Attractions / Destinations / Travelling Tips

Best Times To Visit South Africa

Updated Monday, 4 February 2019

South Africa is subtropical with warm, temperate conditions. Summers are, generally, hot and dry while winters are the wetter, cooler months. Because the landscape is varied, with plenty of forests and mountains, the winters can become very cold, even experiencing snow in some places. Three sides of the country are surrounded by ocean, which cools the coastal areas down substantially.

So, the best times to visit South Africa depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. For a country that offers such diversity, there is a lot of scope throughout the year. Whether you want to see the Namaqualand flowers, surf, hike the Drakensberg or go on a safari, there is the perfect time and place to do it.

Namaqua Flowers

Best Times To Visit South Africa for ….


Go on safari during the dry seasons, so that you can see as many animals as possible without hindered visibility and with no (or fewer) mosquitoes bothering you during the night. Sometimes, winter is the driest time of year. Of course, winters can be chilly, especially in the inland regions in which many of the better known reserves (such as Kruger National Park) are situated.

Also, safaris often mean camping, which definitely needs dry weather. The driest months for the Kruger Park are between May and November. November is also the time at which many of the animals give birth. The dry months at the coast, on the other hand, are between November and March, which are also rather hot, averaging about 30 degrees Celsius at noon.

Cape Town and the Winelands

There is so much to see and do in Cape Town that it really is best to visit during summer, when it is dry and hot. This will enable you to go up Table Mountain, visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, laze on the famous beaches of Camps Bay, Llandudno and Clifton and browse the local markets.

The Winelands are spectacular all year round and are quieter in off-peak seasons, which are during the wetter winter months. However, the allures of the wine farms are, usually, the wine tastings and the delectable cuisine, which happen indoors.

Waterford Wine Estate


The Drakensberg Mountains are spectacular and are ideal for hiking holidays. However, these mountains are very wet and even experience heavy snow during winter (June to August). The height of summer (January and February) can also be particularly rainy and wet. So, the best time to hike and camp in the Drakensberg is between April and May, when it is
dry and a comfortable temperature.


It goes without saying that beach holidays are best enjoyed during the balmy summer months (December to February). However, the weather in Durban (KwaZulu Natal) and the Wild Coast stays pleasant for a large portion of the year, extending right from November to March. The Western Cape and Eastern Cape get rather cold and wet in winter, making their beaches almost inaccessible in winter.


Whale Watching

Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales are common along the South African coastline between July and December. As they make their way through the waters of the Southern Hemisphere, places like Hermanus, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg Bay and the rest of the Garden Route are the ideal spots in which to catch sight of them during winter, spring and the beginning of summer.

South Africa Travel Plans