South Africa - a fantastic destination even in the winter

A regular question I get asked is; when is the best time to go on a trip. I totally understand this question, as I would want to know myself.

However this can be hard to answer, mainly because with the current climate this makes the weather not as predictable as it used to be and it depends on where you want to go and what you want to do.

It’s usually all about the sunshine and warmth come July, with the northern hemisphere’s sizzling summer temperatures enticing you to the world’s most popular places.

So when you think about coming out to Africa you are probably not going to think about booking a trip in their winter time even though this is actually our summer time in the UK! However there are definitely pros for travelling to countries in the winter time (as well as the summer) particularly when travelling to Africa and that is exactly what I just did!

Let me dispel a few myths, firstly that it will be cold the whole time….I have pretty much been in shorts daily and enjoying lovely weather with blue skys, which you can see from my pictures that I have been taking whilst on this trip.

I’m not going to lie, it has been getting very cold in certain places at night and once the sun goes down you will need some extra layers and a good sleeping bag for this time of year. What is important to remember is that whatever time of year you come on this trip you will get some cold weather as we visit places that are at high altitudes, such as Lesotho, or being surrounded by the Drakensburg mountains.

I also get asked about the game viewing in the winter and what animals can be seen at this time of the year. From first hand experience on my current trip, this has definitely not been disappointing either; in Addo National Park which is included in the trip, it felt like we almost had the place to ourselves as there were only a few other vehicles, making it brilliant viewing for us! And there were so many elephants that I lost count of how many we saw, as well as spotting lions and rhinos.

Of course wildlife is wild so even hour to hour what one person may be lucky enough to see, you may not, but the animals are all still there whether it is the winter or the summer. Whales are more likely to be spotted in the summer months in South Africa but I saw people taking boats out whilst I was there and they were coming back saying they had seen both whales and pods of dolphins,  so it is definitely not a write off in the winter.


Rain – whenever I think about winter I think about rain! I was on this trip for 15 days and we had one afternoon of heavy rain – not that we minded as we kept ourselves entertained in a bar on the waterfront! Then we had one other morning where there was some light drizzle for about an hour before turning into another glorious hot day!

I shall finish by saying that a winter trip over here has definitely opened my mind up about when is a good time to travel!

Whenever you decide to go I am sure you will have a fantastic time, just make sure you have a big enough SD card for your camera, as if you are anything like me you will be taking hundreds of photos to sort through once you are back home!

I have just completed the Cape Town to Johannesburg (17 days) trip.

If you want to chat about the trip with me, I am more than happy to give you more information and hints and tips of where to go and what to see. You can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +44 (0)1963 363400.