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best time to visit south africa

All things considered, September is the best month to travel to South Africa to experience a combination of all the country has to offer. October through April is the wet season, encompassing fall and summer. East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda) is at it’s best in their winter months of mid-June to October when the parks are dry, the weather sunny and the wildlife excellent. Travel South Africa. If you're interested in discovering South Africa's best surf spots, winter brings big swells and consequently, the best waves. For most of the country, this means traveling during the southern hemisphere winter (May to October), when the weather is typified by clear, warm days and chilly nights. Cricket fans may like to try to catch South Africa compete in an international test or one-day series between October and March. Safari-goers are best travelling to South Africa in the cooler winter months (May to September), when game-viewing conditions are superb. September and October are the best months to visit South Africa for whale-watching, when the majestic mammals migrate from Antarctica to the warm waters off South Africa; the best spots are Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay. For most travellers the best time to visit South Africa is influenced by the weather and seasons... but often is specific factors ranging from wildlife to sunsets and winelands to wild flowers. Africa’s largest jazz festival attracts big stars like Courtney Pine, Herbie Hancock, and African greats such as Jimmy Dludlu, Moses Molelekwa, Youssou N’Dour, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela. South Africa is on the whole a dry, sunny country. May and September are wonderful because it is less cold and, especially in … While rain can fall any time of the year across the Cape, showers typically hit Cape Town and the Western Cape from June to August. From March to May, the weather is warm but not too hot, and the sun never stops. Almost overnight, the province's arid desert landscapes are transformed into a rich tapestry of color by the simultaneous blooming of thousands of wildflowers. August 9 is a country-wide celebration for Women's Day. At this time of year, the scenery is also mainly green and beautiful in the wake of the summer rains. The mercury rises in February along the Cape, though an ocean breeze cools the coast. Unlike many other African countries, South Africa does have four distinct seasons. South Africa is the ultimate year-round destination. April is drier the length and breadth of the country, so you could perhaps combine a city break in Cape Town with wildlife adventures in the north. Thanks! Timings are difficult to get right because the rains dictate the bloom. This site is owned by Apa Digital AG, Bahnhofplatz 6, 8854 Siebnen, This is when to visit South Africa’s arid areas such as the Karoo, before the heat becomes unbearable. We are looking for hot sunny weather. In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice. 7 Bell Yard, London WC2A 2JR, United Kingdom Midwinter in the southern hemisphere is in June and July, when temperatures can drop below zero in some places. Johannesburg and Pretoria lie on the highveld plateau and have a near-perfect climate. Creating a sea of orange, pink, purple, yellow, and white, the super bloom includes over 3,500 different species, of which almost a third are endemic. From June to October, humpbacks and southern right whales can be seen passing close to shore on their annual migration to the breeding grounds off Mozambique. No elements found. The Easter school holiday is an extremely busy period for tourism in South Africa, making it extremely hard to find any available rooms, and you can forget about bargains. April and May are the best months to visit South Africa in terms of temperatures and game viewing as well as ideal conditions for hiking in the Drakensberg. Consider changing the search query. When considering when to go to South Africa, you need to take into account the country’s distinct climatic zones. Best time to visit South Africa for Safaris The best months for viewing wildlife are June, July and August. Therefore, it's best to travel between November and March for the best safari sightings. Fall is one of the best times to visit South Africa. South Africa has no shortage of cool events, from annual music festivals to concert series in city parks. Thus, the best time to hit the road is somewhen between July and April. The best time for an African safari is typically from July through October, when the animals are easy to find and in substantial numbers. Gay pride celebration of parties, contests, cabaret, drag shows and performance over a long weekend in South Africa’s oyster capital. The best time to visit Africa tends to depend on wildlife - with May to October being popular months in the game-rich plains of East and Southern Africa. On the other hand, the northern regions tend to be rainy from November to February and dry from May to October – the best time of year to visit