South Africa is a large country with diverse climates so choosing the right time to go depends on your itinerary.
The Western Cape province, including Capetown, tends to get rain in the winter months of June to August and is bone dry in the hot summer. Kruger, and much of the rest of the country, experiences heavy summer thunderstorms from December to March, then a dry winter. The Eastern Cape and the Garden Route can have rain at any time during the year.
The drier winter months from May to October are the best times for game viewing in Kruger, Madikwe, Pilanesberg and Kwazulu-Natal. Animals are concentrated around the waterholes and they are easier to spot in the sparser bush.
The summer months of November to March are the best time for Capetown – but be warned that the school holiday period of December/January gets hectic so it’s important to book early.
The Kwazulu-Natal coastline, including Durban and the Elephant Coast has year round sunshine and moderate temperatures.
Whale watching on the south western Cape runs from June to November, with peak numbers in September.