The best times to visit South Africa for ideal weather are

March 19th to May 27th

or

September 3rd to November 18th

based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.

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Weather in South Africa

Temperature

Average temperatures in South Africa vary somewhat. Considering humidity, temperatures feel very enjoyable all year with a very low chance of rain or snow throughout the year. The area is more temperate than most — in the 70th percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit South Africa, the hottest months are January, February, and then December. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally late January where highs are regularly around 87°F (30.6°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 63.2°F (17.3°C) at night.

South Africa Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

Key
High
Average
Low

South Africa Temperatures (Celsius)

Key
High
Average
Low

“Feels-Like” Temperatures

The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.

South Africa Perceived Temperature (F)

Key
High
Average
Low

South Africa Perceived Temperature (C)

Key
High
Average
Low

 

Average South Africa Temperatures by Month

Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.

Show Fahrenheit

Month Avg. High (°F) Avg. Mean (°F) Avg. Low (°F)
Jan 86.3 72.4 62.7
Feb 86.1 71.9 61.9
Mar 83.7 69.4 59.6
Apr 78.4 63.6 53
May 75.8 59.9 48.2
Jun 69.9 54 42.4
Jul 69.4 53.5 41.7
Aug 73.6 57.7 45.3
Sep 78.5 62.6 50.1
Oct 81.1 66.2 54.7
Nov 82.3 67.8 57
Dec 85 71.1 61.1

Show Celsius

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 30.2 22.4 17.1
Feb 30.1 22.2 16.6
Mar 28.7 20.8 15.3
Apr 25.8 17.6 11.7
May 24.3 15.5 9
Jun 21.1 12.2 5.8
Jul 20.8 11.9 5.4
Aug 23.1 14.3 7.4
Sep 25.8 17 10.1
Oct 27.3 19 12.6
Nov 27.9 19.9 13.9
Dec 29.4 21.7 16.2


 

Precipitation (Rain or Snow)

If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in South Africa are May, August, and then July. Note that we define “significant precipitation” as .1 inches or more in this section. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around late May. For example, on the week of May 21st there are no days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in early to mid December with an average of 1 days of significant precipitation the week of December 10th.

When can you find snow in South Africa? Weather stations report no annual snow. Please note that a value of 0 for snow in the graph below may either mean there was no snow, or that snow is unreported.

Chanceof Precipitation

The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in South Africa.

Key
Days with precipitation

Snow on the Ground

The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in South Africa (in).

Key
Snow depth

Average Rain and Snow by Month

Show Inches

Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (in) Total Precipitation (in)
Jan 13% 0 2.1
Feb 12% 0 1.7
Mar 12% 0 2
Apr 8% 0 1.1
May 4% 0 0.5
Jun 6% 0 1
Jul 5% 0 0.7
Aug 4% 0 0.6
Sep 5% 0 0.8
Oct 9% 0 1.2
Nov 13% 0 1.8
Dec 14% 0 2.2

Show Centimeters

Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (cm) Total Precipitation (cm)
Jan 13 0 5.3
Feb 12 0 4.3
Mar 12 0 5.1
Apr 8 0 2.8
May 4 0 1.3
Jun 6 0 2.5
Jul 5 0 1.8
Aug 4 0 1.5
Sep 5 0 2
Oct 9 0 3
Nov 13 0 4.6
Dec 14 0 5.6

 

Humidity and Wind

South Africa has some comfortably humid months, with slightly drier months on the other side of the year. The least humid month is September (42.5% relative humidity), and the most humid month is March (57.1%).

Wind in South Africa is usually calm. The windiest month is November, followed by October and December. November’s average wind speed of around 6.4 knots (7.4 MPH or 11.9 KPH) is considered “a light breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in mid November where average top sustained speeds reach 11.1 knots, which is considered a moderate breeze.

Relative Humidity (%)

The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in South Africa.

Key
Avg. Relative Humidity

Wind

The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.

Key
Max Sustained Wind
Average Daily Wind

Average Wind Speeds

Show Wind Speeds

All wind speeds are in knots. 1 knot = 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KPH.

Month Avg. Wind Avg. Wind Feel Sustained High Wind High Wind Feel
Jan 5.7 Light breeze 9.9 Gentle breeze
Feb 5.4 Light breeze 9.4 Gentle breeze
Mar 5.1 Light breeze 9.1 Gentle breeze
Apr 4.7 Light breeze 8.4 Gentle breeze
May 4.6 Light breeze 8.3 Gentle breeze
Jun 5 Light breeze 8.9 Gentle breeze
Jul 5 Light breeze 8.9 Gentle breeze
Aug 5.6 Light breeze 9.8 Gentle breeze
Sep 5.9 Light breeze 10.2 Gentle breeze
Oct 6.2 Light breeze 10.6 Gentle breeze
Nov 6.4 Light breeze 10.8 Gentle breeze
Dec 6 Light breeze 10.3 Gentle breeze

Show Relative Humidity by Month

Month Avg. Relative Humidity
Jan 55.8%
Feb 55.1%
Mar 57.1%
Apr 54.6%
May 50.2%
Jun 48.5%
Jul 46.4%
Aug 43.1%
Sep 42.5%
Oct 47.2%
Nov 49.1%
Dec 53.8%

 

Is it Safe to Travel to South Africa?

Our best data indicates this area is somewhat safe. As of Jan 18, 2018 there are travel warnings for South Africa; exercise a high degree of caution. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories


 

The Busiest and Least Crowded Months

The busiest month for tourism in South Africa is January, followed by July and September. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit South Africa in December. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.

Estimated Tourism by Month

 

Most Popular Months to Visit

Key
Tourists Seeking Accommodations

Tourism graph is based on Google searches for services used by tourists relative to the rest of the year. Tourism data for this area is very reliable. Displayed data is calculated relative to the peak, so a score of 75 in December means 75% of the tourists vs. January.


Overall South Africa Travel Experience by Season

Fall (March through May)

Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderate. Highs range from 85.5°F (29.7°C) and 73.3°F (22.9°C) with colder temperatures in the later months. Rain is rare with 1 to 4 days of significant precipitation per month. Fall is the slowest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for deals.

Winter (June through August)

The middle-year months have cold weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see the least precipitation with 1 to 2 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the second busiest season for tourism in South Africa, so lodging and other accommodations may cost slightly more.

Spring (September through November)

Spring daily highs range from 83.8°F (28.8°C) and 77.7°F (25.4°C), which will feel very nice given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a normal amount: 2 to 4 days per month. Tourism is the busiest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be higher priced.

Summer (December through February)

Weather is perfect this time of year in South Africa to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 87°F (30.6°C) and 83.7°F (28.7°C). On average, it rains or snows a smalll amount: 3 to 4 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists.

 

Best Times to Travel › South Africa

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