What is the best season for a trip to South Africa?

Is there a best season or time to visit South Africa? Does it become more affordable in Winter when there are less travellers or is the Summer months better as there are more things to do? The truth is that there is no best or worst time to visit as it depends on what you want to do? For example, a safari would be better in Winter when it’s not that hot in the northern parts of the country while a holiday by the sea is better in Summer. So let’s start with some planning before you can make an informed decision:

Going on Safari

May to October

During May to October the days are mostly dry with clear days being perfect for tracking animals. Also, due to the less rainfall animals gather around waterholes so it makes it easier to find them However the nights are cold so remember to bring along some warm clothes for the trip. Check out the following campsites for the best spots to see wildlife or if you’re close to Cape Town here are the best game reserves.

Whale Watching

August to September

During August to September the whale pods travel to and from Antarctica to breed & calve off the coast of Mozambique & Madagascar. Sightings can start as early as May & can last into early December. The whale watching town is definitely Hermanus where even if you don’t spot a whale there are loads of things to do.

Cape Town Beach Holiday

November to March

For a Cape Town beach holiday, you simply can’t beat the hot summer months between November and March. With more than 2850km (1770 miles) of coastline where should the beach lovers go? This depends on what you want: From blue flag beaches, to remote strands tucked away in national parks to top surfing spots on the Sunshine Coast. If you’re unable to decide maybe this guide to sand, surf & scenery could be of help.

Cape Winelands

All Year Round

Although from November to January is peak season it is never a bad time to visit a wine farm. Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Constantia, Elgin, Robertson to name a few all have excellent terroir & are known for both red & white cultivars. Travel Hack: Focus on one wine area at a time & no more than 1-3 wineries on any given day. You’ll be less rushed for time & will maximise the experience. Check out Charlie’s Honest Review where she visited the Winelands in a Happy 1 campervan.

Garden Route

All Year Round

‘The Garden’ as it is affectionally known is gorgeous all year round with temperatures rarely dropping below 18 degrees celcius. If you’re into hiking are best time is from November-April while wildflowers is perfect from August to October. The high season runs from November to April, with the warmest weather during the summer, but avoid December and January if you want to sidestep the crowds. For an in-depth travel routes for the Garden Route check out this adventure by scratching the southern coast or go on a cultural journey.

Choosing the right season for your trip

In general, the climate in South Africa is warmer in the north and cooler in the south. You’ll also find different weather on the coasts compared to the elevated plateau that makes up most of the country, where it tends to be drier. This being said it’s important to plan your trip even just a little otherwise you may find yourself wearing only your swimming shorts when the ‘Cape Doctor’ comes around.

Here at Happy Campers, we want travellers to feel confident and prepared. Reach out to us if you have any queries, start by selecting your route via this campsite map, browse through our FAQs, have a look at our camping community or check out our blog for travel ideas.