When to go to South Africa?

The best time of the year to visit South Africa is during the South African winter, from June to September. This is the ideal time for going on safari, in terms of weather and animal activity.

For the "best time to visit" other specific sights of South Africa, see the remainder of this page.

brown horizontal line
January February March April May June July August September October November December
Reasonable time to visit Reasonable time to visit Reasonable time to visit Reasonable time to visit Reasonable time to visit Best time to visit Best time to visit Best time to visit Best time to visit Reasonable time to visit Reasonable time to visit Reasonable time to visit
  check 8x6 best time to visit minus 8x2 reasonable time to visit x 7x7 better not visit World Map Africa  
brown horizontal line

The best time to visit South Africa

It is important to know that South Africa can be visited comfortably any time of the year. However, since going on safari is the main reason for travelers to visit South Africa, the best time of the year to visit South Africa is during the (South African) winter: June to September.

During these months the weather is cooler, meaning that the animals are more active. More importantly: because the winter months are dry, animals congregate around rivers and other permanent water sources available. If you are on safari, this means you can simply drive to the water hole and watch the different animals as they interact.

Be prepared for peak season from mid-December to mid-January and during Easter, in this period European and American travelers compete with South Africans for accommodations. Prices tend to rise a lot, its recommendable to book in advance.

G Adventures Africa

South African weather and seasons

The peak of summer is in February and the heart of winter is in August. Most of the rainfall is received during the summer months (November to March).

The southern Cape has its own weather conditions, that are totally different from anywhere else in Africa.


South Africa map and current weather

Drag the yellow iconStreetview iconto a location on the map for the "Google streetview" mode.
Click on the weather icon to see the forecast for the next days.
brown horizontal line

Best time to visit specific destinations in South Africa

  •  The Cape and the Garden Route: the best time to visit both is in February and March.
  •  Whale watching: off the Cape's coast, can best be done between July and October.
  •  The Drakensberg Mountains: the best time to go to these mountains is between October and February.
  •  The wild flowers of the Western Cape and Namaqualand: the best time to go is between August and September.
  •  The wild flowers of the Northern Cape: the best time to go is between September and October.
  •  Cape Town: the best time for visiting Cape Town is between September and April.
  •  Victoria Falls: the falls are at full-volume from March to May, this time of the year offers obviously the most spectacular view of the falls.
  •  Okavango Delta: July to October is the best time, the weather is dryer, most roads will be passable and the animal concentration is higher as they migrate from other regions in search for water.
  •  Visiting the beaches: Cape Town and surrounded areas: the best time to visit these South African beaches is from November to February.

Below you find 2 recommended travel adventures in (South) Africa, organized by G Adventures.

South Africa Discoverer Highlights of South Africa, Zambia & Botswana
South Africa Discoverer Highlights of South Africa, Zambia & Botswana

People who want to leave shortly, can find good last minute deals here: save up to 25% on Last Minute Adventure Travel Packages

brown horizontal line

Skiing in South Africa

There is no serieus skiing possible in South Africa and one should definitely not travel to South Africa for skiing only. However, if you really want, you are able to go skiing. The best option is skiing on the Drakensberg mountains.

Snow is not that common in South Africa, but there is one dedicated ski resort in the Eastern Cape of South Africa called Tiffendale. They even have a snow machine so between June to August you are almost guaranteed some snow. This resort has a 700m long ski slope with lifts, instructors and ski and snowboard rental.

brown horizontal line

Interactive 'best time to visit countries' World Map

brown horizontal line

Do you have a question about visiting South Africa? Or do you want to share your knowledge of South Africa with other travelers? Please, visit our South Africa forum.

Best time to visit countries! Find out when the best time is to visit any country in the world, sorted by continent.
Read more...

Newsletter

Subcribe

Cheapest countries for traveling! Which country is the cheapest to travel to? Let the Big Mac Index help you!  Read more...

Question about the best time to visit countries? Do you have a question about when to travel to a country? Post it on our forum!  Read more...

Interactive World Map Go to our interactive World Map, to quickly find out when the best time is to visit a country.  Read more...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies