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Best Time to Visit South Africa

South Africa’s climate varies across the country but generally the weather is pleasant year-round with a good amount of sunshine. Rain can fall at any time and winter days and evenings can be quite cold. The country experiences Austral seasons – opposite to the northern hemisphere – and when you should visit will likely depend on what you want to see and do.

The Cape is at its best – hot and dry with cooling sea breezes – between November and February. It’s the perfect time to explore cosmopolitan Cape Town and take a drive along the Garden Route. The Battlefields in KwaZulu Natal are particularly busy in January due to the anniversaries of the Battle of Isandlwana and the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. During the same period the northern regions can be rainy, but this is also a fantastic time for bird watchers.

The cooler months between May and September provide the optimal conditions for a wildlife safari with animals congregating around watering holes in the north and east of the country. Those wishing to see migrating whales from Plettenberg Bay, Hermanus and the Western Cape are advised to visit between July and November. Colourful flowers bloom across the Western and Northern Cape in August and September – a truly beautiful sight to behold.

For those looking to visit a combination of regions in South Africa, then March to April and September to October are good times to go as the weather across the country is warm and dry. Visit in May to avoid peak summer crowds.