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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.

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Audley Travel specialist Tom

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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 81°F 5" 81°F 4" 79°F 3" 75°F 2" 72°F 1" 66°F 0" 66°F 0" 72°F 1" 75°F 2" 77°F 3" 79°F 4" 81°F 5"
Cape Town 79°F 1" 79°F 1" 77°F 1" 73°F 3" 68°F 5" 64°F 6" 63°F 6" 63°F 5" 66°F 3" 70°F 2" 73°F 1" 75°F 1"
Durban 82°F 5" 82°F 4" 82°F 5" 79°F 3" 75°F 2" 73°F 1" 72°F 1" 73°F 2" 75°F 3" 75°F 4" 77°F 4" 81°F 4"
Johannesburg 79°F 5" 77°F 4" 77°F 4" 72°F 2" 68°F 1" 63°F 0" 63°F 0" 68°F 0" 73°F 1" 77°F 3" 77°F 5" 77°F 5"
The Kalahari 91°F 2" 90°F 2" 84°F 2" 79°F 1" 72°F 1" 66°F 0" 66°F 0" 72°F 0" 79°F 0" 84°F 1" 88°F 1" 90°F 1"
Knysna 75°F 3" 77°F 2" 73°F 3" 72°F 3" 68°F 3" 66°F 3" 64°F 3" 66°F 3" 66°F 3" 68°F 3" 72°F 3" 75°F 3"
Kruger National Park 91°F 4" 90°F 4" 88°F 3" 84°F 1" 81°F 1" 77°F 0" 75°F 0" 79°F 0" 84°F 1" 86°F 1" 86°F 3" 90°F 4"
Plettenberg Bay 75°F 3" 77°F 3" 73°F 3" 72°F 3" 68°F 3" 66°F 3" 66°F 3" 66°F 4" 66°F 3" 68°F 4" 72°F 3" 75°F 3"
Stellenbosch 82°F 1" 82°F 1" 79°F 1" 73°F 3" 68°F 5" 64°F 5" 63°F 4" 63°F 4" 66°F 2" 72°F 2" 77°F 1" 79°F 1"

Month-by-month guide to traveling in South Africa

Knysna, South Africa

Visiting South Africa in February

February is one of the hottest months in the Cape, although coastal towns are cooled by pleasant sea breezes. It is a very popular month and hotels get booked up well in advance.

More choice for your safari

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Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring South Africa