When to go to South Africa
It’s always the best time to visit South Africa!
South Africa has a temperate climate which makes it a year-round destination. Depending on your choice of destination it is worth knowing what to expect. Also keep in mind that South African residents plan their holidays around the school holidays and long weekends, meaning that mid December to mid January is peak season. Easter Weekend is very busy and mid June to mid July is also busy.
Spring, from mid September to November, and autumn, April and May is ideal throughout the country. The Western Cape has winter rainfall and dry summers, however Cape Town is still a year-round destination. Johannesburg, the Kruger National Park and much of the north of the country is a summer rain fall area where thunder showers are common. The winters in these areas are dry with pleasant days and cold nights. Durban and most of KwaZulu Natal is warm all year round, with winter bringing snow to the Drakensburg Mountains.
Spring is also the perfect time to visit the West Coast and Northern Cape to view the kaleidoscope of colours of the wild flowers that can be found carpeting the landscape.
Summer in Cape Town, the Garden Route and the KwaZulu Natal coast is perfect for a beach holiday. It can get crowded in December when the beaches draw locals and international visitors alike. The Kruger National Park is very hot and this is the time to go if you want to see young animals, which are born in November and December. It is advisable to travel and stay in air conditioned vehicles and accommodation around this time. In Durban and much of KwaZulu Natal summer is very hot, humid and muggy.
Autumn and winter are the best times to go on a safari in the northern parts of the country. The weather is cooler which means that the animals are more active at these times. It is also drier so you will have more luck seeing animals at water holes. Autumn is also a great time to plan a hike in the dramatic Drakensburg Mountains, before the winter snows arrive!
The whale watching season starts in mid winter through to the end of spring in November. Head to the popular seaside town of Hermanus or visit Cape Town to see these giants of the sea.
Here is a temperature chart and number of rain days chart to give you a guide. Please note this is just a guide and because of the changing weather patterns around the world, is subject to change.
Average number of wet days around South Africa
South Africa average temperatures: high/low (Celcius)