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The Best Time to Visit South Africa

The best time to Visit South Africa
Written by See Africa Today

South Africa has a lot to offer tourists. The best time to visit South Africa is between May and October in the dry season. The grass is shorter, and watering holes are fewer, meaning there is better visibility for wildlife viewing, such as Africa’s Big Five.

Visitors can go from city tours to beach life in a blink of an eye, tour vineyards today and go whale watching the next day. Here is when to visit South Africa to enjoy your favourite activities.

Visit Cape Town

Cape Town Lodge Hotel

Cape Town Lodge Hotel [Photo by Wetu]

The best time to visit Cape Town is between October and April for warm and sunny days. January is the hottest month in South Africa whereas March is the best time to visit for fewer crowds.

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

In September in spring, you have plenty of opportunities to scout for the best waves. You may also take a trip out of the city to spot wildflowers.

From December to February, South Africa is dry and sunny, often with tropical thunderstorms. While it can get really hot, it is also the best time to visit Cape Town for the vibrant sand beaches and end-of-year celebrations.

Visit the Winelands

Best African Safari Destination

Cape Winelands in South Africa. [Photo: andBeyond]

The best time to visit the Winelands is February and March when the vines are heavy with grapes. This is the autumn harvesting season in South Africa, with crisp air and clear blue skies.

Vineyards organise festivals during the autumn harvest, which see wine enthusiasts stomp on grapes and enjoy lots of barrel-rolling races. May also has many wine festivals in Cape Town and its neighbouring towns.

June, July and August are the winter months in South Africa, so come equipped with warm jackets and boots.

The summer months of December and January are also great for Winelands visits as this marks the peak season in South Africa.

Visit Beaches and Surfing

Mami Wata

Mami Wata redefining African surfing. Photo/Conde Nast

November, the end of spring, is the best time to visit South Africa to enjoy its beaches. Temperatures in spring increase significantly, and days are brighter and longer.

March is also good. March also has good surfing conditions in South Africa. If you want to laze on the sand in Cape Town, head for the shores and enjoy perfect weather.

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

There are loads of world-class surfing spots and a range of waves to choose from depending on your skill. These include Jeffrey’s Bay and Muizenberg, Wildcoast, and Big Bay. The best surf months in South Africa are from March to September.

Whale Watching

The best time to visit South Africa for whale watching is August when whales migrate from Antarctica to South Africa for calving.

A short drive from Cape Town brings you to Hermanus, along the Whale Coast. It is the best land-based whale watching. You can also catch the Hermanus Whale Festival between late September and early October and enjoy live music, food stalls,d craft markets.

Visit the Kruger

Kruger National Park

Elephants at the Kruger National Park. Photo/East Cape Tours

The best time to visit Kruger National Park in South Africa is during the dry season between May and October. Dry weather is ideal, the grass is lower and with fewer waterholes, animals will congregate searching for water making it the perfect time

Between May and September are the winter months in South Africa. Enjoy cool temperatures in the Kruger. These months have bright sunny skies with little to no rain.

During summer in South Africa between October and May, the scenery at the Kruger turns green. This is the best time for birding in Kruger.

Exploring the Whole Country

The best time to visit multiple regions in South Africa is between September and October. This is a great time to enjoy beach time, safaris, wildflower viewing, surfing, and whale watching.

South Africa is a big and diverse country so the climate may differ from region to region. Therefore, choosing the best time to visit South Africa for a multi-region trip will largely depend on what you want to explore and do.

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