What Is The Best Time Of Year For A Holiday In South Africa?

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Answered by: Belinda, An Expert in the Countries in Africa - South Africa Category
Is there really a ‘best time’ to holiday in South Africa? With a country as geographically diverse as this, there are only ‘different times’ to visit depending on your preferences and what you want to discover and experience on your holiday in South Africa.

Peak Season on a Summer Holiday in South Africa

Summer in South Africa is considered peak season and the prices, from airfares to accommodation in South Africa, tend to reflect this. It is however the ideal time of year to visit if you’re after long lazy days on the beach, serious surf opportunities and excellent weather. South Africa has a ‘sub-tropical’ climate, but, being bordered on three sides by the ocean, makes for some cooler temperatures and very clement weather for visitors. A holiday in South Africa during the summer months makes a perfect escape for international visitors looking to flee the winter. Summer starts in October and continues through to February/March when the crisp days of autumn arrive. Winter in South Africa, depending on where you choose for your holiday, is clear, cold and some parts of the country even experience snow.

A Winter Holiday in South Africa

Winter may be the ideal time to visit this fascinating country. The dry months of winter and early spring are the perfect time for a Safari holiday and you’ll find that accommodation in South Africa is not as expensive as during the summer months. Kruger National Park, with nearly 2 million hectares of diverse wildlife and natural beauty are best visited during the winter. Days are crisp and clear, the bushveld is slightly lower for better game viewing and the nights are cold and dry. We’d also recommend the Pilansberg, Madikwe and Mapungubwe National Parks that are well situated in the interior of the country.

The natural diversity of South Africa means that a June safari holiday in the Kruger is completely different to a June holiday in the Cape. The coastal regions of South Africa experience winter rains and colder weather, but a winter holiday in South Africa in the Western and Eastern Cape gives you the chance to experience the whales as they move along the coast. Whale watching is a massive attraction from July right through to September. If you want to experience the wildlife in the coastal provinces, the best time to visit is in Spring.

Spring Flower Display

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape is best enjoyed as part of a visit to see the magnificent show of the Namaqualand flowers in spring. There is less chance of rain and you’ll be able to witness the desert bloom with a multi-coloured display of flowers. Hire a car and tour this remote and historically important region of the country during spring.

A Summer Holiday in South Africa

The Cape is magnificent in summer, it may be high season, but you can always find a stretch of beach to claim as your very own, even on the popular beaches in Cape Town. Head to the Eastern Cape for more wilderness and wildlife: The Addo Elephant Park is phenomenal in summer and the coastal towns of Port Elizabeth, Jeffries Bay and up into the Transkei are particularly beautiful during the summer.

KwaZulu-Natal is one of the best spots on the continent for a summer holiday in South Africa. Safari holidays at the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park and the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Park are outstanding and Durban, the South Coast towns and north to Richards Bay are fun, sun, surf and magnificent warm seas. Even during the winter months, you can enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean when you visit Durban.

Far too many attractions and not enough blog space to extol the virtues and beauty of a holiday in South Africa. There is no wrong time to visit this world class destination. Just your choice of time for a perfect holiday.

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