Explore the wonderfully diverse and breathtakingly beautiful South Africa; home to some of the world’s greatest. From cage diving with great white sharks and whale watching in Hermanus, to embarking on one of the best road trips of all time, The Garden Route, South Africa won’t disappoint.
Venture on a safari to see the Big Five at Kruger National Park, watch penguins waddle onto the beach in Cape Town, voted best city in the world, and tour the vineyards in Cape Winelands; there’s something for everyone. South Africa gives you the chance to combine city, safari, sea and mountains all in one trip, making it one to remember.
Why not add a beach stay on to your South African adventure? Visit Mauritius, only a four hour flight away, for a slice of paradise to end your trip.
Autumn in Pretoria is pleasantly warm, but not hot, with sunny days and blue skies. The nights begin to cool down, but aren’t yet cold, and the trees start shedding their leaves.
Our favourite time to visit Pretoria is in between September and November, when the spring weather is warm but not as rainy as summer and you can see the exceptional beauty of the many Jacaranda trees in bloom.
The Jacaranda trees in Pretoria open their purple flowers during the spring months, as do many of the other indigenous wildflowers blooming throughout the city. The temperature warms as rain increases after the dry winter.
Summer days in Pretoria are hot, but not excessively so, and mostly sunny. Brief summer thunderstorms occur between November and February but are followed by clear, sunny skies.
Pretoria’s dry winters mean that drought conditions prevail throughout the winter months. Sharp frosts sometimes blanket the ground, although snow is extremely rare.
Autumn in Sun City offers warm temperatures and a decrease to the summer rains as the season heads into the bone-dry months of winter.
Sun City’s temperate climate and plethora of activities on offer mean any time is a good time to visit. If you want fewer crowds, head to Sun City between June and August. This is also the best time to view the wildlife at the nearby game reserves.
Spring’s low foliage means it is a good time to view wildlife. Rain begins to fall heavily as it heads into the wet summer months, bringing lush green foliage to the surrounding game reserves.
Expect occasional afternoon thunderstorms and overcast days during the summer in Sun City. This is peak season so there will be thick crowds throughout Sun City and the surrounding game reserves.
The winter months in Sun City are dry with clear, sunny skies. The temperatures drop from the baking summer heat and in June and July you will experience cool nights. This is the best time to see wildlife at the nearby national parks and game reserves.
Early autumn sees a continuation of summer’s rains, with thunder and lightning showers occurring regularly. This season in Pilanesberg National Park segues quickly into winter.
July to October is the best time to view wildlife in Pilanesberg National Park. More animals are at the waterholes, the foliage has died back, and lions are bolder about coming out into the open. The temperatures are comfortable and the days sunny.
Spring’s low foliage means it is a good time to view wildlife. Rain still falls heavily but starts to taper off as it gets closer to the dry winter.
Summer is the wet season for Pilanesberg National Park. The temperatures are warm but the consistent rain brings lush, dense foliage to the park
Winter daytime temperatures in Pilanesberg National Park stay warm, although it can get very cold at night. Thanks to reduced foliage, this is the best time to see wildlife.
Generally the weather in KwaZulu Natal throughout autumn remains dry and sunny. Temperatures are not as hot as in the summer so humidity is lower. This is the perfect time to get outside.
September to October or March to May are the best months to visit KwaZulu Natal. These spring and autumn months see cooler temperatures from the sweltering summers and less humidity and rain.
Summer temperatures really start in KwaZulu Natal in mid spring, so by October you will experience an increase in the temperature. Most days are sunny and rain that falls is usually quite light.
Throughout KwaZulu Natal the summer brings warm to hot temperatures and high humidity. While light rain falls throughout the year, KwaZulu Natal’s long, hot summers are the wettest season.
KwaZulu Natal’s sunny days continue into winter and you will see a decrease in rain as this is the driest season of the year. Temperatures drop but remain comfortable and humidity disappears.
Autumn is a great time to see Cape Town. March, April, and May still see plenty of blue sky and sunshine, but fewer tourists, so you get more space on the sands of Camps Bay or the trails of Table Mountain.
Cape Town is a great year round destination, but we particularly love visiting between October and April. South Africa’s seasons are opposite to the UK, so it feels great to see the sunshine when things have turned cold at home.
