What is the Best Month to Visit South Africa?

South Africa has it all. A holiday here promises unrivalled wildlife, sensational scenery, a thriving food culture and plenty of sunshine. South Africa is a beautiful country at any time of the year but there are a few months when it is at its very best. Whether you’re booking specifically for safari or you’re choosing to hit the beach, in this blog post we outline some key considerations before booking your trip. 

Climate Considerations

South Africa’s climate tends to be warmer in the north and cooler in the south. You’ll find the weather also varies from coast to coast – the Indian Ocean coast feels more tropical, while the weather on the western Atlantic coast tends to be mild, exposed to sea mist and dry desert winds. 

During the winter months from May to August, you can expect cool, dry conditions with temperatures ranging between 10-20°C (50-68°F). Unlike the northern hemisphere, here, even winter days are long with lots of sunshine and rainfall is infrequent. 

Climates during the summer months (November to February) vary depending on where you are. The coasts tend to be hot and sunny, almost Mediterranean like while in the north, thunderstorms are common. 

The Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

If you’re looking for an unforgettable wildlife experience, then visiting South Africa in the dry season (May-September) is your best bet. 

During South Africa’s winter period is when animals are most active and visible. As they look for food and water, there’ll be more opportunities for big game spotting. Particularly, in Kruger and Phinda National Parks to the north of the country, where conditions tend to be cooler and the landscape is awash with lush vegetation. 

Elsewhere, the sheltered bays around the Western Cape attract migrating southern right and humpback whales. Hermanus is known as South Africa’s top spot for seeing whales and from here, you can often see these majestic beasts breaching from the shore. In Durban, huge sardine runs from May to June also attract whales, dolphins, sharks and sea birds. 

The Best Time for Beach Holidays

The South African coast stretches for nearly 2,000 miles, so you won’t be stuck for choice when it comes to picking a spot for your beach holiday to South Africa.  

Whether you’re after a sandy stretch for soaking up some sun, eyeing up the surf, or an opportunity to spot wildlife, South Africa’s shores cater to every kind of beach holiday. The best time to visit for guaranteed warmth and consistently sunny weather is November-March. 

The Best Time for City Sightseeing

November to February is known as peak season and for good reason. In Cape Town especially, this is when the city is in full flourish – the surrounding winelands are brimming with ripening grapes, the Garden Route is a verdant shade of green and the beaches attract locals and visitors alike. Do be aware, January can be particularly busy so plan your time city sightseeing carefully to avoid any queues or traffic hold ups. 

Further North, Johannesburg and Durban’s subtropical climates means the best months to visit are during the warm, sunny autumn and winter months between April and September. 

South Africa really is a year-round destination with so much to do and see no matter when you choose to visit. To really make the most of your time in this diverse and dynamic country, we suggest booking a trip between May and September. Even during South Africa’s winter months, you’ll be treated to warm, dry weather as well as captivating wildlife-spotting opportunities. The key, especially if you want to avoid the crowds in Cape Town and Kruger National Park, is to travel outside of the school summer holidays, which tend to fall between December and January. 

 

Next steps

For more advice on booking your holiday to South Africa, you can contact one of our Silver Travel Advisors on 0800 412 5678.

85762

Share Article:

Silver Travel Advisor

Leave a comment

*

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

From a restored mansion in the Scottish Highlands to a stylish villa in Southern Spain, becoming an HPB Bondholder allows…

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.