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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 Luke

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Month-by-month guide to traveling 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 »
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South Africa Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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"
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"
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"
The Drakensberg 75°F 8" 75°F 7" 73°F 6" 70°F 2" 66°F 1" 61°F 1" 61°F 0" 66°F 1" 70°F 1" 72°F 3" 72°F 5" 75°F 7"
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"

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring South Africa

Table Mountain South Africa
South Africa
Self-driving in the Kruger National Park
South Africa
Andrew in Bontebok National Park, South Africa

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