Best time to vacation in south africa

Did you know that South Africa is a popular winter holiday destination? It also has great beaches and summer weather. One part of South Africa is on GMT +2 but other parts are on GMT +2 and -2. If you apply this knowledge to your vacation planning, you will not only save money but also enjoy a fantastic winter holiday. Don’t worry if you can’t find the right time for your vacation, I will give you some practical advice about it.

South Africa is the southernmost country on the continent of Africa, as well as its largest country by area and population. It is bounded on the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; the border with Mozambique is found in northeast section of the country.  

Africa can be a daunting concept to many who have never visited this beautiful continent. It is the second largest continent on Earth and located in the southern hemisphere. This can be a bit confusing to most people, especially when you consider that the equator bisects the continent separating the north from the south, yet it is called “Africa” so most assume it’s all in the Southern Hemisphere… which it is for about 3/4 of the continent.

The best time to vacation in South Africa is between June and September. The weather is mild, with temperatures ranging from 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit (16–26 degrees Celsius). This is the ideal season for exploring the country’s many attractions, including its beaches, national parks, and game reserves.

South Africa also has great weather in October and November. However, it’s important to note that these months are considered off-peak months for tourism because they occur during school holidays in Europe and North America.

The best time to vacation in South Africa is from May through October.

The weather is still warm, and the crowds are thin. You can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of summer without having to worry about excessive heat or humidity.


The best time to go on safari in South Africa is during the dry season from May to October. These cooler months bring an average temperature of 16°C (60.8°F). Dry weather conditions, shorter grass and fewer watering holes mean better visibility for wildlife viewing.

These months are perfect to check off sightings of the Big Five at the multiple safari camps and game reserves across South Africa including the fantastic Sabi Sands, widely regarded as Africa’s premier game reserve and world renowned for the abundance of game (particularly leopards).

There is also the iconic Kruger National Park, best known for being one of the oldest and largest wildlife reserves in the world. Our pick of the local lodges is Singita Lebombo, an intimate, upscale property with a spacious deck area from which you can enjoy stunning views of Singita’s Kruger Concession.

South Africa hides some best-kept secrets as well, places that are yet to be discovered by the masses. One of these jewels is The Madikwe Game Reserve, bordering the Kalahari Desert and Botswana in South Africa’s north west corner. There’s no risk of malaria here, making the location great for families.


May – October


August – September

Cape Town

October – April

The Top Things to Do in South Africa

South Africa has a lot to offer visitors, beyond simply being one of the best safari destinations in the world. You can go from city to beach life in the blink of an eye,  tour vineyards today and be whale watching tomorrow. Here’s when to visit South Africa to enjoy your favourite activities.

The Best Time to Visit Cape Town

The best time to visit Cape Town is between October and April. You get to enjoy warm and sunny days, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 32°C (60.8°F to 89.6°F) in January – the hottest month in South Africa. March is the best time to visit for fewer crowds.

June and July are generally the coldest months in Cape Town. They come with shorter days, seasonal rain and wind but this period will surprise you with a quieter city. These winter months also mark the beginning of the whale season in Cape Town.

Come September, as spring makes its grand entrance, you have plenty of opportunities to scout for the best waves. This is also when you’ll want to take a trip out of the city to spot wild flowers.

From December to February, you can expect dry and sunny days, often with tropical thunderstorms. While it can get really hot during these months, it is also the best time to visit Cape Town for the vibrant beaches and end-of-year celebrations.

The Best Time to Visit the Winelands

The best time to visit South Africa for the Winelands is during the months of February and March when the vines are heavy with grapes. This is also the autumn harvesting season in South Africa. These months bring crisp air and clear blue skies.

During the autumn harvest, many vineyards organise festivals which allow wine enthusiasts to stomp on grapes and challenge friends to barrel-rolling races. The month of May also sees multiple wine festivals around Cape Town and its neighbouring towns.

If you are traveling between June and August, keep in mind that these are the winter months in South Africa. You will need to be prepared for temperatures as low as 6°C (42.8°F) in areas like Stellenbosch

With longer days and warm temperatures, the summer months of December and January are also popular for visits to the Winelands as this marks the peak season in South Africa. 

The Best Time to Visit South Africa to see Wild Flowers

The best time to visit South Africa for wild flowers is between the end of August and September. During this period, temperatures range from 16°C to 25°C (60.8°F – 80.6°F). This is a great time to combine whale watching, safaris and multi-region trips.

These months mark the beginning of the spring season in South Africa and temperatures start to rise. Keep in mind that mornings and late evenings can still be chilly. September also sees the end of the rainy season in South Africa.

During this season, wild flowers spread across South Africa’s west coast. Close to Cape Town you can get a teaser in West Coast National Park and Namaqualand, but it’s as you head further up the N7 that nature really begins to show off. Springbok, Kamieskroon, Port Nolloth and Garies are transformed by multitudes of bright flowers that blanket the ground.

When to Visit South Africa for Beaches and Surfing

November is the best time to visit South Africa for its beaches. This is the end of spring in South Africa. Temperatures start to increase significantly, days are brighter and longer. March is when you are likely to find good surfing conditions in South Africa. 

If you’re just wanting to spend time lazing on the sand in Cape Town, you have up to March to head for the shores and enjoy perfect weather conditions. This is a great time to visit if you’re looking for a sun-drenched holiday. Keep in mind that these are the hottest months in South Africa. As this is summer, you will have to prepare for a few hours of tropical rain as well.

Along the KwaZulu-Natal coast, the weather is generally sunny all year long, so even the winter months between June and August are great for beach days. 

There are also loads of world-class surfing spots, and you’ll find the best surf from March to September. From Jeffrey’s Bay and Muizenberg, to the Wildcoast, Big Bay and everything in between, there are a variety of waves to choose from depending on your skill or adventure levels. 

The East African current makes for a warmer surfing experience, but you’ll definitely want to pack your wetsuit if you have your sights set on surfing around Cape Town at any time of the year. 

The Best Time to Visit for Whale Watching

The best time to visit South Africa for whale watching begins from June. The best month to visit South Africa during the whale season is August. During these winter months, whales migrate from Antarctica to South Africa for calving. 

A short 1.5-hour drive from Cape Town brings you to the town of Hermanus, along the Whale Coast. It’s one of the best land-based whale watching experiences in the world. Between late September and early October, you can also catch the Hermanus Whale Festival where  visitors can enjoy live music, food stalls and craft markets.

The Best Time to Visit the Kruger

The best time to visit Kruger National Park is during the dry season between May and October. During this period, the weather conditions are ideal, the bush thins out and with fewer waterholes, animals will congregate. This is the perfect time for wildlife viewing.

May to September is winter in South Africa. This is when you can enjoy cooler temperatures in the Kruger. In fact, early morning game drives in open vehicles can get quite cold so we always recommend bringing layers. These months usually bring bright sunny skies with little to no rain. Since it is the dry season, wildlife gathers around water and the grass is lower, making viewing much easier.

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