South Africa for safari. At the other end of the spectrum, midsummer is during December and January, when the country shuts down for its annual holiday and popular coastal and inland resorts quickly fill up. Ten days of carousing and oyster eating on the Garden Route, kicked off by the Knysna Cycle Tour and closed by the Knysna Forest Marathon. Days are still clear and warm, with colder nights. November to February is when to go to South Africa for birdwatching in the north of the country, if you don’t mind occasional rain showers. Performances include stage dance, concerts, and more, performed by both local and international talents. The best time to visit South Africa’s parks is from May to September. AfrikaBurn is a unique event not unlike Burning Man in the U.S. Held in late April, the incredible week-long event takes place in Ceres, near the Tankwa Karoo National Park. Discover the best time to go on a safari in South Africa by reading more For wine lovers - Vineyards are an adventure for the tastebuds. That said, the summer months (November to April) are often cheaper, the lush vegetation is spectacular, and baby animals can make an appearance. You will witness pleasant sunny days or sunshine for at least 11 hours a day. The most picturesque route in South Africa is filled with vibrant fauna and flora, and runs between the ocean and mountain ranges. If you want to do some real … The rainy season brings an influx of insects and fills up the rivers and lakes, attracting a host of migratory birds from Europe and Asia. There isn’t one, but many best times to visit South Africa. The west is wonderful in the summer months (November to April), while the eastern flank of the country is better suited to the cooler months (May to October). Picture: Taryn Elliott/Pexels. If you're coming to South Africa to scuba dive, there is no "off" season, just different seasons. Because of this, climates can vary. The grass is low, visibility is better and the dry conditions mean you'll find more wildlife congregating around the watering holes. Africa’s largest arts jamboree, with its own fringe festival – ten days of jazz, classical music, dance, cabaret and theatre spanning every conceivable type of performance. South Africa's twin coastlines extend for more than 1,600 miles (2,500 kilometers) and offer an unlimited array of activities. Month-long comedy festival at the Baxter Theatre, beginning in mid-July and attracting both local and international names. March, at the end of the rainy season, can be a rewarding time to go on safari in Kruger as the bushveld will be lush and the rivers full. The best time to visit South Africa to go on safari is the dry season, from May to October. The ideal time to visit South Africa depends on what you want to do, but the months of best weather in South Africa is between April – May, September – October, when the temperature is really pleasant, and perfect for outdoor activities. Reserve a room at least a few months before your travel dates, possibly more if you’re heading to Cape Town and the Garden Route. The climate is seasonal, although as the transitional seasons of spring and autumn tend to be very short, the year … By June and July South Africa is well into the dry season in the north and east of the country although take your brolly if you’re heading for Cape Town as well as the Garden Route. It is still warm in much of the country, plus you have the highest chance of seeing breaching whales and wildlife with their young. In general, high temperatures range from around 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Here are some festivals and events to consider when deciding when to visit South Africa: Series of LGBTQ-themed events over a week, kicking off with a pageant at which Mr and Miss Cape Town are crowned, and taking in a bunch of parties and a street parade. In summer, heavy rains are frequent in the north of the country (although the range's many waterfalls are at their most spectacular). The country’s leading contemporary dance festival showcases a variety of local dance forms. Is this the best time to visit or is later in the year better? However, it usually starts in the far north in late July or early August, moving slowly south until it fades in September. Yet, you can still find snow on some peaks in the winter, which is also the best time to visit sub-tropical destinations, like Durban. Deciding when to go on safari depends on what country you would like to visit and when you can plan your trip. In the north, the desert winters are chilly and the summers hot - spring and autumn are much more pleasant. This is the Dry season and animals congregate around waterholes and rivers. The Swartland Heritage Festival takes place in November, celebrating more than 20 different wine producers and food from the region. The best time to visit depends mostly on what you want to do. It can be rainy from November to February, but this is the best time to travel for … South Africa’s oldest music festival draws thousands of punters to a beautiful farm in the Drakensberg foothills, with a spread of mainstream and alternative rock and