Climate for South Africa | The Best Time to Visit

The climate is mild throughout South Africa. The seasons are reversed from the Northern Hemisphere. It can snow between June and August, in the mountain areas, but there is only one ski facility, which is outside Rhodes in the Eastern Cape.

It generally rains in the afternoon during the austral summer (winter in the northern hemisphere) i.e. everywhere in the country, except in the Western Cape Province, where it rains during winter.

Climate as it relates to the Game Parks in South Africa in the interior Kruger Park and surrounding areas

April to October

These are the winter months. This is good for game viewing as the lack of water causes the animals to gather around the remaining water pools making them easier to find. Also the shorter grass and absence of thick foliage makes the animals easier to spot. This is good time temperature wise as well and of course there is less rain.

November to March

These are the summer months. More rain falls with late afternoon thundershowers. The bush greens up with bright foliage and lush vegetation. However, this thick bush makes the animals harder to see.

Whale Watching

The main season for viewing whales is between June and October when the arrive to breed and calve in the bays providing some of the best whale watching in the world.

September thru April

This is the best to time to visit Cape Town. During the rest of the year, it is usually quite cool, often with rain/wind/fog conditions (too cold to lie on the beach). In the coastal belt of the Easter Cape (including the Cape Peninsula and Garden Route), summer days are dry and sunny with most of the rain falling in winter.

Johannesburg at 5700 feet above sea level can be quite cool in the winter. Coats are needed for Johannesburg, as well as for other high elevations. Sweaters are advisable for evenings everywhere else (windbreakers for evening game-reserve drives in the winter).

The following are average rainfall amounts and temperatures:

CAPE TOWN

Month Precipitation Temperature Temperature
 (inches)(degrees F)(degrees F)
  LOWHIGH
JANUARY0.66078
FEBRUARY0.36079
MARCH0.75877
APRIL1.95372
MAY3.14967
JUNE3.34665
JULY3.54563
AUGUST2.64664
SEPTEMBER1.74965
OCTOBER1.25270
NOVEMBER0.75573
DECEMBER0.045876

JOHANNESBURG

Month Precipitation Temperature Temperature
 (inches)(degrees F)(degrees F)
  LOWHIGH
JANUARY4.55878
FEBRUARY4.35877
MARCH3.55575
APRIL1.55072
MAY14366
JUNE0.33962
JULY0.33963
AUGUST0.34368
SEPTEMBER0.94873
OCTOBER2.25377
NOVEMBER4.25577
DECEMBER4.95778

DURBAN

Month Precipitation Temperature Temperature
 (inches)(degrees F)(degrees F)
  LOWHIGH
JANUARY4.36981
FEBRUARY4.86981
MARCH5.16880
APRIL36478
MAY25775
JUNE1.35373
JULY1.15272
AUGUST1.55572
SEPTEMBER2.85973
OCTOBER4.36275
NOVEMBER4.86577

AFRICA