While driving from Montevideo to Ushuaia we realised that we have underestimated the distances and travelling time involved by a large margin! In our sub-conscious minds we were comparing Argentina to South Africa in terms of distances North to South, a big mistake, we soon realised!

And this was not even taking the horrendous head winds into consideration (read more about the wind here          ). Why would it be that when driving the wind invariably blows from the front? A tail wind seems to be a rare occurrence, especially in a Land Rover Defender.

Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world – 2,78m square kilometers to South Africa’s 1,22m.


 Argentina on RSA  RSA on S America

Argentina’s coastline at almost 5000km is 78% longer than that of South Africa.

Argentina only has 43m people in comparison to South Africa’s 50m.

Some interesting comparisons:

  • Consumer prices are 34% higher than in SA.
  • Buenos Aires is on average 5% more expensive to live in than Johannesburg (accommodation rental is less expensive, but the rest are higher).
  • Restaurant prices are 43% higher than in South Africa.
  • On average people live 28 years longer in Argentina than in South Africa.
  • You are 70% less likely to be unemployed in Argentina than in SA.
  • 98% less likely to be HIV positive
  • Average income is 62% higher. GDP per capita in Argentina is $18 600 per person vs $11 500 in SA.
  • You are 47% less likely to be in prison.
  • You will use 47% less electricity.
  • You will be 78% less likely to be murdered.
  • The degree of inequality (from an income distribution perspective) is 27% less than in SA.
  • Health care is 55% more expensive than South Africa.
  • Argentina has the highest Human Development Index in Latin America.

Argentina also has its problems, inflation is currently at 30%, some say more.

Argentina has 23 Provinces each with its own constitution, all managed in a federal system.

The above information was mainly obtained from http://www.ifitweremyhome.com/compare/ZA/AR and http://www.mylifeelsewhere.com

Argentina is a country of emigrants. “Boers” from South Africa emigrated to Argentina from 1902 to 1908 after the Anglo-Boer war. They settled in the Chubut Province in Southern Patagonia. This is the subject of a recent movie. Read more about the settlement of the Boers on this link        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Argentines ). Also refer to our interesting experience while driving through the town of Comodoro Rivaldavia, one of the towns where the Boers settled         ).


2 thoughts on “Argentina compared to South Africa”

  1. Gee wiz, it looks amazing, we have recently retired from farming in southern kwazulu natal and have spent many years walking and hiking in the berg. We have also travelled extensively through Botswana, camping in central kalaharia, travelled from the south, Kutse through to Deception Pan where Mark and Delia Owen stayed and wrote the book “Cry of the Kalaharia”, we found your article in the Go Magazine so interesting as I was at school with Richard Smithers who climbed the Torres del Paine and was mentioned in the same mag. I have since spoken to him, he lives in New Zealand, southern island.
    We have a Toyota Land cruiser and would love to travel to Argentenia and go to Patagonia and also do some fly fishing in the rivers. Please can you send us all the information on shipping ones vehicle from CapeTown to Argentinia and any other info that would help with a self drive in Arg.
    Many thank, Regards from Brian Armour

    1. Hallo Brian
      Apologies for the delayed reply. I will be glad to assist you with information – many people has asked – but I suggest we do that through my personal e-mail address rather than through comments on the website. My address is vivger@iafrica.com, please contact me there.

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