the best times to travel to sunny destinations


South Africa sunindex: the best time to travel to South Africa
South Africa is the most southerly located country on the African continent and is an ideal winter sun destination. However, the sea water is fairly cool along the south coast near Cape Town. Because of a cold current the temperature of the sea almost always stays below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). Along the east coast the water is warmer. Near Durban the temperature of the sea is about 24-26 degrees Celsius (75-79 degrees Fahrenheit).
Most tourists who visit South Africa like to explore the country as well.

Most tourists book a roundtrip through South Africa instead of staying in one location. The ultimate target of most tourists is to spot the Big Five: the rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo and the leopard. To spot these five animals in one of the Nature reserves is not easy. It is especially hard to spot the lion and leopard. Even in the most popular national park, Kruger park it is not guaranteed you will spot the big five.

During the local summer it is especially hard because the rain causes grasses and foliage to flourish. If you want to go on a safari it is recommended to do this very early or very late during the day when it doesn’t rain. The rain also makes it more difficult to spot animals.

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South Africa climate & weather
Do you want to know all about the climate in South Africa? Learn about the temperatures, the number of sunny hours, chance of frost, chance of hurricanes, chance of rain and precipitation averages at the awarded climate and weather site:
the climate of South Africa


Sunny holidays in South Africa
Based on long term average figures, the weather of the past few years and extremes that have been recorded where temperatures, precipitation figures and storms are concerned we are able to give an indication as to the suitability of this particular location as a summer weather destination.

The figures below are an average for South Africa. Please, note that local deviations may occur.

 The weather in South Africa
(in °C)
(in °C)
hours of
per day
sea water
(in °C)
time to travel
here for a
sunny holiday?
chance of
rain /
chance of
Explanation of symbols
January 30 18 9 23   - more sunny symbols = better summer weather (maximum of 5)
- red sunny symbols = high chances of hot or muggy weather

= chances of precipitation
 (0 - 4, higher number of cloudy symbols, higher chance of precipitation)

= the risk of tropical storms
(0 - 3, higher number of symbols, higher risk)
February 29 17 8 23  
March 26 15 8 22  
April 23 13 8 21  
May 21 10 7 20  
June 20 8 7 19    
July 19 5 8 18    
August 20 6 8 18  
September 22 9 8 19  
October 23 12 8 19  
November 26 14 9 21    
December 29 17 9 22    
The weather in South Africa
From November the summer starts and it is pleasantly warm. In the interior it may even be hot. The summer in South Africa is often accompanied by the rainy season. Most precipitation during this period falls in the form of showers which may be accompanied by thunder storms. In December and January there is a risk of hurricanes in the interior. Along the east coast it is pleasantly warm. Because of a warm Gulf Stream the temperature of the sea here is pleasant as well. Over the past few years Durban has become increasingly popular as a destination. However, a more beautiful city with a nice atmosphere is Cape Town which is located in the southwestern part of South Africa. During the local summer Cape Town has a pleasant Mediterranean atmosphere. Cape Town has its dry season from October till April. During the local winter it is much wetter here.
If you travel to South Africa you should be prepared for all kinds of weather conditions. Not only when you make a roundtrip but also within short distances large differences in temperatures and weather may occur, especially when the seasons change. In Pretoria it may be 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) and windy while at the same time it is 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in Kruger park or near mount Pilanes.
South Africa climate information

Popular destinations in South Africa
Almost the entire country is suitable as a sun destination. If you are purely looking for a sun, sea and beach holiday the best destinations are Cape Town and Durban.

Trivia & strange facts
- During the local summer UV-index figures are very high (9-11). Apply sunscreen with a high
  protection factor
- Haggling over prices at stalls is normal
- Road traffic in South Africa drives on the left
- You may need an adapter for your plug
- Tap water is drinkable in most places. When you are in the bush it is recommended to drink
  bottled water.
- There are many stories about whether South Africa is safe or not. You should realize that many
  people live in extreme poverty. As a tourist you should avoid several areas in Johannesburg. Do
  not wander into Johannesburg with a brand new camera with a long focus lens. This way you’re
  asking for trouble.
- if you want to make an unorganized trip it is often best to ask the janitor of your hotel. In most
  cases he can arrange a lot of things.
- Many wood carvings are sold in South Africa. It is cheapest to buy these on the street (after
  haggling). In shops these souvenirs are more expensive and at the airport they are much more
- Apartheid has left its marks on the black population. It is not done to make jokes about
- Even though temperatures rise during the day it may be cold at night. Be sure to bring a jacket,
  sweater or cardigan.
- As opposed to the population of other countries in Africa the population of South Africa is fairly
- Hardly any malaria mosquitoes occur in South Africa. Only in the north during wet summers
  there is a risk of getting infected with malaria. Please, check whether you need any vaccinations
  before you leave
- A travel insurance is a must. Accidents, diseases and other inconveniences may cost you
- It is illegal to import vegetables, fruit, meat or other food that may rot.
- if you are planning a round trip by rental car, do not underestimate the distances. A 300
  kilometer trip may take 4-5 hours easily.
- December is high season in South Africa. Spending Christmas here may be very expensive
- Do not buy ivory (PERIOD)
- Tipping is the best way to get things done.
- Most cars tend to be poorly maintained, even the expensive ones. Be sure to drive carefully,
  traffic may be a chaos here.
- As wine connoisseurs know there are a lot of different South African wines, all of them taste
- If you stay in Johannesburg it is recommended to take a guided tour at the Apartheid Museum
  and Soweto.

More about South Africa?
The following sites are specialized in providing South Africa information:
What's the weather like in South Africa
South Africa information
South Africa information
South Africa tourism
more interesting websites...

 South Africa review
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