South Africa, is often given the title A World in One Country and this is borne out but the diversity of this vast country. Not only is there a huge range of actvities and different natural wonders, this can also be see with the climate.
The Western Cape includes Cape Town, The Winelands and the Whale coast as well as the Garden route. It has a clearer Summer and Winter with temperatures and rainfall fluctuations. In fact Cape Town has a fascinating micro-climate due in part to the surrounding mountains. So at times you experience very different weather depending on what part of the city you are in!
Generally December to March the weather is consistently warm and dry and would be classed as summer. The coast can get a stiff breeze from the sea, often referred to as the “Cape Doctor”. A strong South-Easter that although sometimes frustrating can bring welcome respite from the hot sun.
Further inland you will really notice the lack of breeze on a sunny day, so finding accommodation with a pool is a must.
Winter is normally classed roughly between July-September where the temperature drops and the province gets its highest rainfall. Although not cold by UK standards it is certainly quieter during this period although there are some real gems to discover. July is the start of whale season and the region is fantastic for land based whale watching.
The wine estates are also so still open for business. There is nothing better than enjoying a glass of red in front of a warm fire at one of the local wineries.
May and October can be good months to travel, as you are between season and can get good value with a greater chance of good weather than in Winter.
Kwa Zulu Natal
A year round temperate climate KZN as it is shortened to is popular for its beaches, surf, and the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. Also a rich history as you can visit the battlefields where the famous Zulu and Boer wars occured between the British.
Finally not forgetting a host of wildlife experiences both on land and sea.
Summer is hot and humid and so expect some rainfall. Winter is mild and dry, generally between May-September. During winter the coast can remain pleasantly warm up to the low 20s but the Drakensberg Mountains can experience snowfall.
Kruger National Park and Surrounds
The Kruger National Park is the largest area within South Africa for offering a safari experience. Meaning the diversity and size of animal herds are impressive.
In contrast to the Western Cape, The Kruger National Park has its rainy season in summer when it is at its warmest. This tends to begin in September and can run through to April. Winter the weather is dry and cool but still comfortable during the day, although first thing in the morning and after sunset can be chilly. So fleeces and blankets are often used on safari.
You can get good sightings year round but at the end of winter following a longer dry spell can be one of the best times to be on safari. The shorter grass and less available water means it is easier to spot animals and the herds tend to congregate more around main water sources.