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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 Briana

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our South Africa specialists at 617-223-4340

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

Eland, De Hoop Nature Reserve

Visiting South Africa in November

It heats up across the country and the rains start in the Kruger and KwaZulu Natal. Late afternoon thunderstorms clear the air and can be spectacular. The Cape sees the last month of the whale season and this is a great time to visit inland areas such as the Karoo before the temperatures soar.

Events & Festivals

  • Whale watching season (July to November): This is the best time to see southern right whales off the coast after their migration from Antarctica to the warm waters off South Africa, where they will have their young.

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