The best time to visit South Africa on safari is from April to October. The water sources are drying up which means animals including predators (lion, leopard, wild dog, and cheetah) congregate around water holes making for excellent sightings. Predators are more active, thus increasing your chance to see them and potentially a kill. Foliage in the bushveld is sparse making viewing easier.
Our favorite national parks are the Kruger National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Pilanesberg National Park, Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, Addo Elephant National Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Mkuze Game Reserve,Great Karoo National Park, Mapungubwe National Park, Ithala Game Reserve, Tembe Elephant Park, West Coast National Park, and Golden Gate National Park.
South African national parks are unique, and each offers a profound South Africa safari experience. Best explored with our award-winning safari outfitters. Our rates are the most competitive in South Africa.
A truly life changing experience is to combine a safari in a public game reserve like the Kruger with that of a private one. Two nights in each is sufficient.
Every year between June and December, southern right and humpback whales can be seen along the east coast from Cape Town to Knysna. During this period, both species are frequently seen with calves, as they use South African waters for calving and rearing their young before heading back to their feeding grounds in the Antarctic Ocean.
Hermanus is the best spot in the world to see these magnificent baleens terrestrially (from the shore). Take a whale boat cruise from Hermanus harbor, and get close to whales, dolphins, seals, turtles, great white sharks, orca’s and more.
Hermanus celebrates an annual whale festival in September. Hundreds of southern right whales can be seen from the shore and there’s even a town whale crier to alert people to sightings.
Hermanus is a two-hour drive from Cape Town. *We are happy to recommend and book optional activities for you throughout your safari holiday at our preferential rates!
The wildflower season runs from the beginning of August to the end of September. The flowers are dependent on winter rains, so some years will be better than others.
For Namaqualand, early to late August is best, for the Cederberg, late August to late September and for the West Coast National Park mid-August to late September on a good year.
The summer months from November to February is the best diving season in South Africa. The water temperatures are pleasant, ranging from 21-28°C on the east coast and 20°C on the West Coast. The visibility is excellent at this time of year, with up to 33 meters in most areas.
The winter months of May-July are known for the spectacular Sardine Run. Protea Banks in KZN is the best dive site in South Africa to witness it. Huge schools of sardines make their annual move from the cold waters off Cape Town and head northeast toward the KZN coastline.
The best time for hiking in South Africa is spring or autumn. In the months of March to May, September, October and November, you can avoid the intense heat of the summer and the rainfall of summer or winter, depending on where you’re hiking. That said, being well prepared is important as conditions in the mountains are unpredictable.
The chances of seeing a substantial number of Great Whites are from May to October. Gansbaai, a two-hour drive from Cape Town is the place to be. For your own safety, boat trips are weather dependent, and it is advisable to have more than one day set aside for the shark trip.
The birdlife in South Africa is at its best from November to May, when the intra African, European, and Asian migrants are present. Currently, local bird species are nesting and in breeding plumage.
The Kruger National Park with 590 plus species is great for birding, while Mkuze National Park is the iconic birding hotspot, offering just as many species as the Kruger in a significantly smaller area.
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has an impressive bird checklist of over 300 species.
The park is world renowned for its raptors (birds of prey) with 48 species recorded. Migratory birds are present from November to May.
December to April is summer in South Africa and the best time of year for beaches. The weather is warm with clear skies and long days.
From June to August there is almost always snow on the ski slope at AfriSki in the beautiful Drakensberg mountains close to the border of Lesotho.
Photo Belongs To AfrSki
We are happy to recommend and book optional activities for you throughout your safari holiday at our preferential rates!
Call Craig +27 (0)820917983