South Africa in detail

When to go and weather

High Season (Nov–Mar)

• Peak times are early December to mid-January and around Easter.

• Coastal and national-park accommodation books up months in advance.

• In popular holiday spots, accommodation prices can rise by 50% or more.

Shoulder (Apr–May & Sep–Oct)

• Sunny autumn (Apr–May) and spring (Sep–Oct) weather.

• Optimum wildlife-watching conditions from autumn onwards.

• Wildflower season late August to early September.

• Whale watching best around spring.

Low Season (Jun–Aug)

• Winter is ideal for wildlife watching.

• Rainy season in Cape Town and the Western Cape.

• Prices generally low.

• A good time to visit arid areas such as the Karoo.