South-Africa-best-time

Best time to visit South Africa by price and activity

Find the cheapest and most pleasant time to discover South Africa’s wildlife and beaches.

We looked up the weather, crowds and wildlife activities of South Africa to bring you the best months to travel to the country.

Best time to visit South Africa

April to October.

Why?

April to October is winter in South Africa, which is characterised by dry weather and also coincides with the low-season, making it an optimal time to visit weather-wise.

If you’re searching for specific activities, the winter months between June and September are ideal for outdoor pursuits as the weather is cool and dry.

As the vegetation is less leafy during these months, animals often gather around rivers and watering holes, so it’s also a good time to see wildlife.

To see the Northern cape plains covered in wildflowers, travel during spring (mid-September to October).


Overview

South Africa enjoys a temperate climate compared to most African countries and is magnificent at any time of the year. However, depending on what you plan to do, it’s worthwhile to follow the seasons.

The climate is characterised by four main seasons: spring (September – October), summer (November – March), autumn (April – May) and winter (June – August). April to October are the dry months of the year and the wet months begin in November and last till March.

In addition to the weather, you have to take into account school holidays. From mid-December to January, hordes of local vacationers flee from the cities to the national parks. The busiest time is Christmas, followed by the Holy Week in mid-January. During these holidays, accommodations in tourist areas and national parks are booked well in advance and prices can more than double.


Weather and prices

Best time to visit South Africa, weather-wise. April to October are the dry months in South Africa, but since winters are moderate, every season, except the wet season, offers comfortable temperatures and dry weather.

Cheapest time to visit South Africa. Prices are almost same throughout the year except for the holiday seasons of Christmas and Holy Week, which is also the time for school holidays. During this period, there is a surge in prices for accommodation, activities and flights.


Best time to visit South Africa for...

  • Safari. South African animals stroll through nature reserves throughout the year, so any season is good to enjoy a safari. It may be easier to see the wildlife in the winter when less vegetation makes it harder for them to go unnoticed in the undergrowth. From mid-June to December you can observe southern right whales surrounding the South African coast.
  • Beaches. If you are visiting South Africa to enjoy the pleasures of the sea, the weather is the opposite of the national parks. You have to avoid the winter (April to October) since the weather is too cold to dip into the water. However, from November to March, the Cape coast is a paradise.
  • Bird-watching: Paleo-arctic migratory species arrive in November and intra-African flocks usually come in mid-October. Most species of birds return by February or March.
  • Honeymoon: April to October is an ideal time for honeymooners due to smaller crowds, a pleasant climate and better opportunities to see the wildlife.

Hot South Africa travel deals

$2,500 off tours and cruises

Coupon code expires

Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $15,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

Last verified

Show code DL****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$1,500 off tours and cruises

Coupon code expires

Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $10,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

Last verified

Show code DL****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$1,000 off tours and cruises

Coupon code expires

Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $8,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

Last verified

Show code DL****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$700 off tours and cruises

Coupon code expires

Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $4,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

Last verified

Show code DL****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$200 off tours and cruises

Coupon code expires

Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $2,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

Last verified

Show code DL****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Up to 48% off Africa tours

Deal expires

Score up to 48% off on multi-day Africa tours when you book with TourRadar. Destinations include Egypt, Marrakesh, Antananarivo, Nairobi and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Up to 15% off Africa tours

Deal expires

Valid for travel on select dates from 24 June - 7 September 2018. Destinations include Nairobi, Johannesburg, Durban, Victoria Falls, Windhoek, Cape Town, Maun, Zanzibar, Moshi, Kampala and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Radisson Blu Radisson Blu
Up to 20% off stays Valid on advance bookings at participating hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas only and is subject to availability. Most hotels define advanced bookings as one month in advance. Subject to change. See site for details.

Last verified

Radisson Blu Radisson Blu
Up to 25% off Africa hotels Minimum 2-night stay required over a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Book discounted stays at select Africa hotels, including destinations in South Africa, Mauritius, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Senegal, Mali and more.

Last verified


Find the best time to go to…

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site