Planning to travel and asking when is the best time to go to South Africa? This article tries to solve this puzzle for you. That is why we are here, to let you know when it is best time to go to South Africa.
Roughly speaking about climate in South Africa, the summer months are December to March. Autumn is April to May, winter is June to August, and spring is September to November.
It is important to note that southern Africa is such a large area. Because of the vastness of the area and each region’s offerings change with the seasons, when you go may determine where you go.
Best time to go to South Africa by Region
Best time to go to South Africa’s Coast
South Africa’s southwestern coast lies under the province known as Western Cape. tends to attract the majority of international visitors during the summer months.
Fortunately, the country is big enough to absorb these increased numbers without causing the discomfort most people associate with busy seasons. Though parts of Cape Town become unbearably full for locals’ tastes.
Be aware, however, that accommodation prices do increase in summer, some by as much as 70%. If crowds are not one of your things, you should try to avoid South Africa’s coast during the summer. It gets busiest during school holidays. This like elsewhere, happens from around mid-December to mid-January.
In fact, the hot months of February and March are considered by most Northern Hemisphere dwellers to be the best time to go to South Africa’s coast. This helps you not least, to escape what by then has felt like a very long winter up north.
April, too, is a great month to go to South Africa. This is when the light takes on a softer hue and sunsets are often spectacular. The balmy temperatures are preferable for those who dislike baking heat. Note, though, that you’ll need to book early if your visit coincides with Easter weekend, when you will compete with locals on their 10-day school vacation.
Depending on Interest
Depending on your interests, winter (June-Aug) brings substantial benefits. This is also true from July to November. These are the months when the Southern Right whales migrate to the Cape’s southern coast. They therefore provide the best land-based whale-watching in the world. There are plenty of opportunities to see them by boat.
With the Cape a winter rainfall area, local tourism authorities have aptly dubbed the May-to-August period its “green season.” Indeed, the Cape’s valleys and mountains are an ideal verdant backdrop to dramatic displays of fynbos (shrub like plant) in flower.
While it can at times rain continuously, the pattern is usually broken every few days with balmy, sun-drenched days. It’s a wonderful time for Capetonians, who get to air their winter coats for only these few months and reclaim the city, now virtually empty of visitors, as their own.
If you’re at all hankering for the sun, plan to head to the Garden Route and Karoo. You are better off going along Route 62. Here expect all year-round sunshine hence and you can go at any time of year. This is because it gives you great time to tackle a driving tour of this region.
Winter is also the ideal time to visit the east coast of Kwazulu-Natal. This can be oppressively humid in summer hence not the best time to go to South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal.
October to November is when the Cape floral kingdom again wows her human inhabitants with a new batch of flowering species. During this time, the beaches, still relatively empty. You can sparkle in the temperate sun, when guesthouses and hotels hungry after the winter wait, offer some of the best deals of the season.
Best Time to go to South Africa’s Inland
May to August are considered the best months for sighting big game in and around Kruger National Park. The foliage is less dense, malaria risk is lower, yet many of the private game reserve lodges drop their prices substantially.
Depending on where you are, average maximum temperatures can vary. You can compare 80°F (27°C; Cape Town) to 90°F (32°C; Kruger National Park) in the summer. May be from an average 69°F (21°C; Cape Town) to 77°F (25°C; Durban) in winter.
While summer is the most popular time to visit South Africa, high humidity in KwaZulu-Natal can make for muggy days. During thr periods, gale-force winds often occur in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
Winter visitors would be well advised to pack warm clothes, despite higher average temperatures than in the United States or Europe.
South African buildings are not geared for the cold; insulation is low on the priority list, and central heating is nonexistent. Temperatures in the interior fluctuate wildly in winter; you’re best off layering.
South Africa is generally considered an arid region. Two-thirds of the country receives less than 500mm (20 in.) of rain a year. In the interior, rain usually falls in the summer, and spectacular thunderstorms and the smell of damp earth bring great relief from the searing heat.
The Garden Route enjoys rain year-round, usually at night. In Cape Town and surrounds, the rain falls mostly in the winter. This is when the gray skies are a perfect foil for the burnt-orange strelitzias, pink proteas, and fields of white arum lilies. It is an equally good accompaniment to crackling fires and fine South African red wines.
If you are traveling during the South African school holidays, make sure you book your accommodations well in advance. You need to check exact school holiday dates with South African Tourism. This is because they vary from province to province. They usually run 4 weeks in Dec and Jan, 2 weeks in Apr, 3 weeks in June and July, and 1 week in Sept.
Flights can also be impossible to find, particularly over the Christmas holidays. Easter holidays, usually late Mar to mid-April can also be busy.
Kruger National Park is almost always packed during the winter vacation which is between mid-June to mid-July. A safari in South Africa to Kruger National park for those who don’t like crowds is not advisable during such times. There’s another short school break in spring, from late September to October 7.
You have it there, the best time to go to South Africa is here. We leave it upon you to choose when to go. Just let us know.