Fly from South Africa to Hong Kong return for R27600 and get a free MacBook Pro

No one can tell me why South Africa’s currency is doing so well against the major indicators such as the Dollar, Pound and Euro but it’s made everything imported into the country, way overpriced.

Watching the exchange rate feels like an emotional rollercoaster. For example, it was around fourteen rand to a dollar in December, now it’s twelve and a half. The relevance to this story is that electronics bought overseas are now a substantial amount cheaper!

Since I’m in the market for a new MacBook Pro I decided to take a look at the local Apple suppliers website here:

I want the entry level Pro (without the touchbar) and was shocked to see the pricing:

That’s a lot of money!

On a recent trip to see my family in Australia the exact same laptop is 2200 Australian Dollars. This works out to around R21000 at the current exchange rate. Not cheap but still a full R5500 less than buying in South Africa. The first time I went to Hong Kong in 2014, I bought a MacBook Air there for substantially cheaper than in South Africa. This got me thinking…

The price for the EXACT SAME machine in Hong Kong is:

HK$11,588 translates to R18,556. That’s a saving of R8100 which is fairly insane. This got me thinking even further whether it would be cheaper to fly to Hong Kong, buy a MacBook Pro and come back home for the same price.

Here’s a screenshot of the cost of a flight to Hong Kong via

Arrive in Hong Kong on Wednesday, leave Wednesday night

If you’re following the maths it’s currently five hundred Rand more expensive to fly to Hong Kong. Add in 200 Hong Kong Dollars (320 Rand) to take the train into the city and return, you’re looking at a thousand rand more expensive. Throw in a few hundred bucks for some food and you’ve got an epic trip as well as a MacBook Pro.

More interestingly: if you buy the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Touchbar (256 gig version) you can fly to Hong Kong for free! In South Africa, that machine costs R31,799 but the Hong Kong price is an equivalent R22,239! That’s R31,000 in total so if you add in the train price and some food you’d come through equal!

Legally you should pay VAT on returning to South Africa but I’ll leave that to your moral opinion.

PS: South African’s don’t need a Visa when traveling to Hong Kong.

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