Cape Town - When we think island escape, we picture endless Mai Tai’s and days spent basking on a sunkissed beach.
Travellers cannot help but assume that having an island escape will have your bank account staring back at you in disapproval. However, we here at Traveller24 like to think that the luxury of travelling to a tropical island is well within your reach - if you know exactly where to go and how to plan accordingly.
WATCH: 9 Essential travel tips
With the rand drowning and hard-pressed to make a recovery - it's easy to think your travel options are dismal if not non-existent but this is where we step in to free your inner travel bug, with these island escape suggestions that shouldn't have to leave a hole in your pocket.
The trick to savvy travelling is to go during off-peak season – although it may seem quiet and perhaps rain a little, don't forget it's a tropical island, warm and inviting in so many ways.
Ready to start packing your bags and and book your flight?
Here are the 5 easy off-peak season island escapes
Easier than most, because you can in fact drive here from Johannesburg, or opt for a short flight from the Cape Town and Durban.
Mozambique allows you to tune out and relax as it's remote islands have minimal wifi access and feels like an escape to another world.
Off- peak season: Mozambique dips during November to April and it is the best time to score great travel deals. It is important to keep in mind that it is also monsoon season during off peak.
Visa requirements: Visa upon arrival, passport must be valid 3 months from arrival.
Travel methods: There are two options,
(a) Flight via SA Airlink and South African airways
(b) Road trip from Johannesburg to Maputo
Currency: 5 MZN (Metical) to R 1
Get amped for Mozam with the squad! READ: Get lit for Mozambique with these traveller tips
Delicious Mauritius. Although it may be a rather small island, however its unending crystal clear waters and pristine beaches more than make up. Locals are incredibly warm, Mauritius is a family-friendly destination as there is an abundance of activities for the kids if you pick the right spot to stay at.
Off -peak season: Although peak season may seem all-year-round, it is best to travel during May to September as the temperatures are cooler.
Visa requirements: There are no visa requirements for South African travellers who qualify for a 90–day stay.
Travel methods: There are available flights via South African Airways, British Airways and Air Mauritius.
Currency: 2, 51 MUR (Mauritian rupee) to R 1
Here is the 101 on your trip to Mauritius, READ: Quick guide: Mauritius
3. Reunion Island
The UNESCO classified world heritage site has more than its luscious beaches to offer. For nature lovers, Reunion Island is the place to be – with the Reunion National park having the most breathtaking scenery and landscapes.
Off peak season: Lonely planet has indicated that March to June is low season in Reunion. It is advised not to head during February as the probabilities of cyclone conditions are high.
Visa requirements: There is no visa requirement for South Africans travelling to Reunion Island.
Travel methods: There is flight access to the beautiful island via Air Austral.
Currency: 1 Euro to R 16
Get your adrenalin fix on the island READ: Reunion: Adrenalin Island
A remote little island that lies off the east coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean – it is the lesser-known tropical island escape. As the smallest of the Mascarene Islands, it is surrounded by a lush marine life.
Off peak season: The cooler winter. months in Rodrigues takes place between May to October with an average temperatures of 16 to 27°C during the day.
Visa requirements: South Africans do not require a visa for a stay less than 90-days. The requirements for entry are based on entry to Mauritius.
Travel Methods: There is access to this island via Air Mauritius.
Currency: R1 to 2, 51 MUR (Mauritian rupee)
5. St Helena
The secret of the South Atlantic Ocean is St Helena and promises to provide you with first-class outdoor activities from hiking to scenic walks. With the recent development of flight access from Johannesburg and Cape Town via Namibia, there is no excuse not to head to this remote island.
Jacob’s ladder is steep 699 steps that are near vertical walk up, it may be scary but the view is said to be totally worth it.
Off peak season: The island quieter during June to September and the weather is an unusual feature of the island as it may appear sunny on one part and be raining in another area.
Visa requirements: There are no visa requirements for South Africans staying for less than 90-days. Passport validity is required and must be valid for 6 months from the date of departure.
Travel Methods: To travel to St Helena there is now possible via SA Airlink. There are two points of departure, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Currency: 1 pound to R 18
READ: St Helena chooses SA Airlink to service the island
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