The best time to go to South Africa? Anytime between January and December! South Africa has a delightfully temperate climate year-round, so your decision about when to go should rather be based on the types of experiences you would like to have.
Focus on Fall
It’s important to keep in mind that when North America heats up, South Africa cools down. The seasons are opposite; when it’s spring here, it’s fall there. In South Africa, fall officially runs from March 21 – June 21, with average highs of 82F/27C and lows of 58F/14C.
In May, humidity drops and the dry season begins and continues throughout the winter. This is great news for those venturing out on safari in South Africa at this time of year.
As puddles dry up and surface water becomes scarce, the animals can be found gathering at permanent watering holes and at rivers. Many trees and shrubs start losing their leaves, making it that much easier to spot and photograph wildlife.
In Cape Town, autumn signals the start of the annual wine harvest, so it’s an ideal time for wine lovers to visit. It’s also shoulder season and temperatures are refreshingly cool, the summer tourists are leaving, and prices, in general, have dropped. Sporadic rains give way to bright blue skies and clean, crisp air. Fall average highs in the Cape range from 72F/22C and lows, 58F/14C.
The Greatest Shoal on Earth
Water temperatures dip as well, which lures literally hundreds of millions of fish close to the shore in a fantastic annual spectacle known as The Sardine Run. The large shoals of sardines travel up the east coast from the Cape to KwaZulu-Natal, attracting thousands of sharks, dolphins, whales, Cape fur seals, and marine birds, not to mention scores of fishermen along the way. This famous feeding frenzy occurs between late fall and mid-winter, which is May and July.
Fall is a fabulous time to visit South Africa. But keep in mind that each season holds its own charms and brings with it something extraordinary.