What’s cheaper? A week’s holiday in Cape Town, or in Mauritius?

November 15, 2012

Over the years people have often told me that it’s cheaper to go to an all-inclusive resort in Mauritius than it is to go to Cape Town for week on holiday.

It sounds plausible, but I wanted to put this to the test a) because I’m going to Mauritius at the end of the month with Club Med, and b) I’m planning a trip to Cape Town for April where I’m hoping I can stay with family to save on accommodation expenses.

So I took to the internet to see what’s more more cost-effective: going to Mauritius to an all-inclusive resort, or having a great fairly luxe and comfortable week in Cape Town that doesn’t involve self-catering or staying at a backpackers’ lodge.

I based this exercise on a week at each destination, over the school holidays when families are likely to travel. I looked at costs of flights, accommodation and car hire, and worked on estimates and budgets for generous food and entertainment for two adults, a preschooler and a baby under the age of one.

For accommodation, I looked at a five-star hotel, as close to the equivalent of the Club Med option I could find. I didn’t look at self-catering options, and interestingly, many of the four-star Southern Sun hotels were booked over this time. However, many of the five-star options such as Pepper Club and Table Bay came to almost R30 000 for a week, while The 12 Apostles was around R32 000.

This list is by no means an audited research project. Rather it’s something I worked out for fun, and to see what’s friendlier on the pocket, and a more “worthwhile” holiday. And if you don’t drink alcohol and are just planning to go the beach every day, your drinks and entertainment budgets will drop respectively. However, it was necessary to compare the two as this is what Club Med offers.

Here are the numbers:


PACKAGE TRIP: R37 102 for all-inclusive at Club Med La Pointe aux Cannoniers

Includes return flights and taxes for two adults, a three-year-old, and an infant, airport transfers, accommodation in family room for seven nights, airport transfers, breakfast, lunch, tea, snacks, dinner and ALL DRINKS (open bar), water activities, games, entertainment, use of nursery equipment, supervision and activities for kids






TOTAL: R37 459


Cape Town:

FLIGHTS: R5 073 for return flights on Kulula

ACCOMMODATION: R19 180 at The Westin for seven nights, excluding breakfast

CAR RENTAL/PARKING/FUEL: About R3 950 for a sedan, including car seats and insurance

FOOD: R7 000 (based on R1 000 per family per day, including eating out, coffees and snacks).

ALCOHOL: R1 000 (based on a bottle of wine a day, and a beer or two)

ENTERTAINMENT: R2 500 (estimated on the cost of movies, trip up Table Mountain, visit to the aquarium, concert at Kirstenbosch etc, boat rides etc)


TOTAL: R39 103

Conclusion: A week in Cape Town for a family of four is slightly more expensive than a week in Mauritius. It’s important to bear in mind though that food, alcohol and activities are endless and included in the Mauritius package, which means you could possibly get more than in Cape Town.

I am not saying that Mauritius is better, just that it might be cheaper. And to say nothing of the “value” of being on an island and not having to stress about anything – where your biggest worry is what ice cream to have with your waffles.

Note: Prices correct at time of writing

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  • blackhuff

    Yes, it’s astonishing how it’s cheaper to go on holiday outside your own continent.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:18 am Reply
  • David Franklin

    Interesting that you compare Cape Town with Mauritius. Pretty much like comparing a succulent sweet peach(Mauritius) with a LARGE basket of fresh fruit(Cape Town). Each has its merits. Even more interesting is that you choose to live in what is probably the least attractive city in Africa, Johannesburg(rotten fruit?)

    November 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm Reply
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