When is the Best Time of Year to Visit South Africa?

Frequently voted as one of the best countries in the world for a long-haul holiday, South Africa is a destination quite unlike any other.

Stunning beaches, cosmopolitan cities, an abundance of wildlife, off-the-road-adventures, beautiful hotels, endless sightseeing activities, vibrant flora and fauna, safari game drives, cultural tours, gourmet dining, water-based excursions, wine-tasting tours, whale watching, hiking, biking, sailing, history tours, cooking classes… you name it, you can do it here in South Africa, and so the possibilities for experiential travel are endless.

The beauty of South Africa is that you can visit at any time of the year. Summer runs from November to March, autumn runs from March to June, Winter runs from June to September, and spring runs from September to November.

Summers in South Africa are busy, with both national and international holidaymakers flocking to SA’s hotspots such as Cape Town, the Garden Route, and the Kruger National Park. At this time of the year, you can expect plenty of sunshine and average daily temperatures of around 30°C in the Western Cape, but alas, the Atlantic Ocean remains surprisingly chilly year-round, and so you need to head up the Garden Route and the Indian Ocean if you intend to swim. Up in the Mpumalanga Region where one finds Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands, November to March can be wet months with hot humid days and cooler nights, so you need to pack for all weathers if you are heading off on a safari before visiting Cape Town.

Winters are much quieter, and while you will experience cooler temperatures and the odd thunderstorm, you cannot compare the mild winters of South Africa to those in the Northern Hemisphere. Game viewing is particularly good at this time of year, so if a safari holiday is your main focus, this could be the perfect time to visit, and as it’s considered ‘low season’ you could bag yourself a bargain on flights and accommodation!

The transition from summer to autumn is very smooth in South Africa, in the Western Cape at least, and if recent years are anything to go by, you could be bathing in warm sunshine right up until the end of May. While still busy, Cape Town is not quite so crowded during the autumn months, so it’s a great time of year to visit, especially if you are looking for a city break.

And finally, we come to spring. Much like spring in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is one of the prettiest times of the year to visit South Africa, and if you are a fan of flora and fauna, you may just think you have arrived in the worlds’ biggest and most beautiful garden. During the month of September, the West Coast National Park bursts into life with colourful blooms and endemic species, the Cederberg Mountains are dotted with bright spring flowers, and the Namaqualand National Park is carpeted with an explosion of blooms that will take your breath away.

If you are looking for a last-minute September holiday, South Africa should be your number #1 choice.  Flight prices are low, hotel prices are competitive, and the temperatures are already reaching a balmy 26°C in the Mother City, and with less tourists in town to compete with, you can enjoy the very best of what South Africa has to offer before winter arrives at home!







7 Comments Add yours

  1. Surely in the Western Cape the best time to go is in the South African Spring and Autumn with moderate temperatures. And for photographers the most stunning skies and Golden Hours; especially in the Overberg region between (roughly) Botrivier/Hermanus and Barrydale/Witsand.

    1. Equatours says:

      Hi Herman! We think anytime of the year is a good time to visit the Western Cape! 🙂

      1. In a way; yes!!! However In December to February it can be extreme hot (In Oudshoorn it was once even 55 degrees Celcius but in general temperatures in Summer vary from >30 to 45 degrees during the day. Besides that: I would recommend photographers to visit in the periods I mentioned. In some parts, especially the Overberg region (truly) the ever changing skies (and the influence of it on photographs) are amazing!!! You won’t have that in other seasons. ❤

  2. Ken Dowell says:

    I visited in early December and found the weather to be perfect, the crowds of tourists minimal, and lots of animals with their babies.

    1. Equatours says:

      Hi Ken – I’m so glad you had perfect weather! Early December is a great time to visit, before the Christmas crowds arrive.

  3. Emeka Ofili says:

    South Africa is beautiful

    1. Equatours says:

      Hey Emeka! It sure is! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.