Skip to content
Please select your location:
Penguins on Boulders Beach in Cape Town, South Africa

When is the best time to visit South Africa?

South Africa is a year-round destination due to its varying regional climates and wildlife opportunities. The Cape has beautiful hot, dry weather in its summer months between November and February, while the best time to visit for whale watching is between July and November.

The northern regions can be rainy from November to February, but this can be the best time to travel for birding, while the cooler winter months from May to September bring superb conditions for viewing big game.

Speak to someone
who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Arista

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our South Africa specialists on 01993 838 550

September is the best month to travel to South Africa if you'd like to experience a combination of regions and wildlife. The weather tends to be good everywhere, and sights include frolicking newborn game and breaching whales.

Andrew, Africa Safari Specialist

South Africa Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
The Battlefields 27°C 124mm 27°C 109mm 26°C 79mm 24°C 44mm 22°C 15mm 19°C 9mm 19°C 10mm 22°C 20mm 24°C 41mm 25°C 85mm 26°C 105mm 27°C 127mm
Cape Town 26°C 28mm 26°C 28mm 25°C 35mm 23°C 83mm 20°C 134mm 18°C 153mm 17°C 143mm 17°C 134mm 19°C 81mm 21°C 61mm 23°C 37mm 24°C 33mm
Durban 28°C 124mm 28°C 113mm 28°C 125mm 26°C 71mm 24°C 56mm 23°C 30mm 22°C 31mm 23°C 46mm 24°C 64mm 24°C 95mm 25°C 110mm 27°C 110mm
Johannesburg 26°C 138mm 25°C 107mm 25°C 91mm 22°C 61mm 20°C 21mm 17°C 9mm 17°C 7mm 20°C 8mm 23°C 27mm 25°C 74mm 25°C 118mm 25°C 123mm
The Kalahari 33°C 47mm 32°C 55mm 29°C 63mm 26°C 30mm 22°C 14mm 19°C 5mm 19°C 2mm 22°C 4mm 26°C 7mm 29°C 16mm 31°C 30mm 32°C 38mm
Knysna 24°C 69mm 25°C 61mm 23°C 71mm 22°C 75mm 20°C 72mm 19°C 64mm 18°C 65mm 19°C 87mm 19°C 75mm 20°C 85mm 22°C 72mm 24°C 64mm
Kruger National Park 33°C 103mm 32°C 106mm 31°C 67mm 29°C 35mm 27°C 15mm 25°C 11mm 24°C 10mm 26°C 8mm 29°C 21mm 30°C 33mm 30°C 77mm 32°C 92mm
Plettenberg Bay 24°C 73mm 25°C 66mm 23°C 74mm 22°C 77mm 20°C 75mm 19°C 68mm 19°C 69mm 19°C 97mm 19°C 79mm 20°C 90mm 22°C 77mm 24°C 66mm
Stellenbosch 28°C 17mm 28°C 27mm 26°C 28mm 23°C 74mm 20°C 118mm 18°C 128mm 17°C 112mm 17°C 114mm 19°C 62mm 22°C 54mm 25°C 35mm 26°C 20mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in South Africa

Bo Kaap, Cape Town

Visiting South Africa in January

January sees hot and dry weather in the Cape, making it an excellent time of year for trips to Cape Town and the Garden Route. The Kruger and KwaZulu Natal also have high temperatures, but sunny periods are interspersed with tropical rainstorms.

Events & Festivals

  • The Battlefields in KwaZulu Natal (January): The battlefields are popular in January as it's the anniversaries of the Battle of Isandlwana and the Battle of Rorke's Drift. Read more »

More choice for your safari

  • Inspiration across all our African destinations
  • Trip suggestions based on your interests
  • Advice on where to safari, when
  • Meet our team of safari experts

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring South Africa