South Africa

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  • South Africa

WHEN TO GO

Best time to visit South Africa

Two distinct climatic zones means the best time to visit South Africa depends on your priorities.

Cape Town, the Whale Coast and the Winelands enjoy long, hot and dry summers from November to April and short, cool and wet winters from May to September. Visitors to Cape Town and the Garden Route in high summer (December – March) may experience very windy weather. Cape winters on the other hand are often marked by long periods of dry, windless and sunny weather.

The rest of South Africa – including all the safari destinations – is the reverse: a short, hot and wet summer season and a long, mild and dry winter. Safaris are best enjoyed in the comfort of winter but summer season safaris have their own attractions – lush landscapes, off-the-scale bird watching and lots of new-born animals.

Dec/ Jan/ Feb
Peak holiday season for Cape Town & Garden Route; hot & rainy in Sabi/Kruger & KZN
Mar/ Apr/ May
Good time for Cape Town, Garden Route & Sabi/Kruger – gradually milder & drier weather in most destinations
Jun/ Jul/ Aug
Cold & rainy winter in Cape Town; great game viewing at safari destinations – mild, dry & sunny weather
Sept/ Oct/ Nov
Whale watching & flowers in Cape Town; excellent game viewing at safari destinations – mild to warm weather with showers across the country
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WHAT TO DO

THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN SA

1. Visit the Mother City

Whether you hike or take the cable car up, the best view of Cape Town is from the top of Table Mountain but leave time for Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront and Kirstenbosch Gardens.

2. Catch the View at the Cape

Cape Point is often wild & windy but you can’t get further south-west in Africa. Dramatic views, baboons & antelope plus penguins at nearby Boulders Beach – a great day out.

3. Go on a Big 5 Safari

The very best Big 5 game viewing is at the Sabi Sand but there are other great Big 5 destinations, many of which are malaria-free & perfect for families.

4. Sip a Sauvignon

Or a Shiraz … South Africa has been producing wine for 350 years & you’ll be spoilt for choice in the majestic mountains of the Cape Winelands. Expect stunning views & heavenly food too.

5. Watch Whales … or Sharks

The Whale Coast’s seasonal whale watching is famously land-based but you’ll need to get onto a boat – or even better, into a cage – to see great white sharks.

6. Luxury Train Travel

Luxury train travel takes on a new dimension with five star luxury hotels on rails. Multi-day train journeys take in South Africa but also go as far as Dar es Salaam.

7. Hit the Beach

Cape Town has the most fashionable beaches but if it’s a proper beach holiday you want, head for the Garden Route or KwaZulu Natal for warm water, easy swimming & safari add-ons.

8. Bring the Kids

Safari camps designed for families, malaria-free game reserves, sunny holiday resorts, sandy beaches & easy logistics … South Africa was made for family holidays.

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