What are the best months to visit South Africa?

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Let’s consider the different seasons to find out what the best months are to travel to South Africa.

Autumn or fall

Autumn in South Africa is from March to May. The weather is moderately warm and the days are still long enough to pack in lots of fun activities.

The end of March to the middle of April is peak holiday season since the schools close for the Easter holidays and prices can become high.

Autumn (fall) may be the end of the rainy season in most of South Africa, except for the Western Cape (Cape Town) for which the rainy season starts in Autumn.

Warthog in Addo Elephant National Park - South African Travel Blog
Warthog in Addo Elephant National Park


Spring in South Africa is from September to November. The weather may start off slightly cool in September, but by November it is warm. Apart from a short school holiday in September/October, most schools will have examinations during October/November, making it a good time to visit South Africa.

Most of the country’s rainy season will start in October and continue until autumn.


Summer in South Africa is from December to February. It can be extremely hot in most of the country. In places with a high level of humidity, such as KZwaZulu Natal, it may be uncomfortable to be outside during the hottest part of the day (11:00 – 15:00).

In most areas of the country, summer is the rainy season. Usually, there will be a thunderstorm in the late afternoon for an hour or two and it will be slightly cooler afterwards.

The peak season with the highest prices is from December until mid-January when all schools in South Africa are closed at the same time.

Purple Jacaranda Trees in Johannesburg in Spring - South Africa Travel Blog
Purple Jacaranda Trees in Johannesburg in Summer


Winter in South Africa is from June to August. Winters in South Africa are not as cold as in Europe or other countries, where it snows in winter. There are some areas in South Africa that do get cold (Drakensberg, Northern Cape), but in the remainder of the country winter is pleasant.

There is a public school holiday towards the end of June to mid-July, and a private school holiday during August, but prices remain reasonable as fewer people go away during the winter holidays.

In the Western Cape, the rainy season is in winter. The weather can be unpleasant when it is cold and wet at the same time.

Best months to visit South Africa - South Africa Travel Blog

So, what are the best months to visit South Africa?

The best months to visit South Africa are between May and October. The weather is moderately warm (even in winter) and prices are reasonable. If you want to go on a safari, the best time for your trip is between the drier months of May to October. If you want to whale watch, the best time is from August to October.

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By Sunelle

Editor of the South Africa Travel Blog that focuses on travel to South Africa, including destinations, attractions, accommodation, food & drink.

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