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Best Time to Visit South Africa

best time to visit south africa

South Africa is a country that offers almost everything to a tourist and a traveler, with a large scale of flora and fauna, jungle safari’s, Cuisine, one of the oldest culture and traditions to learn about and the vibrant capital famous for its nightlife. It is a country known for its warm hospitality and has its place cemented on every Tour and travels page.

It is located at the southernmost point of Africa. It is surrounded by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Lesotho. Famous for its homegrown wine and chakalaka (A Traditional Dish of South Africa) Contrary to the belief that Johannesburg is the capital, South Africa has 3 capitals, Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein. It one of the largest exports of gold and is one of the strongest economies of Africa. Its inhabitants are of mixed race and it is a multi-ethnic society with a huge variety of religion culture tradition and languages, unlike other African countries which are dominated by colored individuals. this country is often described as a rainbow nation due to its diversity especially during the time of apartheid.

Although, South Africa got independent in 1910, It wasn’t till 1931 that it was fully independent of the British empire. Nelson Mandela was the first black president of this country and ended apartheid through negotiations in South Africa and bringing in peace to a racially divided nation and fighting for human rights around the world.

Apart from the wild animals and vast deserts, it is famous for its cuisine which is heavily meat based. Its most popular sport is soccer, rugby and cricket and soccer is its national game. FIFA 2010 was hosted in South Africa.

The top ten reasons to visit South Africa –

Budget

It is easy on the pocket for a budget traveler, there are many hostels and guest houses and thus a backpacker’s paradise and for travelers who want to relax, there abundant of resorts around the country with luxurious services

Natural beauty

South Africa is famous for its scenic wonders like Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, Apartheid Museum, Castle of good hope, Mandela house, cape point, Sabi-Sabi, Cape Peninsula. It is a destination for all age groups and preferences.

Adventure

The Adventure capital of the world, it is an adrenaline junkie’s wish list with over 100 adventure sports and places there is something for everyone from mountain walks and hot air balloon to shark cage-feeding and spotting a lion.

Diversity

It is one of the only African countries which honor’s its tradition and immigrant culture. It has 11 official languages. It is the ultimate combo of nature, culture, heritage, adventure, wildlife and the colorful vibe.

Wildlife

The favorite destination for animal planet, it is the only country to have the big 5 lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo, the name was termed by African hunters as these animals are the toughest to hunt on ground and then there is whales, penguins, meerkats, hyenas and birds.

History

For the history and heritage enthusiasts, you could discover the n national’s struggle for freedom and the role of Nelson Mandela, Thomas Nkobi, Hector Pieterson, Steve Biko and many others. An inspiration for many.

The top attractions are

  • Cape Town and Cape Peninsula
  • The Winelands
  • Durban
  • Johannesburg
  • Soweto
  • Wild coast
  • Robben Island

South Africa is a year-round destination due to its unique geography, varies regional climatic conditions and wildlife opportunities the cape generally has a beautiful weather with dry and hot in its summer months while the best time to visit for viewing the whale in between Early July to Mid-November, The Climate of South Africa is usually dry and little bit sunny, it falls in the temperate zone very close to the equator and extreme weather conditions are rare. The climate is highly influenced by its ocean which is surrounded at 3 sides

Different Season in South Africa From Jan – Dec

South Africa has a beautiful temperature with a lot of sunny and dry days. There are various factors for this like altitude and oceans. temperature is dropped around 6*C for every 1000 feet you go up. Indian ocean is on the east coast which is warm, Atlantic on the west which is relatively cold. It usually has dry and wet seasons in most parts of the country exert the western cape. Johannesburg is the weather is usually mild due to its high altitude sunny in the day and cool in the night.

