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Best Time to Travel to South Africa

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Bottom Line: While the vast and varying regions of South Africa make it a great year-round destination, the best time to visit overall is from May to September. 

Quick facts:
  • Dry Season: May-September
  • Wet Season: October-April
  • High tourism season: October-March
  • Low tourism season: April-September
  • Great weather: April-May, September-October
From the hot coastal climates of the Cape, stretching around the whole southern tip from Atlantic to Indian Oceans, to the continental cities, to the expansive national parks, there is never a bad time to explore South Africa. The most popular months to visit are from October through March, while the overall best time to visit is in September because it coincides with the dry season. It’s important to go in the dry season especially if you’re planning on taking a safari during your trip.

Adventure Life’s South Africa tours are primarily wildlife safaris that visit Kruger National Park and other similar safari parks and reserves. Our travel experts are happy to help adventurers coordinate a unique trip and to combine it with visits to other parts of South Africa or even other neighboring countries. 

The winter and summer months of the Southern Hemisphere are opposite those of the north, so summer coincides with the wet season from October through April and winter is during the dry season from May through September.

If your goal is to see the maximum wildlife, there’s no question that the dry season (May-September) is the best time to visit. During this time, the scarcity of water makes it easy to spot many animals gathering around the watering holes. While it does get a bit chilly at night, it’s not generally a crowded time throughout the country for tourism (except during North American school holidays), and there is little to no rain. Furthermore, there are very few mosquitos at this time, both because it’s extremely dry and this is South Africa’s winter season. Just make sure to be prepared for a bit dustier, drier ambients and colder weather during the morning game drives. 

For wildlife safaris, be sure to avoid the months of November through February, when you will encounter hot and humid days, crowded main camps, less wildlife viewing, and a higher risk for malaria. Although November through February isn’t ideal due to the inopportune wet season resulting in occasional albeit light rain, it is consistently warm (even when it rains) and many consider this the best time to take a hike up Table Mountain.

If you want to explore South Africa at the opportune time that works for your schedule, contact Adventure Life’s travel experts now! They’ll help you plan the perfect trip.

Averages
Month Temperature Rainfall
January 19-29°C/66-84°F 5 inches
February 19-29°C/66-84°F 4.3 inches
March 18-28°C/64-82°F 3.5 inches
April 14-27°C/57-81°F 2 inches
May 10-25°C/50-77°F 0.6 inches
June 6-23°C/43-73°F 0.4 inches
July 6-23°C/43-73°F 0.4 inches
August 9-25°C/48-77°F 0.4 inches
September 12-25°C/54-81°F 1 inches
October 14-27°C/57-81°F 3 inches
November 17-27°C/63-81°F 4.5 inch
December 18-28°C/ 64-82°F 5.2 inches

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