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Best time to visit South Africa

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Kruger Park South Africa
Kruger Park South Africa

South Africa is worth a visit at any time of year. For people in the northern hemisphere, South Africa is particularly interesting as a travel destination in winter. But when is the best time to travel to South Africa? That is not easy to answer. There is no optimum time for the whole of South Africa. The country is huge and has different climate zones. In this article, you will learn more about the best time to travel.

The best time to travel in and around Cape Town

The best time to visit the Cape region is between October and April. However, like everywhere else in South Africa, the period between mid-December and mid-January should be avoided. During this time, South Africans have their summer holidays and go on holiday in their own country. The same applies to the Easter holidays, which get crowded and expensive then.

If you ask a “Capetonian” (a local from Cape Town), he will always say February is the best month to travel because it is still warm and not so windy. If you want to avoid the tourists, you should travel to Cape Town in the South African spring or autumn.

Especially the West Coast, northwest of Cape Town, is worth a visit in spring during the flowering season (August, September). A very special place to admire this natural spectacle is the West Coast National Park.

Winter in the Cape is somewhat uncomfortable, although many beautiful and warm days remain.

 

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town
Exploring Bo-Kaap in Cape Town
Travelbuddies Lifestyle in Cape Town
Views of the the V&A Waterfront

The best time to visit the Garden Route

The Garden Route can be visited at any time of the year. In the summer months, it tends to rain near Port Elizabeth; in the winter, it tends to rain in the western part of the Garden Route. The weather is most stable between October and April. It is also important to avoid December, if possible, as it also gets very crowded here due to the school holidays. 

Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa
Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa

The best time to go on safari in South Africa

There is no best time to visit the national parks and game reserves in South Africa. Each season has its fascination. The South African winter (June to September) is often recommended, as it rains less in the northern part of South Africa, leaves and grass do not interfere with the view, and the game can be observed better. As it is drier, animals are more likely to be near the waterholes, and there is a greater chance of spotting wildlife than in summer. It gets very cold at night in winter, but it can easily reach 25° Celsius or more during the day.

We especially like the lush bush, full rivers and waterholes in summer. At this time, there is also a lot of offspring in the reserves, which is always especially nice to observe. But, it gets very hot during the day, and temperatures of well over 30° Celsius are not uncommon. We love safaris in summer as well as in winter.

Sunset in Kruger National Park
Sunset in Kruger National Park

The best time to travel to the East Coast of South Africa

The climate on the East Coast is subtropical. Especially in the summer months (November to March), it is hot and humid and rains a lot. It is drier and an ideal time from April to October, especially for safaris in the game reserves.

Between May and July, a very special phenomenon can be observed on the East Coast:

Huge shoals of sardines migrate up the East Coast, and thousands of sharks, whales, dolphins, and birds follow them.

Umhlanga, South Africa
Umhlanga lighthouse, South Africa

The best time for whale watching in South Africa

Whales can be seen in South Africa from June to October. The Western Cape of South Africa is considered the best place for whale watching from land. The centre of the so-called whale watching is the small town of Hermanus. The Whale Festival, which lasts several days, takes place here every year at the end of September.

Travelbuddieslifestyle at Hermanus
The icon whale sculpture near the Marine

Conclusion

South Africa has the perfect destination for every season. For more detailed information about the climate in the individual cities and regions, please click here

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