Weather Conditions in South Africa
With ranging climates and activities throughout the year, tourism in South Africa occurs all year round. You can choose the best time to go to South Africa by handpicking the adventures and experiences you wish to have. Generally speaking, summer and autumn months from November to April are considered peak season, thanks to a combination of warm temperatures, the ideal conditions in Cape Town and some great birding opportunities. While towards April and May, conditions start to become more suitable for wildlife spotting too. Of course, there’s the slight distinctions in weather in various regions and biomes of the country, so there is an ideal time to visit each of them. Here’s an overview to help you get started on tour plans.
For most travellers, this is the best time to visit South Africa. The weather is warm, and the sparkling sun and sands of the coastline turn into a hotbed of activity. The Cape is at its best seasonally, with clear skies, whale watching opportunities and the famed Camps Bay and Clifton are highly recommended. Though if you’re thinking of travelling during the Christmas and holiday season, you’re strongly advised to book in advance. This might also be the best time to travel to South Africa for the unique floating music festival — Up the Creek, or perhaps the more alternative We Love Summer Festival.
Meanwhile, the KwaZulu region and the North experience some rainfall — not that that should stop you from making your safari visits. The returning greenery also brings with it many migratory birds, so even if you don’t spot one of the big animals, you’re surely in for an avifauna treat. Between January and February is the perfect time to tour the Drakensberg Mountains, for picturesque morning treks. While the Garden Route is also at its climatic prime, offering forests or lodge stays or glorious beach stays for your preferred taste.
Fall is also considered the best time to travel to South Africa, for a whole lot of great activities. The rising temperatures also increase your chances of spotting wildlife, making it a great time to plan an itinerary covering the different national parks and reserves. Do visit Kruger National Park, with its full rivers regularly visited by herds of animals that your safari jeep will surely stop for.
But while the days are warm and sunny, the heat won’t leave you feeling drained. On the contrary you might even need a sweater for the cool air post sunset. During some of the hottest months across the country, tourism also dials down, so you could snap up some great travel deals and prices. One of the most amazing things you can experience during the months of May and June, is the incredible AfrikaBurn festival in Tankwa Karoo National Park (advance planning is a must). Here, in the semi-desert environment of the Norther Cape region, you can disconnect from the ordinary for a week of the extraordinary in the form of arts and performances. The KwaZulu beaches make this another tourist pick as the best time to visit South Africa.
But if you’re looking to chill out, the best time to visit South Africa is when you can experience one of the famed Winelands harvest festivals. A visit to Paarl, Stellenbosch or Franschhoek can is worth a spot on your itinerary.
Many tourists consider winter the best season to go to South Africa, with the heat nowhere in sight but the animals definitely on show! What’s more, July to November is peak whale-watching season. At Hermanus and Plattenburg Bays, they come up close to the shore for birthing. You should definitely try to include this activity in your tour. Meanwhile, at Kruger National Park, the bush is dry once again and the watering holes become the epicentre of animal activity — perfect for your viewing! Another great sight for nature lovers is the springtime bloom of Namaqualand, between August and October, when the usual arid region makes way for a carpet of colourful native flowers.
This is also the best time to visit South Africa is you’re looking to tour the Johannesburg area, where the winter highs reach a maximum of 20 degrees. You can indulge in a lifestyle experience like no other, at Sun City — a scaled down “Las Vegas”, offering four resorts of varied budgets and styles. A great place for a romantic escape, full-family fun or a self-indulgent spree. The gorgeous Pilanesberg National Park and a chance to see one or all of the Big 5, is just a short ride away. The Waterberg Safari Reserve is another site just 3-4 hours from Johannesburg, where you can witness countless birds and animals in the thick of the jungles, without any fear of catching malaria!
Essentially, the best time to go to South Africa all depends on the climate you prefer and the activities you wish to tick off your bucket list — for the country has multiple options of both! SOTC helps your plan your South Africa tour across all the regions of the nation, taking care of every aspect of your journey from arrivals to local travel and hotel or event and experiences bookings. So, all that remains for you to do is fly into this wondrous land of adventure and follow its endless path of breath-taking beauty and a multitude of once-in-a-lifetime moments. Excited?