Summer in South Africa

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Start planning your summer trip to South Africa

Summer in South Africa is brilliant, and it’s one of the best times to explore this country of diverse landscapes and cultures. Warm weather and brief thunderstorms that leave an unmistakably earthy scent make this a brilliant time of year for a South Africa trip, and during summer there are countless outdoor activities to enjoy. Cool off in the pleasant Indian or Atlantic Ocean waters, or party at the many festivals and concerts throughout the country.

Why should I visit South Africa in the summer?

Summertime in South Africa is unforgettable. From taking long walks along the spectacular coastline to ziplining across forest canopies, or enjoying a sunset dinner, you’re guaranteed a memorable experience. The warmest weather of the year brings numerous summer celebrations like wine and music festivals, where you'll party long after the sun goes down.

Best things to do in South Africa in summer

Summer in South Africa means getting out and about. With so much on offer, it can be hard to narrow down your must-do list, so we’ve chosen our favorite experiences for a summer vacation in South Africa. 

See Africa's finest wildlife

Don’t miss the opportunity for a safari on your South Africa trip. The summer season sees the emergence of baby animals, plus plenty of blooming plants and migrating birds. Karoo and Mokala national parks are some underrated places to witness these wonders. Think lions with cubs, giraffes with offspring and thousands of colorful birds in the skies. 

Taste the Cape's best wines

There are few better things to do in summer than sampling fine South African wine. Visit the Cape Winelands region for some of the country's best wines. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are hotspots for fantastic estates and vineyards, where you can indulge in tastings and tours with views of the mountains.

Celebrate at summer festivals

It’s easy to make the most of the South African summer with its full schedule of events. Music lovers will enjoy the rhythms of the Up the Creek festival in February, or the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in March. Creative types will appreciate the free-spirited Bazique celebration, or the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn. 

Get active on adventures high and low

Get your blood pumping with some thrilling activities among South Africa’s diverse landscapes. Zipline through the forests of Tsitsikamma National Park, bike up and down the mountains overlooking Cape Town, or raft down the white waters of the Orange River.

Hang out on the beach

South Africa has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, with over 40 Blue Flag-rated beaches. There are clean waters and scenic landscapes almost everywhere you look, and ample opportunity to swim or surf in the warm waters off Durban, Jeffrey's Bay, or the Wild Coast.

What’s the weather like in South Africa in summer?

Summer in South Africa runs from mid-October to mid-February, and is generally warm and dry. Most areas experience average highs in the upper 70s, and precipitation comes in the form of brief afternoon thunderstorms which clear up quickly. With the often hot, intense sun, it’s essential to bring lightweight rain gear, sunscreen and a hat.

When to go in South Africa?

South Africa is marked by two seasons: a hot and humid summer (November to March) and a dry cooler winter (April to October). The Western Cape region has winter rainfall from June to August. The good thing is that South Africa has something to offer for each season. Safari season is from April to October. From November to March, the beaches of the Western Cape are idyllic. If you come between June and September there is a fair chance you will see whales… And then there is the Kwazulu-Natal coast, perfect for bathing all year round.
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