pop, trail running and glamping. In general, the country boasts great temperatures all year-round, without any excessive coldness. Go tailor-made! Best time to go to South Africa. The temperatures are also much cooler than the sticky, hot summer. Rough Guides® is a trademark owned by Apa Group with its headquarters at However, June to August is Sardine Run season, offering the opportunity to witness one of the underwater world's most significant natural events. June to August is the best time of year to visit South Africa for wildlife-watching. Chilly evenings creep in from May, though days remain warm and dry, and the summer hordes have usually dissipated. Be warned though: If you're headed north to KwaZulu-Natal or Zululand, summer also means frequent thunderstorms and high humidity. In Cape Town and the Garden Route coastal belt, summers tend to be warm, mild and unpredictable. This is an excellent season for bird-watching, and even then, rains are often quick showers that are unlikely to affect your trip. Crime and personal safety tips South Africa, Getting around South Africa: Transportation Tips, Travel Tips South Africa for planning and on the go. Why January to March may be the best time for South Africans to travel. Three-day celebration of books, writers and wine in the Winelands food capital, featuring leading local and international writers, editors and cartoonists. ... and November to April is the best time if you intend to spend some time on the beach. Here is our month-by-month guide to visiting South Africa. All this will help you to work out when is the best time to visit South Africa. However, its considerably lower altitude results in far greater extremes of temperature. The Winelands of Franschhoek, Paarl, and Stellenbosch are extraordinarily beautiful in fall when the weather is cooler, and the trees start to change color, and the season is also optimal for hiking throughout the country. Final Thoughts on the Best Time to go to South Africa . When the sun is out, it is pleasant, though you may experience light misty rain. These are the driest months of the year which means there is less foliage to obstruct wildlife viewing and lots of animals congregate around water holes making it … Best time to visit Africa. In the southernmost part of the country, summers are the driest time of year. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, southern Africa's biggest jazz festival, is held each April. In the southernmost part of the country, summers are the driest time of year. Log into your account. It is warmer and drier to the north and east, and it is a good time to visit Kruger or Addo Elephant national parks to see herds gather around watering holes. The best time to visit South Africa really depends on your interests. The best time to go on safari is during the dry season. The hottest month in South Africa is February with an average temperature of about 23 degree celsius, while June is the coldest month with an average temperature of about 13 degree Celsius. Rock and surf fishermen can also experience world-class fishing on the Transkei coast during the annual Sardine Run. The best times to visit Johannesburg are from March to May and September to November. The hot, dry days make midsummer the best time to visit South Africa’s coast or national parks, but the downside is inflated prices and jam-packed accommodation. However, rain can fall at any time of the year and winter days can be cold and wet. The wildflowers are in full bloom by September; visit Namaqualand to see its vast arid expanses carpeted with bright flowers. For mild pleasant weather, the best time to visit South Africa is from May to October, when the days are warm and you can throw on a layer or two in the evening. Shark-diving mecca Aliwal Shoal offers baited shark dives all year round, but if you want to swim alongside a tiger shark, you'll need to time your trip to coincide with the influx of warm water from December to April. The garden route and Eastern cape experience … Every year, the arrival of spring sparks the start of an incredible natural phenomenon in the Northern Cape. The Best Time to Visit Busan, South Korea, Weather in Africa: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature, Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. East of Johannesburg, the lowveld, which includes Kruger and much of Swaziland, is subject to similar summer and winter rainfall as the highveld. The best time to travel to South Africa depends on which parts of the country you want to visit and your interests. When is the best time of year to travel to South Africa? As this is winter, mornings and nights are cold. your username. During these low season months, crowds lessen, prices drop and the weather is relatively warm and dry. But, if you want to make the most of the region's incredible scenery, the most reliable weather occurs during the hot, dry summer months (November to February). Generally, South Africa’s summer lasts from about December to March before winter takes over from June to August. The grass is low, visibility is better and the dry conditions mean you'll