Stories and Traveltips

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When to Visit Southern Africa.

The answer depends on what you intend doing during your holiday.

If your main objective is to enjoy the beaches and other attractions of the Western Cape and the Garden Route then the best time to visit is undoubtedly January through April. Days are warm and sunny, there is little rain and the wind will have abated. This is also a good time to visit the Drakensberg.

If the highlight of your holiday is a visit to the remainder of the region (including, for example, Namibia, the Okavango Swamps in Botswana, the Victoria Falls, the Kruger Park or the Game Reserves of Northern Natal), then the best time to visit is between April and November, for several reasons:

•    Days are warm and sunny, with little or no rain,
•    Surface water will have dried up, causing the animals to congregate at waterholes where one is able to see them.
•    The leaves have fallen off the trees, improving visibility
•    The risk of contracting malaria in low-lying areas is significantly reduced.
•    The oppressive heat of summer will have abated.

This is also a good time for whale-spotting. They arrive in June and by November they will have left on their return journey to the Antarctic. August through September is the time to see the wild flowers of the West Coast and Namaqualand.

In other words, Southern Africa offers tourists a memorable holiday almost any time of the year.  The best time will depend on one’s priorities. Bear in mind that most locals go on holiday over Christmas and New Year (December 15 through January 15) and Easter. Seasonal discounts are available outside such periods so shop around. Alan McIver ATTrawhen

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Last update: 2014-03-28 07:57
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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