. Our staff are born and bred here which means we have intimate knowledge and our booking agents can help our guests find the best places and most importantly, the best deals.”

 

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Budget friendly for the South African pocket!

Travelling around South Africa, and to nearby African countries is far more budget-friendly than going abroad and shelling out for euros or dollars. If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, but are short on budget, Afristay has you covered. “We have 3 000 active specials available on the website (and growing),” says Bryant.

“We also have a loyalty programme where you earn travel vouchers for every booking with Afristay, to reward our customers. Primarily we are self-catering, but our boutique hotels, game lodges, resorts, camping sites and backpackers are growing fast too.”

Old Mill Drift Guest Farm Camping in Clarens, Free State

Thousands of accommodation options

There are currently over 30 000 listings on the platform across Africa. Those wanting to visit the Mother City have 2 900 listings to choose from. One of the most budget-friendly options is The Kimberly Hotel in the CT CBD for just R125 per night.

While on the other end of the spectrum, the rich and fabulous can chill out in Clifton at the Oceana for a whopping R90 000 per night!

If you’re heading to Johannesburg, there are over 650 approved listings to choose from while Durban has 545, and the Friendly City of Port Elizabeth has 328.

If you’re looking to spread your wings a little further, Bryant says bookings in Mozambique have grown significantly followed by Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia.

Paradise Dunes in Mozambique

Personal touches and interactive customer service

The masterminds behind Afristay understand that some travellers are still wary of booking online, and dealing with “technology”, and they also value the personal touch that dealing with a human being can have.

While the system is fully automated, travellers can interact with an efficient, well-trained travel consultant at any time during their time through the pop-up messaging service.

Afristay also encourages feedback from guests so that their experiences can be monitored and the platform constantly improved. “Not only do we monitor feedback zealously, but on the rare occasion where a guest had an issue, we quickly call them to find out what happened, and see where we can improve,” says Bryant.

“I also personally read all customer feedback, and use that to determine how we can improve our service – so it’s kind of a continual feedback loop where we constantly work on improving the Afristay experience.”

Take a look at some of the fantastic accommodation options below:

Drakensburg, KZN

Glengarry Holiday farm in the Drakensberg, KZN

Garden Route

Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, Mossel Bay

 

Near Sun City

Travellers Inn backpackers, Rustenburg

 

Victoria Falls

Elephant Hills Resort, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe