Best periods to travel in South Africa

Best periods to travel in South Africa

It was with a heavy heart that we decided to pull the plug on PhilGuides Southern Africa, it was a passion project and circumstances beyond our control made it impossible to continue. We saved all the information and carried it here. Geraldine and Pascal will try to keep it up to date and add more information as time goes by, you may even find a tour or two in the future.

South Africa’s weather patterns vary in the different regions making it hard to say “this is the best time of year to visit”. The answers are specific to provinces.

Overall, in Spring (from mid-September to November) and Autumn (from late February to April) are the most enjoyable times to visit our country. Please visit our weather section for more regional information.

Best weather periods per region

To enjoy the north-west of the country (the greater Kalahari) our winter is recommended. From May to September the heat of the desert is less oppressive, but be aware that it is winter and it can get quite cold.

The north-east (Greater Kruger Park area) is best enjoyed during Spring and Autumn, though Summer and Winter are quite mild and lots of visitors enjoy their visit at this time.

The central region (the Drakensberg) experiences its best weather during the Summer. In Winter, you could try your luck and hope for snow to be able to ski –  snow is not guaranteed though.

The east’s (KwaZulu-Natal) weather is enjoyable all year round.

The south (the Garden Route) also experiences good weather all year round, but it rains more in winter.

The south-west (Cape Town) enjoys good weather between September and April, and this is the time when most of the tourists visit this region. In winter it’s rainy and can get very cold, although that time of year offers a smorgasbord of different experiences.

Lastly, the west (West Coast and Namaqualand) is famous for the world-renowned flowers of the Namaqualand. This time of year sees busloads of tourists travelling to see this spectacle.  It takes places after the first rains between the end of August to the end of September.


Here is a list of annual events that you may be interested in, though this often varies due to a number of factors:

  • The Sardine Run usually occurs from May to July every year in Kwa-Zulu Natal along the coast all the way to the Eastern Cape.
  • The whales visit Hermanus in the Western Cape during their calving period from end August to early November. They can be seen infrequently in the region through the year.
  • If sharks and sharks cage viewing are your interest, then plan your visit from June to September.

Visit our calendars for annual fixed date events.