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. To coincide with peak whale-watching season, the town of Hermanus stages a weekend festival of arts and the environment. Wondering when the best time of the year would be to see wildlife and avoid the hottest seasons? 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. June to August is the best time of year to visit South Africa for wildlife-watching. Temperatures drop dramatically during the winter, with many of the higher trails coated in ice and snow. The country’s leading contemporary dance festival showcases a variety of local dance forms. The best time of year to visit South Africa is also influenced by your interests. 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. October is one of the best times to visit South Africa. Andrew, Africa Safari Specialist South Africa Climate Guide 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. Best time to visit South Africa for Safaris The best months for viewing wildlife are June, July and August. 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. Unlike many other African countries, South Africa does have four distinct seasons. Johannesburg and Pretoria lie on the highveld plateau and have a near-perfect climate. 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. Final Thoughts on the Best Time to go to South Africa . If sunbathing is your top priority, then summer (November to January) is undoubtedly the hottest time of year. 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. For keen hikers, the Drakensberg Mountains are one of South Africa's top attractions. 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. As this is winter, mornings and nights are cold. Joburg’s flagship jazz festival offers three days of varied music, including big names such as Abdullah Ibrahim and Salif Keita. You will witness pleasant sunny days or sunshine for at least 11 hours a day. Why January to March may be the best time for South Africans to travel. The best time to visit South Africa really depends on your interests. This is the Dry season and animals congregate around waterholes and rivers. This site is owned by Apa Digital AG, Bahnhofplatz 6, 8854 Siebnen, Cape Town and the Western Cape experience winter rainfall and a largely dry, hot summer. The best time to visit South Africa’s parks is from May to September. Best time to visit South Africa. Days are still clear and warm, with colder nights. The rainy season in South Africa varies depending on location. Safari-goers are best travelling to South Africa in the cooler winter months (May to September), when game-viewing conditions are superb. 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. Therefore, it's best to travel between November and March for the best safari sightings. 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. If you love oysters, don't miss the Knysna Oyster Festival, held every July in Knysna. In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice. 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. 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. 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. There isn’t one, but many best times to visit South Africa. Thanks! South Africa is the ultimate year-round destination. 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. East of Johannesburg, the lowveld, which includes Kruger and much of Swaziland, is subject to similar summer and winter rainfall as the highveld. South Africa has no shortage of cool events, from annual music festivals to concert series in city parks. 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. Subtropical KwaZulu-Natal has warm, sunny winters and tepid seas. For keen birders, the rules are reversed. 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. Chilly evenings creep in from May, though days remain warm and dry, and the summer hordes have usually dissipated. This is when to visit South Africa’s arid areas such as the Karoo, before the heat becomes unbearable. October through April is the wet season, encompassing fall and summer. Three-day celebration of books, writers and wine in the Winelands food capital, featuring leading local and international writers, editors and cartoonists. All this will help you to work out when is the best time to visit South Africa. Month-long comedy festival at the Baxter Theatre, beginning in mid-July and attracting both local and international names. 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). The best time for an African safari is typically from July through October, when the animals are easy to find and in substantial numbers. South Africa’s midsummer is December and January, when resorts in popular tourist destinations are often booked up months in advance. Answer 1 of 5: Hi, We are thinking of visiting South Africa in mid September to early October. 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. July is the start of the whale-spotting season, though the weather can be a dampener on your holiday – drizzly and cool. 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. Combine a safari with a food and wine holiday in Cape Town to enjoy its fireside-friendly, rainy winter days. The high season in South Africa is … 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. The peak wildlife season in Southern Africa is actually fairly similar with the best months being from May through until the … 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. 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. No elements found. The new year kicks off with a bang thanks to the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, or the "Kaapse Klopse" in Afrikaans. May and September are wonderful because it is less cold and, especially in … 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. The Garden Route is warm and dry from November to February, for instance, but prime whale-watching season is September and October. Game reserves near Cape Town are the exception to this rule. The best times to visit Johannesburg are from March to May and September to November. The best time to travel to South Africa depends on which parts of the country you want to visit and your interests. Every year, the arrival of spring sparks the start of an incredible natural phenomenon in the Northern Cape. Crime and personal safety tips South Africa, Getting around South Africa: Transportation Tips, Travel Tips South Africa for planning and on the go. Log into your account. The garden route and Eastern cape experience … Best time to visit Africa. From March to May, the weather is warm but not too hot, and the sun never stops. The temperatures are also much cooler than the sticky, hot summer. This is an excellent season for bird-watching, and even then, rains are often quick showers that are unlikely to affect your trip. Why January to March may be the best time for South Africans to travel. Dry weather also means better road conditions for self-drive safaris at parks like Addo and Mkhuze, while the chill keeps mosquitoes at bay (a major plus for safaris in malarial areas of South Africa). The best time to visit South Africa to go on safari is the dry season, from May to October. your username. December through February are very hot (the equivalent of summer for the Northern Hemisphere) and can be crowded since schools are on holiday. In the southernmost part of the country, summers are the driest time of year. 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. Whale-watching is also best in winter and spring. Cape Town is undoubtedly a year-round destination, with each season bringing its fair share of unique benefits. Midwinter in the southern hemisphere is in June and July, when temperatures can drop below zero in some places. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our, Your Trip to South Africa: The Complete Guide. December, January and February are the best months to explore Cape Town as the temperature during these months ranges between 25-27 degree Celsius. For wildlife lovers - Want to hear a lion roar? The wildflowers are in full bloom by September; visit Namaqualand to see its vast arid expanses carpeted with bright flowers. 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. 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. The grass is low, visibility is better and the dry conditions mean you'll find more wildlife congregating around the watering holes. 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 … 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. 7 Bell Yard, London WC2A 2JR, United Kingdom The lack of available water draws wildlife to dams and waterholes, which is where you'll get some of your best sightings. 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. At this time of year, the scenery is also mainly green and beautiful in the wake of the summer rains. However, June to August is Sardine Run season, offering the opportunity to witness one of the underwater world's most significant natural events. At this time of year, there is less foliage on the trees, making it easier to spot animals in the bush. This is also the ideal season to head out on safari. South Africa's twin coastlines extend for more than 1,600 miles (2,500 kilometers) and offer an unlimited array of activities. 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. Generally, South Africa’s summer lasts from about December to March before winter takes over from June to August. 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. Hopefield Fynbos Show takes place every August and September, celebrating this dramatic flower with food stalls, tractor races, and more. September and October are on the whole sunny, with temperatures rising as the year goes on. Because of this, climates can vary. 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. In common with the Lesotho highlands, the province’s Drakensberg range has misty days in summer and mountain snow in winter. Deciding when to go on safari depends on what country you would like to visit and when you can plan your trip. Timings are difficult to get right because the rains dictate the bloom. In the north, the desert winters are chilly and the summers hot - spring and autumn are much more pleasant. 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. 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. Rock and surf fishermen can also experience world-class fishing on the Transkei coast during the annual Sardine Run. 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. Here is our month-by-month guide to visiting South Africa. 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. When is the best time of year to go on safari in South Africa? 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. The grass is low, visibility is better and the dry conditions mean you'll find more wildlife congregating around the watering holes. 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