South Africa Travel Guide – More
South Africa is mercurial in nature, one moment you’ll be exploring the origins of ancient man, the next you’re cage-diving with Great White Sharks and the next you’re drinking traditional beer in a lively township shebeen. South Africa really is a destination where you can experience it all, more.
As a people, we are known for our humanity – we may have come from a past filled with separation and struggle but our future is one of unity and possibility. In true African spirit, we understand the value of a warm South African welcome, and we can’t wait to welcome you to our Rainbow Nation – in 11 official languages.
There are nine spectacular provinces for you to explore – nine incredible diverse parts of the country that will open up your sense of possibility in ways you never thought possible. Oh, and by the way – we do have a sensational climate (with over 300 days of sunshine per year in some parts). We are also extremely proud of our superb infrastructure – excellent roads, a great variety of accommodation options and world-class service.
South Africa truly is a ground-breaking destination for explorers and adventurers who want to experience life in all its fullness. We’re a destination that allows you to scratch below the surface and experience endless possibilities, and to walk away the richer for having been here.
Picking a best time to visit South Africa is not a task easily accomplished. After all, this is a country famous for its sunshine and relatively warm winters.
Perhaps it’s wise to consider what it is you wish to do and see, along with the South African tourism seasons. For example, if you are an avid twitcher, the country is on the flight path of birds from the north in mid-October – November. If it’s the floral carpet spread of the Cape flower season that you wish to catch, visit the area when the winter rains are over at the first sign of spring, namely August and September. If you are going on a game safari, the best time is July through September, when the visibility is best and it’s birthing season.
Another point you might want to take into account are the major South African holiday seasons, when the schools close and families en-masse head for the coast. The busiest period of all falls between mid- December and early January, coinciding with the Festive Season. Mid-winter is another prime time when locals head for warmer climes. You’ll find the holiday crowds in destinations like Durban and Cape Town, but they do bring a lot of buzz in their wake.
If action and adventure is your thing, a number of activities are at their best after the summer’s peak, such as diving, hiking and surfing. You may also want to time your trip to include a major sporting or entertainment event – these generally take place out of season too. And don’t discount winter holidays either – the South African winter compares favorably with the European summer, and the tropical province of KwaZulu-Natal with its fine coastline will still offer a good beach holiday.
The best time to visit South Africa? Well, just about all year round.
A subtropical location and a high interior plateau are responsible for South Africa’s temperate conditions so appreciated by visitors.
South African temperatures, which are measured in centigrade, average at high of 28°C and a low of 8°C. Average annual rainfall is on the low side at under 500mm a year, making the country somewhat dry. Most of the rain falls in the Western Cape in the winter, differing from the rest of the country, which experiences a summer rainfall. But on the plus side, the South African climate boasts more than its fair share of sunshine, recording an average of 8.5 hours a day.
South Africa’s climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the south-western corner of the country to temperate in the interior plateau, and subtropical in the north-east. A small region in the north-west has a desert climate.
Our relatively mild and short winters do not justify the expense of central heating in many buildings and homes, which may lead visitors to think the winter is colder than it actually is. The answer to this is dressing in layers.
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