Best Time to Visit South Africa

The land of many wonders, South Africa is a huge country with a diverse landscape and climate. This beautiful country has majestic mountains and gushing waterfalls for any wildlife lover. The country also has many options for safaris that attract many tourists from all over the world. Stretching over 2,700 kilometers, you must plan this trip meticulously if you want to have the best experience. Read on to learn more about South Africa's seasons and how to time your trip in the best possible way!

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Best Time to Visit South Africa for Ideal Weather

The country has a year-round destination which can be planned according to your plans. If you want to experience the best combination of wildlife as well as its cosmopolitan regions, then September is the best month to visit South Africa as the weather is good almost everywhere.

Take a look at this table for a better understanding:

Travel Season

Average Temperature

Weather Conditions


16 - 29 °C

Mild, Bright, and Pleasant


21 - 32 °C

Warm, Bright, and Sunny


12 - 30 °C

Mild, Bright, and Pleasant


8 - 25 °C

Windy and mostly Chilly

*Please note that these temperatures vary considerably across different provinces. 

South Africa's winter mornings and nights are pretty cold, so the wildlife viewing can be best done during September. The country has varied climatic zones throughout its nine provinces and is predominantly sunny. The summers and winters are mild; its spring and autumn seasons transition quickly. Most visitors prefer coming here during summer; which lasts between November and March. 

Best Time to Visit South Africa for Safari

Most people visit South Africa for safari and wildlife watching. If this is your main purpose, then the best time to visit would be during the drier and cooler winter months that last through May till September. After October, chances of rain are higher which can interrupt your big game.

The temperature during this time is between 22-33 C and is warm enough for birdwatching.

You can visit the country for the great African safari in KwaZulu-Natal, Madikwe, Kruger, and Pilanesberg. The KwaZulu- Natal region has sunshine throughout the year with mild winters, which means you can visit throughout the year.

Cape Town sees its summer months between November and February with temperatures pleasantly warm between 23 and 26 C. The best time to be here for some whale watching is after July up to November. You will find a lot of tourists at South Africa's Whale Coast if you visit between June and November.

Where to Go Sightseeing in South Africa?

The Republic of South Africa has everything: golden savannah, beautiful deserts, coral reefs, beautiful beaches, and the world's most luxurious lodges and private game reserves. This vast land has some interesting cities too; Cape Town and Johannesburg are among the top tourist attractions for anyone to get a taste of Africa's varied culture. Make sure you include some of these places when visiting South Africa:

  • Kruger National Park in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, Western Cape
  • The Garden Route National Park
  • Kalahari (Kgalagadi) Transfrontier Park
  • The Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal
  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Robben Island, Western Cape

There are plenty of things to do in South Africa during every season. If considering sightseeing in the cities, then the coastal areas are perfect throughout the year, other than the chilly winters.

Best Time to go to South Africa for Cape Town Beach Holiday

The city of Cape Town is like no other, it is situated in the rugged peninsula with the majestic Table Mountains as its backdrop. The city is rich with sandy beaches full of traditional villages and beautiful destinations like the Cape Winelands, Hermanus, and Cape Point.

If planning a Cape Town beach holiday, what other time than summer? You can visit anytime between December and February for that perfect beach summer vacation. However, if hiking is more of your thing then you should plan your trip in late April and before early June.

If you also want to include a food and wine holiday with the beach, then try to come around June and August when there are numerous wine-tasting options available at world-class eateries. 

The region has a temperate climate with warm and dry conditions from October to April, with temperatures peaking after December. This will also be a very busy time due to the festive cheer and vibrant nightlife. If you don't want crowds, then consider planning a trip after January until April. There will be cheaper rates, fewer wind, and far lesser crowds if you plan it beforehand.

Most Affordable time to visit South Africa

South Africa is one of the most affordable travel destinations for people. It has its high season during the summer months, which means it will be pretty expensive due to the higher numbers of tourists. Any vacation can be made affordable with some research.

You can travel to South Africa affordably during its low season, which is from June to August. The shoulder season is usually during spring and autumn, which lasts April to May and September to October, respectively. Winter months are usually off-season but still very expensive if you are planning to go on a safari.

Other than this, you can save a lot of money by using public transport and local transportation. There are also plenty of free walking tours like Bo Kaap, Johannesburg inner-city street art tour, and a lot more.

Worst Time to Visit South Africa

There is no bad time to visit South Africa, given that you plan it properly. The only downside that you can face is visiting during peak season when the rates are high and there’s a lot of crowds which is something that many people don’t mind much.

It is recommended to make your flight and hotel reservations as soon as your trip is finalized so that you can make the most of your trip. Don’t forget to buy travel insurance plan before you leave though. Nowadays there are many companies providing overseas travel insurance plans that you can purchase in India.

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