Best time of year to travel to South Africa?

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Best time of year to travel to South Africa?

Postby em_g008 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:10 pm

We are looking at spending 2 months in Africa in 2012, mainly Southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Cape Town area, Malawi, Tanzania most likely). We plan to volunteer for a month and travel with G Adventures for a month. We are debating on going either mid January- mid March or late May- late July. Living in Canada, I'd love to get away from the cold winter if I could by going in January...but will it be too hot and wet in those countries at that time?
Can anyone recommend which time frame they'd choose based on the climate in Africa at that time of year?
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Re: Best time of year to travel to South Africa?

Postby tletter » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:58 am

em_g008 wrote:We are debating on going either mid January- mid March or late May- late July.

We've been to Africa in the July and August timeframe in the countries that you list. However, since you are wanting to cover such a wide area, I'm not sure there is any ideal time to visit.

The difference between the winter and summer seasons in South Africa is quite apparent. In the winter (i.e. July), you can expect warm days and cool nights with little oppressive humidity. Since there is much less rain in an area like Kruger Park in the winter, the animals are somewhat easier to see as there is less grass to block your view and the animals tend to congregate nearer the permanent water sources.

However, perhaps you have other considerations such as seeing the Serengeti wildebeest migration, Victoria Falls in full flood or whales and sharks off South African coast in which case you need to factor these into your decision. As well you might want to plan your month of volunteer activity (you do not mention where that is) based on the local climate consideration.

In summary, I think you need to prioritize your goals and go from there.

Thomas
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Re: Best time of year to travel to South Africa?

Postby travelersdigest » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:27 am

I was in South Africa from October-March and it was pretty amazing weather the whole time. I spent most of my time in Zululand and Johannesburg. I would say though that their Spring is the absolute best time though, so September-November
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Re: Best time of year to travel to South Africa?

Postby kateyb » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:43 am

I was there for the month of March last year and it was wonderful to escape our winter ( I am also from Canada). While it is known not to be the best time to view animals, we still saw plenty. It was really nice to have a month of no winter!

When it did rain, it didn't last long and it was beautiful to watch. It also cleared the air and made it less dusty. It never rained all day when I was there, maybe for a half hour at most. Cape Town weather was beautiful!
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