A country that's steeped in so much history and drenched in diversity, South Africa is lapped with sun-kissed beaches, lush mountains, endless outdoor adventures, and home to some of Africa's best safari destinations!
The question here is not if you should go to South Africa but rather when the right time is to go - and with that said here is our essential guide to the best time to visit South Africa.
The summer months in Cape Town, south Africa - there are no exact words to describe its picture-perfect weather.
Just picture the famous Table Mountain shimmering under the hot sun and the blue ocean stretching out under the clear blue skies as far as your eyes can see - summer is by far one of the best and most popular times to visit South Africa. You can expect nothing, but endless days of sunshine followed by sultry evenings of sundowners and open-air dinners to look forward to.
If you're more of a country side type traveller and the hustle and bustle of the city life isn't really your thing then the seaside village of Paternoster - only a two-hour drive from Cape Town - here you can soak up the sun amongst the vines of the Cape Winelands.
Up north, the summer months bring thunderstorms to Kruger and KwaZulu-Natal the bush is transformed into a lush, green wilderness. For wildlife-watchers, it's a great time for birding and babies (it's birthing season for lots of animals).
If you're more of the adventurous type and looking for a summer road trip that celebrates the true essence of South Africa, dare to take a self-driven road trip along the Garden Route - you'll be able to sit back and relax with a cocktail in Plettenberg, explore Knysna's vast lagoon or swing through the forests of Tsitsikamma. South Africa is your oyster!
But be warned; the city gets busy, and you'll need to start your planning early.
A strong contender for the best time to visit South Africa are the autumn months of March to May - the weather is warm but not too hot, and the sun never stops.
One of the upsides to visiting this time of the year is that most tourists have waved goodbye to Cape Town, so you'll have your pick of the restaurants, beaches and hotels
Safari-goers will find a little less rain in Madikwe Game Reserve, Kruger and the parks in the Eastern Cape and although the bush is still quite thick, it's the perfect time to spot wildlife. The Kalahari is great this time of year, with a thick carpet of green coating the savannah.
If you don't mind a little rain here and there, then chilly winter is the perfect time of year to cozy up with a glass of wine and a roaring fire in the Cape Winelands, or to catch sight of the migrating Southern right whales off the coast of Hermanus (July onwards) - don't fear, the sunshine is never too far away.
If you're looking for a safari holiday that's jam packed with wildlife sightings, then June to August - and a bit of September - Is the best time to visit South Africa! The main parks and reserves are cool, clear and dry, and as the bush dries up, the animals congregate around the water sources making the perfect picture opportunity.
It's a great time of year to visit KwaZulu-Natal and the Wild Coast too; the winter temperatures are mild, and the ocean is even milder.
Another favourite time of the year for tourists to flock to South Africa is Spring - If you're keen to avoid the searing summer temperatures and the tourists, these are the prime months to visit Cape Town and the Winelands and drive the Garden Route.
The flowers of Namaqualand are in all their glory, and a few hours north of Cape Town, in the Cederberg Mountains, the dry, desertscapes are turned into a kaleidoscope of colours as the flowers start to bloom.
If a safari is on your bucket list, the temperatures are soaring. In September and October, the Kruger heats up day by day before the rains start to fall in November, but if you can stand the heat then the game viewing is extraordinary.
September is also one of the best times to visit South Africa if you're looking to add a spot of beach time to your safari and the islands of the Indian Ocean are at their peachy, beachy best.
With its rolling mountains and frothing ocean waves, and you'll find storybook safari animals mere metres from dazzling cities - no other country quite compares. Ultimately, what we hope you have learned from the article is that there is no real bad time to visit South Africa. In fact, every time of year is the best time to visit South Africa.
In a nutshell, South Africa is one of the few places in the world where touring the majestic country is a favourite all year round. The time of the year is really dependent on the traveler - ask yourself, are you a summer or winter person and go from there!
So, whether it be an overland adventure or a Garden Route tour, it will be an adventure of a lifetime come rain or shine because not only will its majestic landscapes have you dreaming of coming back after you're long gone but its friendly people and warm smiles that will engrave your heart forever.
Explore South Africa's Garden Route in this 10-day tour, which stretches from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, whilst you explore its beautiful countryside, rugged coastlines, the Big Five species and much more.
Traversing the South African coast from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, this 8-day tour takes you along the famous 'Garden Route' mixing amazing wildlife, wine tastings and beautiful scenery along the way.
Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.
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