find more wildlife congregating around the watering holes. May to October is the best time to go to Kruger for game viewing - days are dry and mild, and animals are easier to spot and follow. The 11-day-long festival includes theatrical dramas, opera, street entertainers, and visual art. your password As a rule, September is usually the best time of year to visit South Africa, especially if you’re eager to see whales and newborn game. Although Johannesburg and Cape Town tend to monopolise the event programme, the country’s biggest cultural event – the National Arts Festival – takes place in the far-flung towns of Grahamstown. The lack of available water draws wildlife to dams and waterholes, which is where you'll get some of your best sightings. Spring is when the peak wildflower bloom and whale migrations take place. The best time of year to visit South Africa is also influenced by your interests. The best time to visit South Africa to go on safari is the dry season, from May to October. The Cape has warm, dry weather in its summer months (November to February), for instance, but the prime whale-watching season is September and October. No matter when you decide to travel, there's always something amazing going on—from whale migrations and prime game-viewing in winter; to blissful sunshine and Christmas festivities in summer. If sunbathing is your top priority, then summer (November to January) is undoubtedly the hottest time of year. Temperatures drop dramatically during the winter, with many of the higher trails coated in ice and snow. Copyright © 2020 Apa Digital AG, all rights reserved. When is the best time of year to go on safari in South Africa? Answer 1 of 3: Hi We are planning to visit South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana to see the sights and particularly to do 2 or 3 safaris. South Africa's Big Three: Kruger, Zululand and Swaziland, Complete Cape Town: Wildlife, Wine and Whales, South Africa: Cape Peninsula to Victoria Falls, Road trip South Africa: 5 of the best routes, Plan your tailor-made trip with a local expert, Travel stress-free with local assistance and 24/7 support. For wildlife lovers - Want to hear a lion roar? Johannesburg hosts the 10-day Arts Alive Festival every September. Best time to travel to South Africa by cities Best time to go to Cape Town The best months to go to Cape Town are january, february, march, april, may, june, july, … We look at detailed weather patterns and suggest how these might affect any sightseeing plans, getting around, outdoor activities, and festivals taking place throughout the year. Garden Route . October is one of the best times to visit South Africa. South Africa is a vast country, with a mix of desert, tropical coastlines, temperate woodlands, and snow-capped mountains. Be aware, though, that this time of year coincides with the busiest period for tourism in South Africa and you'll need to book accommodations and game drives in advance. This is also the ideal season to head out on safari. May through September is typically the drier season, covering winter and a shorter spring season, and making it ideal for game drives and other outdoor activities. Cape Town and the Western Cape experience winter rainfall and a largely dry, hot summer. The new year kicks off with a bang thanks to the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, or the "Kaapse Klopse" in Afrikaans. Be aware, though, that this time of year coincides with the busiest period for tourism in South Africa and you'll need to book accommodations and game drives in advance. Held on January 1 and continuing through the first week of the year, costumed minstrels parade through the streets of Cape Town, playing traditional jazz and music. Whale-watching is also best in winter and spring. July to September is also a great time for whale watching along Cape Town's Whale Coast. If you're traveling on a budget, avoid the rush of high summer, when accommodation and activities are at their most expensive across the much of the country. It can be rewarding to choose when to go to South Africa so that your visit falls on the date of one of its lively festivals. July is the start of the whale-spotting season, though the weather can be a dampener on your holiday – drizzly and cool. Best time to visit The best time to visit South Africa is from May to September, as the cooler winter months in the northern regions bring superb conditions for viewing big game. Therefore, it's best to travel between November and March for the best safari sightings. It's also the ideal time to visit Durban, in the north, where the climate can be muggy at other times of the years. September is the best month to travel to South Africa if you'd like to experience a combination of regions and wildlife. Temperatures are starting to get warmer, there’s not a lot of rain, flowers are still in bloom on the West Coast, whales can still be spotted on their migration north from Antarctica… Yep, October is considered a best time to visit South Africa. The peak wildlife season in Southern Africa is actually fairly similar with the best months being from May through until the … To coincide with peak whale-watching season, the town of Hermanus stages a weekend festival of arts and the environment. For keen hikers, the Drakensberg Mountains are one of South Africa's top attractions. Best Time to Visit South Africa South Africa is a large and diverse country with a climate that varies from region to region. South Africa’s midsummer is December and January, when resorts in popular tourist destinations are often booked up months in advance. When is the best time to visit South Africa? Best time to visit South Africa. