Let’s consider the different seasons to find the best months to travel to South Africa.
Read more about Johannesburg or Cape Town’s weather to help you plan your trip and what to wear!
Visiting South Africa in Autumn
Autumn (fall) in South Africa is from March to May. The weather is moderately warm, and the days are long enough to pack many fun activities.
The peak holiday season is the end of March to the middle of April 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.
Visiting South Africa in Spring
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 an excellent time to visit South Africa.
Most of the country’s rainy season will start in October and continue until autumn.
Visiting South Africa in Summer
Summer in South Africa is from December to February. It can be extremely hot in most of the country. In places with high humidity, such as KwaZulu 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 simultaneously.
Visiting South Africa in Winter
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. Some areas in South Africa get cold (Drakensberg, Northern Cape), but winter is pleasant in the remainder of the country.
There is a public school holiday from June to mid-July and a private school holiday during August. However, 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.
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.