There are four major seasons in South Africa

Spring

Spring is from Sept to November, the change over from winter to spring is windy till the rain starts. it is around 25-30 degree celsius in the day and nights are cooler and thus a light jacket is ideal for this time. It is the ideal time to visit places around cape town. Spring is also a good time for wildlife enthusiast who wants to go on safari as nature is dry and animals can’t hide easily. Ziplining is considered one of the ultimate adventures of South Africa that allows you to enjoy morning sunrises and the rugged terrain

Summer

Summer starts from December until February. Major parts of the country experience rainfall during this time, Temperature is around 25-30 degree celsius and can go up to 40 degree celsius with a dry and hot day and slight showers in the evening. This is the ideal time for trekking or travel around the cape This is the ideal time to relax at the beaches. The country is known for its long beaches and beach sports

Fall

Fall starts from March till May, the grass turns yellow and brown and trees shed their leaves, this is ideally the best time to visit as there is very little rain over the country and it is warm but not too hot, nights are cool but not very cold. This time of the year many tourists flock the country for its large Festivals organized over the course of wildflower festival, whale festival, International Documentary Festival and many more. It is the ideal time to also view the nature with the dreamy and picturesque landscape with beautiful ochers and wine color in nature and fantasy looking settings, perfect for the photographers.

Winter

The winter period is from June to August. Lloudy days and minimal rain and cold nights and snow occasionally. Minimum temperature is -5C and maximum is 25C. July is the wettest month of the year and due to the winter, the wind is cold. A must visit is the sardine run around the southern coast of Africa where billions of sardines wash up the shore.

Though South Africa is not famous for its snow due to its varied climatic conditions and elevated height at some regions, there are few spots where you can see the city turn into a white winter land, Eastern Cape’s inland towns Hogsback and Sutherland is ideal spot to witness snow in winters. Winter is the budget season to visit, due to its less crowd it is perfect to go in winters as u can easily get tickets for parks and roam around in big groups. Booking of hotels and flight tickets are very easy due less tourist traffic.

A brief description about month/season

South Africa is situated in various climatic conditions. There are areas with Mediterranean and with deserts and even tropical climate. The temperature of all these places vary place to place and it is the opposite of the seasons in the northern hemisphere of the continent.
Spring in South Africa is one of the most visited and beautiful places in the world, it is a country where the variety of landscapes and activities are endless. In Regions located away from the coast, they have good winds in spring, unlike the winters.

The average temperature in September is 12C with maximum 26*C and lowest 7*C, Octobers are slightly warmer in days and pleasant in evenings with maximum temperature at 28*C and minimum around 14-15*C. By November spring starts to end and is a trans period to summer with temperatures rising to 29-30*C with the minimum in nights of 16*C.

Summer Starts at mid-November and the temperature starts to rise by December. dry heat through the day and warm nights. Although the largest amount of rainfall falls in the summer season.

Further ahead of cape town, places like Stellenbosch temperatures will be slightly higher. This is the time living near the sea is good and there is a slight breeze. One must be aware of strong winds while planning a trip as strong winds will not give you the right tan. Newborn animals are the best spot during this season. It also the ideal time for seeing animals in the open as water is scarce and all the animals come during the day to drink water. Post the first rains the scenic nature turns green and its low season resulting less crowded parks, it is also the best time for bird watching and migratory birds as it is the ideal climate for them. Higher altitude areas are generally hotter and the shores of Lake Malawi are very hot.

To have the best out of the country the ideal time to visit is between December and January as it is during this time that maximum of the festivities and events are organized. During this time, the weather too is much pleasant. The days are warm with the temperature going to a maximum of 20 degree celsius. The nights too during this time aren’t much cold. It’s all pleasant and cozy, making this time the ideal for planning a vacation. The kick start of autumn with the leaves starting to turn pale and the winds starting to chill, this season is the host for the wild flower festival as well. The blooming of the wild and the unusual flowers magnifies the beauty of the season.

Also, winter is a very pocket friendly season. With less tourists pouring in at this time, this season is ideal for all the enthusiasts who wants to explore the place to it’s core and not let the entire trip burn a hole in their pockets.

Though there is no written rule on what time one should visit the country, and what is the perfect time to visit. The country has numerous things to offer to it’s travelers throughout the year. So, depending on every individual’s requirement one can visit the country. The only time one should avoid going to this country is during the time of excessive heat periods. The temperature spurs up to it’s extremes and there are chances of one not being able to adapt to the extremes. o have the best of the visit, one must be sure at what he is expecting out of the trip, and based on that one must opt for what season to prefer.

Every season has beautiful and picturesque landscapes to offer to every individual, so one will never be disappointed with the country no matter what time of the year it is.

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