The Best Times to Visit South Africa
Discover the best things to see and do in South Africa all year round…
South Africa has a pleasant climate all year long, but the weather can vary depending on where and when you go. Whether you want to take a sunny drive through the Garden Route or hide from the rain in one of Cape Town’s wonderful restaurants, there’s something to enjoy no matter the time of year.
At Scott Dunn, our travel experts know the best times to go to South Africa for all kinds of different experiences and can help you plan a truly bespoke holiday based on when you want to travel. From tourist-avoiding tricks to hotel recommendations, let us help you discover the best of South Africa throughout the seasons.
When is the Best Time to Visit South Africa?
Looking for the best time to go to South Africa?
The ideal time for a South African holiday depends on what you’d like to see and do. From spotting game in the national parks to exploring the Western Cape’s dramatic beaches, there’s something to enjoy all year long.
Because it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa’s seasons are opposite to the UK’s, with June, July and August being the main winter months. However, just because it’s winter, that doesn’t mean it’s cold; temperatures are typically in the high 20s during this time. Pleasant weather throughout the year makes South Africa a great destination to visit, no matter the season.
Here are some of our top ways to enjoy South Africa’s stunning natural sites and bustling cities throughout the year.
Spring in South Africa
While March, April and May make up springtime in the UK, these are South Africa’s autumn months.
With the rainy season coming to an end, the rivers across South Africa will be full during March and April making this an ideal time for an exciting canoe safari along Victoria Falls.
In fact, May is the best time to visit South Africa for a traditional game safari since the summer crowds will have died down and the weather will be warm and dry. Kruger, Kalahari Gemsbok and Marakele national parks are all fantastic destinations for a springtime safari holiday.
Summer in South Africa
Despite being the height of South Africa’s winter season, July and August are the best times to travel to the West Coast and enjoy the start of the whale watching season. The sleepy fishing village of Hermanus comes alive during these months and is the best place to see magnificent humpback whales migrating to warmer waters.
Meanwhile, cities like Cape Town provide the perfect escape from the frequent rainfall during these months, with many restaurants and museums to explore. If you can, plan your visit to coincide with the first Thursday of the month when galleries and public events are open to the public until late.
Autumn in South Africa
As temperatures gradually climb, South African spring is a good time to visit inland areas, like Johannesburg, before the summer heat and crowds set it. Discover the history behind South Africa’s famous gold and diamond trade or visit the Apartheid Museum to learn about the country’s political past.
September and October are also the best times to travel to South Africa to see the beautiful wildflowers along the West Coast. To make the most of the stunning scenery, why not take part in a unique flower safari? Accompanied by an expert guide, you’ll see the highlights of the fantastic Cape Floral Region in full bloom.
Winter in South Africa
Fancy some winter sun? A visit during South Africa’s summer months is perfect for enjoying high temperatures and sunny conditions across the country.
The dry and warm weather also means that December and January are ideal times to visit stunning natural sites like Table Mountain and penguin hot-spot Boulders Beach. While attractions will be busy during these peak months, you can beat the crowds by starting your day early or visiting during the week.
If you’re planning a trip to South Africa in February, be sure to pay a visit to the famous Winelands to sample delicious local produce when the vines are heavy with grapes.
- Spring in South Africa
- Summer in South Africa
- Autumn in South Africa
- Winter in South Africa
Climate guide for South Africa
, South Africa
Average temperatures (Celcious) and rainfall (mm)