Best time to visit in South Africa

Wondering what is the best time to visit South Africa? Well, the answer to this question is usually confusing because South Africa is a large country and the climate varies regionally. As South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, the weather is often opposite of what you would find in the Northern Hemisphere.

You can opt for South Africa group tour packages anytime as it is actually a year-round destination, though different parts of the country are attractive at different times of the year depending on the climate. To experience the best of wildlife one must travel between June to October. You can choose the timings of your trip according to what interest you most. For the area of Cape, the prime season is from November to March which are the hotter summer months.

Main Seasons of South Africa
- Summer: mid-October to mid-February
- Autumn: mid-February to April
- Winter: May to July
- Spring: August to mid-October

Top Events
- Wildlife Watching: July
- Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts: November
- Whale Watching: September
- Oyster Festival: July
- Jo’burg festivals: September

Have a look at our other South Africa Tour Packages!

Month by month: Best time to visit South Africa.

In the month of January, South Africans flock to tourist areas including the coasts and major parks during summer school holidays starting from early December to mid-January. During this month one must book accommodation and transport in advance as last minute bookings will be expensive.


Cape Town Minstrel Carnival
Cape Town Minstrel Carnival is also known as KaapseKlopse among the locals. It is the mother city’s New Year celebration which begins with a carnival on 2nd January and continues for a month. It is taken out by troupes full of satin and sequin-clad minstrels, ribald song and dance regimes and so much more. 

Summer continues in the month of February with people strolling the beaches, enjoying half-price cable cars up to Table Mountain for sunset, and lightning storms in Jo’burg. Elephants are busy munching marula trees while the baby antelope, zebras, and giraffes cavort in the parks. 


Hands-on Harvest
Hands-on harvest is organized to bud vintners at the Robertson’s four annual festivals and the sample results. This event include activities like grape picking and drilling, wine mixing, food pairing, vineyard safaris etc. 

March is when the summer season rolls towards autumn even though days are still sunny, a little steamy and landscapes are green. This season is good for beach bumming, walking in the Western Cape. This is when cultural and music festivals take place in Capetown and Jo’burg.


Cape Town Cycle Tour
Cape Town Cycle Tour is a 109 km spin around the Cape Peninsula and is the world’s biggest timed cycling event. More than 30,000 contestants participate including serious racers to costumed Capetonians. There is also a mountain biking task in the Winelands around the same duration.


Around Easter, there is a two-week school holiday is April which is usually regarded as the initial phase of autumn season. In April the temperatures drop and the wildlife watching in the bushveld begins to look really attractive than beach bumming.


Afrika Burn
Africa’s contribution in the global calendar of festivals influenced by the USA’s burning man is a subcultural blowout. Art installations and themed camps are organized in  a corner of Tankwa Karoo into a surreal paradise. 

Winter brings rain to the Cape and the clouds to the Table Mountain. Northern regions experience fresh, sunny days and clear night skies. June to September are the low season time apart from June to mid-July school holiday.


Wildlife Watching
The perfect time for wildlife watching is when the climate is cool and dry similar to winter weather. Thirsty animals assemble at waterholes and greenery is scattered making it easy to spot wildlife. Low temperature make comfortable northern areas such as the bushveld and Kalahari more delightful.

Oyster Festival
Oyster festival is not for the vegetarians. Knysna celebrates 10 day oyster orgy which features seafood oriented events on the South African coastline. The celebration includes oyster eating and shucking competitions, wine tastings, a mountain bike race and the Knysna Marathon.

National Arts Festival
National Arts Festival in South Africa will make you feel its creative pulse held over 10 days in early July in Grahamstown. Participants from every possible corner gather at one location and Fingo Village Township holds an associated festival.

Open J Bay
The winter months allows big waves to the Eastern Cape and Jeffery’s Bay holds its international Open JBay surf competition. It is a part of 10 day Winter Fest in mid-July where the contest is at the famous Supertubes attracting numerous spectators. At this time the accommodation turns to be expensive. Book early.

September is when winter starts allowing way to spring. This is when cherry trees bloom in the Free State Highlands in September and October. This season leads to dry months for wildlife watching. School holiday begin from late September to early October.


Namakwa Wildflower
In August end and early September nature performs springtime trick and concealsthe barren area with wildflowers. Namakwa’s terrain sprouts incredible meadows of flowers in rainbow hues. This visual also takes place elsewhere in Northern and Western Capes.

Whale Watching
Throughout the second half of the year you will get to watch southern right whales split in Walker Bay. The best place to spot the whales in this period is Hermanus Whale Festival in September/October. This is when Hermanus turns to be the world’s best land-based whale-watching destination.

Jo’berg Festivals
Jo’berg organizes two months festival season with the multidisciplinary Arts Alive, the Soweto Festival Expo which features music, poetry, food stalls and lifestyle expo and Joy of Jazz. There is more to witness in October too like First Thursday and First Sunday In the Valley Jozi!

October is one of the best month to visit South Africa. The weather is very sunny without the summer crowds and prices. In October there is a 10-day South African school holiday at the beginning of the month, but it is a good time to avail any South Africa holiday tour package.


South African National Gold Panning Championship
To celebrate gold prospecting roots of 19th century the contest involves hopeful panner from local school children to semiprofessionals. The activity takes place in a line of watery channels by Blyde River, overlooked by stands and

Soweto Festivals
Following Jo’burg’s September festival fun, Soweto Beer Festuval is organized by the city’s largest township. It features some 40 different types of beers, including local and traditional African drinks and Soweto Fashion Week. 

Spring season turns into summer in November. This is when high season begins. It heats up across the country and the downpour starts in the Kruger and KwaZulu Natal. The Cape gets to see the last month of the whale season. This is a great time to visit island areas such as the Karoo before the temperature rises. 


Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts
Summer music festivals are organized in beautiful settings nationwide. In the Western Cape, Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts are unmissable in Cape Town’s botanical gardens, the West Coast host Endless Daze and various other trance parties. 

The festival season is very busy in South Africa and gets full quickly. Stay and activities should be booked in advance. The Cape is dry and hot and the north and KwaZulu Natal will get to experience some rain. Early December is a good time to travel as it is quite before the crowd of school holidays.

Happy Travellers

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