When to Go - Garden Route
Broadly speaking, the Southern, Eastern and Western Cape of South Africa enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate in reverse order to that found in the Northern Hemisphere. Whilst the regions spring and autumn are our favourite times to visit (Sep, Oct, March, April & May), visits during their winter (June – August) are not to be ruled out.
Spring (September to October)
Spring time is a lovely time of year to visit the Garden Route, temperatures are around 15 -25 Celsius, it is usually relatively dry (with only moderate chances of rain) and the Fynbos flowers are blooming. October Half Term is one of the best times of year for a family to visit the Cape. The weather is improving but not too hot and there is a good chance of seeing the spectacular whales off the Coast of Hermanus and around (the whale season runs July – October).
Summer (November to February)
The summer months are generally dry and hot with day time temperatures of 25-35 Celsius and plenty of sunshine (10.5hrs a day on average). The Christmas Holidays may offer the best weather but are generally best avoided as the area gets over-run with domestic tourists and prices are vastly inflated. February Half Term is the most popular time of the year for British families to visit South Africa, with the advantage of great weather without the peak crowds of Christmas / New Year.
Autumn (March - May)
Autumn is also one of the best times of year to visit the region. If you can put up with cooler overnight temperatures, you’ll find the country much quieter with very pleasant warm days in the gentle autumn sunshine. Easter Holidays and May Half Term are therefore perfect times to visit South Africa.
Winter (June – September)
The winter months are the least favourable time of year to visit the Garden Route from the perspective of the weather. However, low season rates, generally mild sunny days and the appeal of seeing the Southern Right Whale migration makes the Cape & Garden Route an appealing destination for the UK summer holidays. The big drawback is the strong chance of blustery wet conditions around Cape Town and the winelands. During these months, we suggest visiting Cape Town and the Hermanus area (for the whales) and then heading to the Kruger or malaria-free Madikwe for your safari and dose of sunshine. You will still have cold mornings and evenings, but you can expect dry, sunny days in these areas. In both othe Kruger and Madikwe, the winter is an excellent time of year to on safari as the low levels of vegetation make game sightings a much easier.