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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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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
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 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"

Month-by-month guide to traveling in South Africa

Southern Right Whale

Visiting South Africa in July

July is the start of the whale watching season along the coast of the Western Cape; southern right whales can be best viewed from Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay as they come close to the shores to give birth. The weather can be cool and drizzly in the Cape. Warmer and drier temperatures are in the north and east of the country and this is a superb time for game viewing as animals congregate around water holes.

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

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Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring South Africa

Trip ideas for exploring South Africa