Table Mountain

South Africa - the great 'rainbow' nation - is a true Far & Wild favourite

One of the most geographically varied countries of the African continent

The sheer diversity of South Africa’s landscapes, experiences, and cultures have led to it being aptly described as “The Rainbow Nation”, although for visitors its other moniker, “A World in One Country” is perhaps a more fitting description and gives an insight into just how much there is to see and do here. A tailor made South Africa safari holiday encompasses so many different landscapes, cultures and experiences that is really is almost impossible to beat.

The Western Cape is home to the vibrant city of Cape Town, along with some outstanding wine regions and the coastal town of Hermanus – renowned for its superb land-based whale watching. The semi-desert of the Little Karoo then gives way to the verdant mountains and quaint coastal towns of The Garden Route, a must for thrill-seekers. Nearby the safari areas of the Eastern Cape offer the chance to have a complete South Africa experience without sacrificing the freedom of travelling in your own hire car.

Travelling east to Durban will allow you to enjoy the beautiful beaches and warm waters of the Indian Ocean before heading north to hike in the breathtaking Drakensberg Mountains and visit the historic battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu and Boer wars. The area is also home to some superb game reserves, including the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park where rhino conservation in Africa first began.

The mighty Kruger National Park, one of the best places in Africa to spot the “Big 5”, is easily accessed from across the country and home to superb lodges, both in the park itself and in the private reserves which surround it. Nearby visitors with a little more time will find the Panorama Route a wonderful spot to explore.

The North-West of the country is home to the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve and Waterberg regions, two of the best places in Africa for family safaris with a range of outstanding lodges to appeal to visitors of all ages.

Train enthusiasts will delight in the chance to take a step back in time and travel across the country on either Rovos Rail, The Blue Train or the Shongololo Express, with train journeys varying from overnight jaunts to 3-4 week odysseys which criss-cross the African continent.

The beguiling Northern Cape is off the beaten tourist trail but offers a chance to visit the fringes of the Kalahari Desert before heading down to the Cederberg Mountains, a wonderful spot for seeing wild flowers in August and September. A few days exploring the Cape West Coast is a perfect antidote to the busier parts of the country, with little fishing villages and deserted white beaches found wherever you look.

The real beauty of a luxury South Africa holiday is that there's something for everyone, and the country can be visited time and time again without repeating the same experiences. With direct overnight flights from London, little time difference, a favourable climate for the majority of the year and well-priced hotels, attractions and restaurants, there is little wonder visitors return year after year to sample everything that South Africa has to offer.

Best time to visit South Africa

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When to go to South Africa

Find out the best time to visit South Africa with our month by month guide.

  • Best
  • Good
  • Mixed
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

January

January is the perfect time to visit the Cape, whether you want to lounge on a beach or soak up culture in the Winelands on a Garden Route trip.

It's wet season for safari, with sunny periods interspersed with heavy tropical rainstorms. It is the end of the birthing season in the Kruger bringing high numbers of impala, wildebeest and more causing hunting frenzies among the predators.

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February

The hottest month of the year in Cape Town, February is the ideal month to enjoy a glass of wine and culinary delights in the Winelands or to visit the sandy beaches and witness beautiful views along the Garden Route with few other tourists.

Avoid safari, weather is humid with considerable rainfall.

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March

March is still hot and dry across South Africa with Cape Town receiving less rainfall than the rest of the country. It is a fantastic time for wildlife photographers visiting the Kruger National Park region, with clear skies, low humidity, less dust and vegetation at its most lush it makes for vivid photographs.

Both the Winelands and Garden Route are fantastic at this time of year.

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April

April is a quieter month in comparison to March, the weather is warm and dry throughout the country making it a prime time to combine different regions. The lower temperatures mean it is a perfect time to hike up Table Mountain, explore culture at Robben Island or visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

In the Kruger it is rutting season, with males at their most impressive, meaning visitors can see some spectacular fighting.

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May

Peak summer crowds have died down, making it a good time to visit if you're not looking for hot weather. Days are warm and dry, with chilly evenings.

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June

In June the wet season arrives, with almost all days experiencing some rain. The Kruger region enjoys exceptional game viewing, thinning vegetation means wildlife stays close to sources of water, meaning it is easier to track game.

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July

July is prime whale watching season along the coast of the Western Cape, with the best sightings from Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay when they come closer to shore to give birth. During this time the Cape is at the peak of the wet season with cool and drizzly weather.

The Kruger National Park enjoys exceptional game viewing with comfortable temperatures and drying rainfall.

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August

August is the time when beautiful wildflowers start to bloom across the Western and Northern Cape, particularly in the Namaqua region. It is also the start of the dry season, with colder temperatures passing and daytime temperatures rising significantly.

Both whale watching and game viewing is good in August.

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September

September is great for wildlife viewing, with game giving birth in the bush and whales frequently spotted along the coast. It is a good month to combine regions and see the best of South Africa.

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October

October is one of the best months to combine regions, with temperatures heating up across the country it is a temperate time to travel.

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November

November brings the rains to the Kruger and Kwazulu Natal, its not all bad because the afternoon thunderstorms can be phenomenal.

The Cape sees the last of the whale watching season.

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December

December is a busy month for travel in South Africa. Summer is in full swing in Cape Town, if you don't mind crowds then there is no better time to explore. Meanwhile in the Kruger, there is an abundance of young animals with glory and flame lilies in full bloom making for spectacular photography opportunities.

  • Top Tip - the festive season in South Africa fills up quickly, so trips and excursions need to be booked in advance.
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