Spring, from September to November, is delightful; quieter than the summer months, with warm and rising temperatures, freshly blooming flowers, and fabulous whale and dolphin watching, particularly in September.
For the best beach weather, head to Cape Town in the summer months of December to February. Temperatures are at their highest, and so are tourist numbers, especially at Christmas and New Year. Strong winds occasionally mist over Table Mountain.
The winter months of June to August are when Cape Town sees most rainfall. The weather can be wet, windy, and chilly, while other days are clear, sunny, and even warm. Pack warmer clothes if you plan to visit at this time.
Summer flows smoothly into autumn in Johannesburg, the days remaining warm and sunny from March to May, although the nights begin to cool and you may want a jacket for the evenings.
As the temperature is so mild throughout the year in Johannesburg, our favourite time to go is in the spring when the chance of encountering rain or thunderstorms is low. The tourists haven’t descended on Johannesburg yet, leaving you open to see more of this beautiful city.
Spring arrives around September and extends until November in Johannesburg, bringing pleasant, warm days with sunny skies. Thousands of flowers burst into bloom as the temperatures rise.
Johannesburg’s summers are warm and sunny, but not excessively hot, with frequent, but brief, rainstorms falling between December and February. Despite the rain, there is plenty of sunshine and a very low level of humidity.
Winters in Johannesburg are mild and dry, with rain very rare. A mid-winter chill sweeps the town from about July to August, although the temperatures stay moderate the rest of the season.
The cooling autumn months see more rain, but the changing vegetation offers up a kaleidoscope of brilliant colours that is unforgettable. Scattered thunderstorms may occur in the afternoons and evenings start to get cool.
The dry winter and spring months of June through October are the best months for viewing wildlife in Kruger National Park, as the vegetation is low and sparse and the dry conditions see the animals migrating to the watering holes.
The spring months of September and October are bone dry with hot, dry winds and sparse vegetation. By the end of October or November the spring rains start, bringing more humidity and turning the vegetation green.
Summer is the rainy season in Kruger National Park, turning the warm weather balmy and the vegetation lush and green. While the dense vegetation makes it more difficult to spot animals, you are likely to see baby animals, especially in November and December.
The dry winter season of June to August in Kruger National Park means vegetation is low and less dense and animals easier to spot. There is very little rain during these months and the days are sunny and comfortable, although mornings and evenings can be chilly.
There are a number of carriers flying from the UK to South Africa.
Direct Carriers: South African Airways, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly to Johannesburg and British Airways fly direct to Cape Town. Average flight time is approximately 11 hours.
Indirect Carriers: Emirates flies via Dubai and KLM flies via Amsterdam to both Cape Town and Johannesburg. South Aifrican Airways also fly to Cape town via Johannesburg.
Departure Taxes: These are included in the cost of your airline ticket.
Much like in the UK, a tip of 10 to 15 percent tends to be expected, although it is worth checking that a service charge has not already been added to your bill. The good news is the service in South Africa is usually worth every penny.
Before travelling you should make sure you are up to date with the standard vaccinations such as Diptheria, Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Polio. Also recommended is Typhoid. Anti-malarial protection is essential for Kruger National Park. Yellow fever immunisation is required if arriving from an infected country or area. For full details, please contact your GP.
British passport holders do not require a visa to enter South Africa. Please ensure you have two blank pages in your passport or you may be refused entry. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in South Africa. Please contact the South African High Commission for up to date country and visa information on 0207 451 7299.
On the 1st June 2015 new regulations have come into effect for passengers aged 18 and under:
Where both parents are travelling with a child who is under 18:
Where one parent is travelling with a child who is under 18, they must produce:
Where an adult is travelling with a child, who is not their biological child, they must produce:
Children travelling alone must produce:
As advised from the local governments and the FCO, customers travelling to and from South Africa, with immediate effect, must have a Machine Readable Passport, as immigration will not be accepting passports which are non-machine readable.
The official currency is the South African Rand and you can buy them in the UK. The import and export of local currency in cash is limited to 5,000 Rand. If you need to change your UK Pounds in South Africa, you can do so at banks, currency exchanges and many hotels.
Major credit cards are widely accepted at almost all hotels, shops, restaurants, and game reserves. The only exception seems to be petrol stations. Cash machines will also accept international cards and can be found in all towns, cities, shopping malls, and petrol stations. Traveller's cheques can be used at banks, hotels, restaurants, and some shops.