Skip to content
Home » South Africa: From Cape to Kruger, A Detailed Travel Guide » Best Time to Visit South Africa in 2024 for Wildlife Safaris, Hiking, and Road Trips. South Africa Weather Guide

Best Time to Visit South Africa in 2024 for Wildlife Safaris, Hiking, and Road Trips. South Africa Weather Guide

Best Time to Visit South Africa

  • Optimal: May to September (best wildlife viewing, cooler weather).
  • For beaches: November to February have the highest beach score.
  • Other favorable months: March, April, and October.

Geography facts

  • Location: Southernmost tip of Africa.
  • Area: 1,221,037 km².
  • Borders: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Eswatini; encircles Lesotho.
  • Landscape: Varied terrain including savannah, deserts, and coastal areas. Highest point: Mafadi at 3,450 meters.

South Africa is renowned for its diverse ecosystems, ranging from lush forests and mountain ranges to arid deserts and vibrant coastal areas, offering a multitude of experiences for visitors.

Climate

  • Coastal: Mediterranean in the southwest, subtropical along the east coast.
  • Interior: Semi-arid with hot days and cool nights, particularly in the highveld.
The daily range of reported temperatures (gray bars) and 24-hour highs (red ticks) and lows (blue ticks), placed over the daily average high (faint red line) and low (faint blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. (c) weatherspark.com

Monthly Weather Snapshot

January

  • Temperatures: Day at +25°C (77°F) to +30°C (86°F), Night at +15°C (59°F).
  • Rainfall: 100-150 mm, particularly in the northern regions.
  • Activities: Beach outings in Cape Town, summer festivals, hiking early in the morning.
  • Sea Temperature: +21°C (70°F).

February

  • Temperatures: Day at +25°C (77°F) to +28°C (82°F), Night at +14°C (57°F).
  • Rainfall: 75-125 mm, more frequent in the northeast.
  • Activities: Whale watching, vineyard tours in Western Cape.
  • Sea Temperature: +22°C (72°F).
South Africa (c) s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com

March

  • Temperatures: Day at +23°C (73°F) to +26°C (79°F), Night at +13°C (55°F).
  • Rainfall: 50-100 mm.
  • Activities: Wildlife safaris, visiting botanical gardens.
  • Sea Temperature: +22°C (72°F).

April

  • Temperatures: Day at +21°C (70°F) to +24°C (75°F), Night at +11°C (52°F).
  • Rainfall: 25-75 mm, generally dry in the south.
  • Activities: Autumn foliage tours, hiking in Drakensberg Mountains.
  • Sea Temperature: +21°C (70°F).

May

  • Temperatures: Day at +19°C (66°F) to +22°C (72°F), Night at +8°C (46°F).
  • Rainfall: 10-50 mm, drier in the interior.
  • Activities: Prime time for safaris, bird watching.
  • Sea Temperature: +20°C (68°F).

June

  • Temperatures: Day at +16°C (61°F) to +20°C (68°F), Night at +5°C (41°F).
  • Rainfall: 10-50 mm, higher in the southwest.
  • Activities: Whale watching in Hermanus, exploring cultural sites.
  • Sea Temperature: +19°C (66°F).
The hourly reported temperature, color coded into bands. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight. (c) weatherspark.co

July

  • Temperatures: Day at +15°C (59°F) to +18°C (64°F), Night at +4°C (39°F).
  • Rainfall: 25-75 mm.
  • Activities: Winter safaris, exploring historical towns.
  • Sea Temperature: +18°C (64°F).

August

  • Temperatures: Day at +17°C (63°F) to +20°C (68°F), Night at +5°C (41°F).
  • Rainfall: 25-75 mm.
  • Activities: Visiting Namaqualand for wildflowers, hiking trails.
  • Sea Temperature: +18°C (64°F).

September

  • Temperatures: Day at +19°C (66°F) to +22°C (72°F), Night at +8°C (46°F).
  • Rainfall: 25-50 mm.
  • Activities: Spring blooms in Western Cape, wildlife viewing in Kruger.
  • Sea Temperature: +19°C (66°F).

South Africa (c) rhin-blog-production.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com

October

  • Temperatures: Day at +21°C (70°F) to +24°C (75°F), Night at +11°C (52°F).
  • Rainfall: 25-75 mm.
  • Activities: Coastal drives along the Garden Route, vineyard tours.
  • Sea Temperature: +20°C (68°F).

November

  • Temperatures: Day at +23°C (73°F) to +27°C (81°F), Night at +13°C (55°F).
  • Rainfall: 50-100 mm.
  • Activities: Beach vacations, safari trips.
  • Sea Temperature: +21°C (70°F).

December

  • Temperatures: Day at +25°C (77°F) to +30°C (86°F), Night at +15°C (59°F).
  • Rainfall: 75-125 mm, more common in the northeast.
  • Activities: Summer festivals, beach holidays in Cape Town.
  • Sea Temperature: +22°C (72°F).

South Africa offers a wide range of activities throughout the year, from stunning wildlife safaris and breathtaking hikes to relaxing beach vacations. The country’s diverse climate and geography ensure that there’s always something to see and do, no matter when you visit.

Back to South Africa’s Travel Guide

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 1 Average: 5]