The Best Time of Year to Visit South Africa

When to enjoy this country of contrasts

Zoë Poulsen


Photo by Wynand Uys on Unsplash

With its spectacular landscapes, extraordinary biodiversity, great food and wine, relatively low cost of living and plethora of tourist destinations, South Africa makes for an attractive destination for visitors from around the world.

But planning a first trip to a new destination can be overwhelming. Deciding the best time of year to visit is an important question to answer to get the best out of your visit.

So in this article, I’ve taken a look at some of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations, and the best seasons to visit them.

When to Visit Cape Town

Photo by Juanita Swart on Unsplash

Located at the southwesternmost tip of the African continent, the mountainous coastal city of Cape Town has a mediterranean climate. This means that it has cool rainy winters and hot dry summers.

In the winter, there are sunny days with an average max of 20 °C (68 °F) that are interspersed between rainy days with temperatures with an average minimum of 10 °C (50 °F).

In the winter, you can expect around ten days of rain per month, where intense cold fronts with heavy rain and high winds rage across the narrow Cape Peninsula.

Photo by Fungai Tichawangana on Unsplash

Winter visitors to Cape Town will want to cosy up next to an open fire on rainy days and enjoy many of the indoor attractions on offer, such as the Waterfront’s Two Oceans Aquarium.

And when the sun comes out, the weather is still cool enough to make the most of the many outdoor activities that the Mother City has to offer.

Enjoy a visit to Boulders Beach in Simonstown to visit the resident African penguins, learn more about the region’s biodiversity at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, or take a hike into the mountains just a stone’s throw from the city.



Zoë Poulsen

Botanist, freelance writer and conservationist based in Cape Town at the heart of South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region.