The best times to visit South Africa for ideal weather are

March 12th to June 3rd

or

July 30th to December 16th

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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South Africa Travel Guide

  • Safety
  • The busiest and least popular months
  • Overall travel experience by time of year
  • Weather in South Africa

    Temperature

    Average temperatures in South Africa vary little and are temperate for much of the year. The area is in the top 37 percent of tourist destinations for pleasant weather. 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 precipitation in South Africa are December, January, and then November. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around early August. For example, on the week of July 30th there are only 0.7 days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in late January and early February with an average of 2.4 days with significant precipitation the week of January 29th.

    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.

    Chance of 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 30 0 0.07
    Feb 28.6 0 0.06
    Mar 28.6 0 0.07
    Apr 22.9 0 0.04
    May 15.7 0 0.02
    Jun 17.1 0 0.03
    Jul 14.3 0 0.02
    Aug 14.3 0 0.02
    Sep 17.1 0 0.03
    Oct 24.3 0 0.04
    Nov 30 0 0.06
    Dec 31.4 0 0.07

    Show Centimeters

    Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (cm) Total Precipitation (cm)
    Jan 30 0 0.18
    Feb 28.6 0 0.15
    Mar 28.6 0 0.18
    Apr 22.9 0 0.1
    May 15.7 0 0.05
    Jun 17.1 0 0.08
    Jul 14.3 0 0.05
    Aug 14.3 0 0.05
    Sep 17.1 0 0.08
    Oct 24.3 0 0.1
    Nov 30 0 0.15
    Dec 31.4 0 0.18

     

    Humidity and Wind

    South Africa has below average humidity compared to most tourist destinations. 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 moderate. 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 “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.

    Month Avg. Wind Meaning (Beaufort) Avg. Maximum Sustained Wind Meaning (Beufort)
    Jan 5.7 a light breeze 9.9 a gentle breeze
    Feb 5.4 a light breeze 9.4 a gentle breeze
    Mar 5.1 a light breeze 9.1 a gentle breeze
    Apr 4.7 a light breeze 8.4 a gentle breeze
    May 4.6 a light breeze 8.3 a gentle breeze
    Jun 5 a light breeze 8.9 a gentle breeze
    Jul 5 a light breeze 8.9 a gentle breeze
    Aug 5.6 a light breeze 9.8 a gentle breeze
    Sep 5.9 a light breeze 10.2 a gentle breeze
    Oct 6.2 a light breeze 10.6 a gentle breeze
    Nov 6.4 a light breeze 10.8 a gentle breeze
    Dec 6 a light breeze 10.3 a 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?

    As of 6/13/2017 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. 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 somewhat common with 5 to 9 days of 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 slightly cold weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see moderate precipitation with 4 to 5 days of precipitation per month. June – August is busy 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 fair amount: 5 to 9 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 noticeable amount: 8 to 10 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists.

     

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