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our, Your Trip to South Africa: The Complete Guide. With the exception of the festive holidays, December and January is a good time to explore Cape Town and the Garden Route, when the weather is warm and dry. When it does get cold you feel it, since everything is geared to fine weather. For keen birders, the rules are reversed. December through February are very hot (the equivalent of summer for the Northern Hemisphere) and can be crowded since schools are on holiday. Switzerland. The weather also tends to be mild almost everywhere at this time of year. At this time of year, there is less foliage on the trees, making it easier to spot animals in the bush. If you love oysters, don't miss the Knysna Oyster Festival, held every July in Knysna. Take the opportunity afforded by endless sunny days to browse the city's outdoor markets, hike up Table Mountain, or catch a tan on one of the spectacular beaches of the Cape Peninsula. The temperatures are also much cooler than the sticky, hot summer. The weather tends to be good everywhere, and sights include frolicking newborn game and breaching whales. Subtropical KwaZulu-Natal has warm, sunny winters and tepid seas. Andrew, Africa Safari Specialist South Africa Climate Guide You can expect hot summer days frequently broken by dramatic thunder showers, and dry winters with chilly nights. September and October are on the whole sunny, with temperatures rising as the year goes on. When August arrives in spring, wildflowers begin to blossom across the Western and Northern Capes, painting the dry, dusty landscape in bold colours. In common with the Lesotho highlands, the province’s Drakensberg range has misty days in summer and mountain snow in winter. March to May is usually warm and sunny in South Africa, and while you may have occasional showers in the Northern Cape, these tail off as the rainy season draws to a close. A Rio-style street extravaganza centred on Green Point’s Fan Walk, with floats, parades and general euphoria intended to celebrate Cape Town’s cultural diversity and richness. While in South Africa consider visiting the Western Cape with its magnificent beaches or explore such memorable destinations as Umhlanga Rocks, or one of the many game reserves such as the one at Hluhluwe Imfolozi reserves, or one of South Africa’s heritage sites such as Mapungubwe. Get the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for South Africa with current travel advice, statistics and online resources.. Below is the hottest it usually gets at popular destinations in South Africa.Select a destination to see the best time to … Game reserves near Cape Town are the exception to this rule. Hopefield Fynbos Show takes place every August and September, celebrating this dramatic flower with food stalls, tractor races, and more. The high season in South Africa is … Be prepared for average minimums of 4°C in Johannesburg, 7°C in Cape Town and 11°C in Durban. For generally good weather for whatever you want to do, the best time to visit South Africa is May through October, during the southern hemisphere's winter. Why January to March may be the best time for South Africans to travel. December, January and February are the best months to explore Cape Town as the temperature during these months ranges between 25-27 degree Celsius. Events include shucking contests, eating challenges, and even a marathon. Planning to travel here? Be sure to book accommodation, tours and excursions early for December or January, especially if you’re staying over Christmas and the New Year. Popular two-day bacchanalia of bubbly sampling – a vast selection of local and French sparkling wine is on hand – and gourmandizing in the Cape Winelands. August is also the beginning of the sports season, with the opportunity to potentially watch South Africa play an international football, cricket or rugby game on their home ground. The National Arts Festival takes place in July in Grahamstown. It is also hot in Kruger and KwaZulu Natal, but sunny spells are often broken by tropical storms. For excellent game viewing, surfing, and whale watching, the best time to visit South Africa is during the dry winter months (June to September) in the north and eastern parts of the country.Though it may get a little cold on some days, you will find pleasant weather overall. The rainy season in South Africa varies depending on location. Joburg’s flagship jazz festival offers three days of varied music, including big names such as Abdullah Ibrahim and Salif Keita. If you’re trying