With winter booming towards the shores of South Africa and temperature’s preparing to drop to lows which will most likely scare many, South Africa still delivers fantastic winter days that can be filled with both outdoor and pleasant indoor activities in many a local destination. Apart from the many places around the country being cozy and welcoming in winter, some local destinations are actually the perfect destination during the winter months.
Hermanus has been recognized by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the twelve best places in the world to catch a glimpse of whales. If you are keen to get some whale watching into your holiday, the winter months between June and September should and will be the best time to view them from shore or from ocean going vessels. During these months the popular Southern right whales migrate north from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to mate or calf in the protected waters of the Southern Cape.
The home of the Xhosa folk is arguably at its most beautiful during the cooler months when the sparse vegetation makes for dramatic landscapes and gorgeous photo opportunities. The Wild Coast is an area where rolling hills are interrupted by traditional round huts and villages. Take in the rustic and humble surroundings on organised tours or on a self drive holiday into discovery.
Head out towards Tiffindell in the Eastern Cape where you can hire affordable chalets and experience South Africa’s snowcapped mountain top + snow skiing Centre.
Game reserves such as Addo Elephant Park and Kruger National Park experience dry winters, and dry winters are ideal for game watching as animals are more likely to head to the waterholes close to the camp sites.
Jeffrey’s Bay is one of the most famous surfing destinations in the world - Located in the Eastern Cape, the waves are generally great and definitely the best during the winter months (June to August). One of the most famous spots is Super tubes, rumored to be one of the fastest and most perfectly formed waves in the world.
Agreed to be one of the world's “big wave” spots. Dungeons will get most of its big swells during winter as storms rage in and bring massive swells of 15 to 30 foot that breaks over the shallow reef, it attracts the best big wave mavericks from all over the world in order to ride these south sea bombs. Dungeons is only accessible by boat to surf and it is only suitable for experienced surfers.
This West Coast hotspot is about three hours' drive up the coast from Cape Town. The wave is a good solid mix of big reef surf with long walls and fantastic tubes. The famous spot can hold fairly big swells which rise up from the winter frontal formations that occur in winter.
Renowned for its uncharted and secret surf spots, this coastline will deliver never ending tales of great waves, uncrowded spots and perfect photo opportunities. Drop in at Coffee bay and get connected with the local surf community
Regular swells and good wind conditions create good quality surf + other advantages include the warm Indian Ocean waters and the warmer winter weather which makes surfing hugely comfortable.
The Cederberg is a mountain range about 3 hours from Cape Town. The surrounding areas are breathtaking, beautiful, photogenic, rugged but offers numerous outdoor activities, the most well-known being that of bouldering/ rock climbing. Most of the bouldering routes are at Rocklands, The climbing conditions are better in winter, as temperatures are more palatable and suitable for long days of climbing. Rocklands, a magnet for climbing enthusiast from all over the world, has a great season from June to September,
The Northern Cape landscape is characterized by vast arid plains with outcroppings of haphazard rock piles. It is also home to the world's largest telescope, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), Sutherland is the site of the southern hemisphere's largest astronomical observatory. The area is known worldwide for its annual show of spring flowers and has a large amounts of private and National parks and conservation areas. The Orange River, at the Augrabies Falls, cascades over 19 separate falls, dropping 191 metres into a deep pool made by the force of the water.
Winter in the Western Cape (July and August) are the best times of the year to visit the Namaqualand to see the famous fields of wild flowers.
Kwa-Zulu Natal with its year round humid & balmy weather is perfect in winter. St Lucia is another perfect destination for game viewing, fishing and whale watching from May to August.
The scenic Drakensberg mountain range is even more dramatic when covered with a blanket of snow during winter.
Check out these few but memorable suggestions to the norm when planning or setting out on a winter break in South Africa, any which way you choose - South Africa has plenty to offer over other international destinations during the wintery months, one should just whip out a blank writing pad and head out - you will never be disappointed.