Activities / Destinations

Reasons to Embrace Winter in South Africa

Updated Saturday, 21 August 2021

Reasons to Embrace Winter in South Africa include…

Whale Watching

Whale Season starts mid-June (and continues till November) and offers locals and foreigners alike an opportunity to marvel at the size of the Southern Right Whales. Consider the 5-day Whale Trail in the De Hoop Nature Reserve or for a day trip drive up the Cape Whale Coast.

Namaqualand Flower Route

Spring wild flowers start blooming from July to October. This spectacle can be enjoyed along the west coast of South Africa (in the Northern Cape and north of Cape Town).

The Sardine Run

The Sardine Run takes place between May and July each year, along the coast of northern Eastern Cape and southern KwaZulu Natal. Millions of sardines and all of the predators they attract (sharks, birds, game fish, etc). Surface watching, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Numerous Winter Events and Festivals

Discounted accommodation – weekend breaks for less!

Whale Watching


A trip to Seal Island offers a special spectacle in Winter.

Great White Sharks are more active in Winter and you can view them hunting from the safety of the surface. For adrenalin junkies, get a little closer – Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai or Mossel Bay.

Hiking on a sunny winter’s day is exquisite

… and you don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn to avoid the mid-day sun which can make the most beautiful of Hiking Trails seem tedious. Take a warm jumper and make sure you have a cell phone and emergency numbers at hand (just in case the weather comes in). Also remember water – dehydration is dangerous any time of year.

White water rafting

is more enjoyable (read: bearable) during the cooler winter months. In the Cape the rivers are less dry which means more excitement on the rapids.

Game Viewing

Winter is dry season in most of the country which makes for excellent game viewing. Animals converge on waterholes and there are no tall grasses for animals to hide in. Days are warm, but not unbearable, so hippos don’t submerge themselves to escape the heat of the day (you’ll be more comfortable too – but a warning, nights are frosty, so go prepared). Find game reserves close to home and spoil yourself for a weekend.

Enjoy our beaches without the crowds!

At Cape Town beaches, swimming may not be the best idea (though I have seen some try) but our long expanses of white sandy beach in Cape Town offer a different appeal in Winter. After being indoors for a few days, what better way to clear your head than by breathing in the crisp ocean air. KwaZulu Natal beaches boast much warmer waters, so take a dip.

The Protea Garden at Kirstenbosch

The Protea Garden at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is most magnificent in Winter when the proteas, conebushes and serrurias are in flower.

Protea, Kirstenbosch


  1. Build a snow-man in Ceres (check the weather forecast before you travel).
  2. Watch the waves crash against the promenade in Mouille Point and Sea Point. We’d recommend getting cosy with a hot chocolate at a beachfront café.
  3. Celebrate the cold … go skiing in South Africa (Eastern Cape)
  4. Book into a health spa for a day of indoor pampering. Think sauna and heated swimming pool!
  5. Enjoy a game of rugby at a sports bar / pub. Go Bokke!
  6. Tapas and Sushi give way to comfort food! Try a traditional Bobotie in the Cape, an Indian curry in Durban or a steak in one of our spectacular restaurants, while you sip on one of South Africa’s renowned reds. Roaring fire at some venues, a bonus.
  7. If all else fails … start planning your Summer holiday. Go to

We’re based in Cape Town, so we’d like to invite locals in other towns around the country to suggest their favourite Winter past-time.

Please leave your comment below for all to enjoy.