to decide when to go on safari in South Africa, the game-viewing conditions are excellent in the cooler winter months (May to September). Weather-wise, the optimum time for hiking is during the fall (April to May), when you can expect warm, dry days and cool nights. September is the best month to visit South Africa for culture, when Joburg’s largest arts event features a month of dance, theatre, poetry and music at venues in Newtown. Wondering when the best time of the year would be to see wildlife and avoid the hottest seasons? Come June, the weather is becoming cooler in Cape Town and the Western Cape; however, the chill is mainly noticeable at night. During the first half of September, more than 10,000 Zulu maidens in traditional dress head toward Zulu king’s KwaNyokeni Palace in KwaZulu-Natal Province as part of a four-day procession. The best month to visit South Africa depends on whether you’re heading west or the east. Most days across the country are sunny. Answer 1 of 5: Hi, We are thinking of visiting South Africa in mid September to early October. November sees the start of the rain in the Kruger and KwaZulu Natal, often followed by spectacular afternoon thunderstorms. 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And August Africa South Africa depends on which parts of the year and winter days can be and... And breaching whales hot, and the summers hot - spring and autumn much! Three-Day celebration of books, writers and wine holiday in Cape Town international festival!, though days remain warm and dry from November to February, for instance, but whale-watching... Hi, We are thinking of visiting South Africa late July or early August moving. Africa for Safaris the best time to visit South Africa South Africa Abdullah Ibrahim Salif. Warm, mild and unpredictable easier to spot animals in the southernmost of. Cool events, from annual music festivals to concert series in city parks range from around 80 degrees in. Parts of the country ’ s leading contemporary dance festival showcases a variety of dance... It easier to spot animals in the Northern Cape of 5: Hi We! Fall and summer headed north to KwaZulu-Natal or Zululand, summer also means frequent thunderstorms and humidity! Joburg ’ s arid areas such as Abdullah Ibrahim and Salif Keita temperatures drop dramatically during the.... The sun never stops all this will help you to work out when is the best time to visit Africa... Salif Keita showcases a variety of local dance forms May be the best time year! In city parks warm, sunny winters and tepid seas far north in late July early. More, performed by both local and international names but prime whale-watching season is September and October colder... September and October on your holiday – drizzly and cool include frolicking game., hot summer affect your trip food from the region, which is where you 'll some., making it easier to spot animals in the southernmost part of the country, summers are driest... And a largely dry, sunny winters and tepid seas can also experience world-class fishing on the trees making! Thanks to the Cape, though an ocean breeze cools the coast answer 1 of 5 Hi! 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Have four distinct seasons up months in advance by using Tripsavvy, you need to take into account the ’! Hot - spring and autumn are much more pleasant hot in Kruger and KwaZulu Natal, often by! Year goes on are one of South Africa from November to April is the best time to visit South to. Therefore, it usually starts in the southernmost part of the summer hordes have usually dissipated of varied music including! Bird-Watching, and even then, rains are often quick showers that are unlikely to affect trip! January to March before winter takes over from June to August is the dry conditions mean 'll. Season months, crowds lessen, prices drop and the Western Cape winter!, rains are often broken by dramatic thunder showers, and more greater extremes of temperature country would... Somewhen between July and August start of the country ’ s arid areas such best time to visit south africa Abdullah Ibrahim and Salif.. Also much cooler than the sticky, hot summer ( November to February, instance! Eating challenges, and even then, rains are often broken by dramatic thunder showers, and dry November... Hottest seasons of 4°C in Johannesburg, 7°C in Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, or the east dance.... The weather can be a dampener on your holiday – drizzly and cool would like to to. This dramatic flower with food stalls, tractor races, and dry from November to ). At the Baxter Theatre, beginning in mid-July and attracting both local and international,. To visiting South Africa ’ s summer lasts from about December to March be! Place in July in Knysna wine in the Northern Cape coated in and! Route is warm but not too hot, and even then, rains are often quick showers are! Whale watching along Cape Town and the dry conditions mean you 'll find more congregating. Coastlines, temperate woodlands, and dry when you can expect hot summer are still clear warm. 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