Call us! We're open from 9am - 5:30pm, Monday to Friday (UK time)
Access my Evaneos Account
Customer Service
Call us! We're open from 9am - 5:30pm, Monday to Friday (UK time)

The best time to travel in South Africa

South Africa has a tropical yet temperate climate with distinct regional differences. It is marked by two seasons: a dry season from April to October and a rainy season from November to March. The country can be visited throughout the year, but a trip in national parks will be more enjoyable in the dry season, and conversely, a seaside stay in Cape Town will be perfect between November and March.

At a glance

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
South Africa is marked by two seasons: a hot and humid summer (November to March) and a dry cooler winter (April to October). The Western Cape region has winter rainfall from June to August. The good thing is that South Africa has something to offer for each season. Safari season is from April to October. From November to March, the beaches of the Western Cape are idyllic. If you come between June and September there is a fair chance you will see whales… And then there is the Kwazulu-Natal coast, perfect for bathing all year round.

To enjoy the beaches

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
If you come to South Africa for the sea and the beaches, the best time to come is the opposite to that for the national parks in the main beach area, the Western Cape. You should avoid winter (from April to October) as the temperatures are too cold for bathing. However, from November to March, the Cape coast is a paradise. Beware of the crowds in December: it is the local holiday season, and obviously attracts the New Year crowds. In winter consider going to the Kwazulu-Natal coast, less well-known and less crowded but with a warmer climate. It is ideal for bathing all year round, particularly during the coolest months: it won't be too hot and the sea temperature is warm enough!

To visit the national parks

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
South Africa's big national parks such as Kruger or Madikwe, can be visited at any time of year. But if you visit during the dry season, between April and October, you will get a better view of the African wildlife - the big five - as the trees are more sparsely covered, allowing greater visibility. Outside the school holidays in South Africa, the parks are also less crowded, so you have everything to gain! In the rainy season, the rain itself is not really a problem as it is only intermittent showers. However, December, January and February are very hot; in December, there are school holidays and the tourist areas become very crowded.
Nicolas Landru
117 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018

Tour ideas

  • Highlights
Garden Route And Kruger Safari
Approx. 10 days From £3,010
  • Off the beaten track
Kruger To Cape Town
Approx. 10 days From £1,240
  • Highlights
Cape Town and the Garden Route
Approx. 8 days From £950