The Best Of South Africa’s Four Seasons

05 Oct 2022

With natural scenic beauty, exotic wildlife, and a melting pot of many diverse cultures South Africa is the perfect holiday destination and while there are great reasons to visit all year round, each season offers its own unique attractions. So, before you book your South African adventure, check out our list of seasonal drawcards below.

SPRING - September-November

Grazing on wild flower field

Spring in South Africa can best be described as Goldilocks weather ‘not too hot and not too cold.’ With minimal rainfall and sunny blue skies, you’ve got blissful weather conditions. At this time of year, the wildlife emerge from their winter hideaways and flora starts to flourish. This season is a wonderful explosion of colour and new life – what’s not to love?

Namaqualand Flower Festival

Every September, the Namaqualand Flower Bloom fills the South African desert with a colourful tapestry of spring flowers. Experience this awe-inspiring event at the Namaqualand Flower Festival where you can camp among millions of wildflowers, dance under the stars and explore this natural jewel-toned landscape on glorious bush walks.

Hermanus Whale Festival

The Hermanus Whale Festival celebrates the return of the southern right whales to the coastal waters of Southern Africa and thousands of whale watchers from all over the world flock to see these magnificent marine mammals and their calves. Whale watching can be enjoyed from the shore or up close by boat, sea kayak or on a helicopter flip over the ocean. The peak of whale activity in Hermanus takes place at the end of September.

Heritage Month

South Africa is home to plenty of museums and other cultural attractions so there are many places where you can commemorate Heritage Month. Learn about the country’s history by visiting The Apartheid Museum in Joburg, take part in the Inanda Heritage tour in Durban or visit Vilakazi Street in South Africa’s most famous township, Soweto. South Africans take their heritage seriously and even have a national holiday dedicated to it. Heritage Day falls on the 24th of September so don’t forget to join the locals and celebrate with a traditional South African ‘braai’.

SUMMER December-February

Beach and mountains

South Africa’s deliciously hot summers begin just as the Northern Hemisphere enters its cold, dark winter, and with stunning coastlines, picturesque winelands and exceptional game reserves on offer, the Rainbow Nation is the perfect long-haul destination for international holidaymakers looking for some winter sun. South Africa’s summer really hots up between October and February. It’s also peak season with most tourists choosing to holiday during the summer months.

Beach Holidays

If you are looking for a beach holiday, then summer is the best time to visit South Africa. With a coastline stretching more than 2,500km, the country boasts many pristine blue flag beaches. That all-important bikini weather means that nothing beats spending long, lazy summer days on golden shores lapped by the azure ocean. Don’t forget your sun block though, it’s no secret that the South African sun can be a scorcher.

Summer Music Festivals

Music festivals are a highlight on South Africa’s summer calendar and an exciting time to meet new people and don your best festival worthy fashion. If you’re a fan of Glastonbury and multi-sensory music experiences, you will love South Africa’s summer music festivals. The top three are Rocking the Daisies, Up the Creek Music Festival, and the Ultra Music Festival.

Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands enjoy a Mediterranean climate and with minimal rainfall and balmy weather summer is one of the best times to visit. The stunning mountain landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for sampling the country’s finest wines and superb cuisine. It can get very hot but cooling down al-fresco with a chilled glass of dry white among a lush valley of vines is pure bliss.

AUTUMN March-May

Mountains and blue sky

During Autumn temperatures in South Africa are moderate and the holiday crowd dies down with fewer people around, so you’ll avoid the long queues waiting to get into tourist attractions or waiting for your cocktails on the beach. During this temperate season you can enjoy sightseeing, sunbathing, sampling delicious South African dishes and with cooler weather adventure activities are popular, especially if you want to avoid the rush and enjoy some spectacular thrills.

Extreme Adventures

Whether it’s snorkelling with seahorses in Knysna or throwing yourself into a massive canyon from the highest bungee jump in the world, you will be impressed by South Africa’s unforgettable adventure activities. Popular pastimes include kayaking, parasailing, zip lining, bungee jumping, skydiving, hang-gliding, abseiling and many more.

Hiking

With crisp blue skies in the morning and dusty red sunsets in the evening, the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga offers the perfect location for exciting days spent hiking in the wilderness of South Africa. The leopard trail is a popular choice for its breath-taking views of the 3 rondavels and Blyde River Dam, while the Guinea Fowl trail leads to the river where you can swim and frolic under gushing waterfalls. The idyllic Autumnal colours makes hiking in this nature reserve a memorable one-of-a-kind experience.

The Midlands Meander

The Midlands in KwaZulu-Natal are especially picturesque during autumn, with scenic routes featuring rolling verdant farmland, country cottages, charming towns and a delightful arts and crafts scene. With the draining heat of the summer a thing of the past, the fresh country air and endless exciting stops make The Midlands Meander the ideal way to experience life at a gentler pace.

WINTER June-August

Wildlife at a waterhole

The good news is that it isn’t too cold to visit South Africa in winter. Although the temperatures do drop, it’s not as cold as winter in the UK or Europe and you’ll also save a ton of money. South Africa offers excellent value for money at any time of the year but in winter, you’ll get airfares, accommodation, and entry fees to tourist attractions at a much lower price. You can also take advantage of all the winter warmer specials that hotels and restaurants use to entice guests to venture out during the cooler weather.

Game Viewing

Few people know that winter is the best time for a game drive if you are hoping to hit the Big 5 jackpot. During winter, the animals prefer the cooler weather and tend to be more active during the day than they would be in summer. Also, winter is South Africa’s dry season meaning that the wildlife start to congregate around the water holes. Be sure to wrap up warmly though, it gets chilly on an open vehicle during early mornings or evenings in the bush.

Durban

With its subtropical climate and more than 300 days of sunshine every year Durban enjoys hot humid summers and warm, dry winters. Even in the height of the winter months you can expect blue skies, golden beaches, and heavenly warm ocean waters. This means you can still enjoy swimming and sunbathing on the Golden Mile, long walks at sunset along the promenade or fun-filled days out at uShaka Marine World theme park.

Surfing and Shark Cage Diving

If you consider yourself a serious surfer, winter is the best season to catch some waves. South Africa is renowned for having some of the best surf spots in the world with great offshore winds for both beginners and experts. However, if you really want some white-knuckle thrills, then shark cage diving is guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. Cooler waters in winter mean better visibility for viewing Great White sharks so you have a better chance of coming face to face with one (or two) of these majestic marine predators.

With its delightful Mediterranean climate, Cape Town is stunning in summer while the Drakensburg is majestic covered in winter snow. No matter which season you choose to travel in, South Africa will always be wonderful and memorable. If you want to plan your trip to coincide with a specific season, give us a call today on UK 01233 80 27 27 or visit our website www.bestofsouthafricatravel.co.uk.

Testimonials

Jock Safari Lodge

Definitely going back for more!

"We were referred to Ash by a mutual friend and were specifically looking for a unique experience for our family which involved a game park.  After a brief discussion around what we would like to see and do, Ash then came back with a package that met us at Jo'burg airport, flew us into the Kruger where our three day …

Tim Groenestein

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