Summer in South Africa
Did you know?
Summer in South Africa is characterised by hot, sunny days, outdoor activities, spectacular afternoon thunder showers, lazing by the pool or on the beach, and braais.
The South African summer season is from around mid-October to the end of February. Schools usually break up in early December for the month-long school vacation, most companies close from 15 December, and the country all but shuts down as people take a well-deserved holiday break.
Those living inland tend to visit the coast for sun, sea and sand, and caravan parks fill up in scenic areas around South Africa. Hiking in KwaZulu-Natal’s Drakensberg Mountains and the Western Cape’s Cederberg Mountains with their refreshing rock pools and pleasing scenery are adventures well worth exploring.
Cape Town and the Western Cape in general are favourite holiday destinations for both local and international tourists who flock there in summer.
From its quirky shops, terrific eateries and wonderful beaches to majestic Table Mountain and the Cape winelands the Western Cape is a terrific summer holiday destination - offering plenty of outdoor and adventure activities. Here you can go sailing, fishing, rock climbing, kloofing abseiling, river rafting, canoeing, scuba diving, surfing, microlighting and hot air ballooning. Or you can enjoy encounters with great white sharks and helicopter flips over the Cape winelands.
The Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Tsitsikamma area is another favourite summer holiday spot. Plettenberg Bay has miles of sweeping beaches, estuaries, lagoons, indigenous forests and warm seas. Visitors can enjoy fishing, swimming, angling, polo, canoeing, swimming with dolphins, hiking and much more. Nearby Knysna is renowned for its lagoon, forests, the Knysna Elephant Park and oysters.
For adventure seekers, the Tsitsikamma forest offers the Tsitsikamma Trail through lush, indigenous forests, with flowing rivers and deep gorges. Tsitsikamma is home to the world’s highest bungee jump at 216 metres, and one can also enjoy zip lining adventures here. Further along the coastline towards Port Elizabeth is Jeffrey’s Bay, a well-known international surfing destination.
Summer in Durban is also full of adventure. While the beaches are generally packed, you can enjoy a sunset cruise, go trout fishing, visit uShaka Marine World – a marine theme park – and much more.
KwaZulu Natal’s Elephant Coast is renowned for its Big 5 game viewing, plus its dolphins, whale watching, turtle tracking and scuba diving destinations.