Best Time to Go on a Cape Town Safari

Safaris Down South - Safari Lodge at Aquila

Best Time to Go on a Cape Town Safari

Mountains, endless oceans, beautiful beaches, and enthralling wildlife – Cape Town is a little bit of paradise. Home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites and a vibrant city culture, you can’t go wrong visiting this amazing region. In contradiction to many other South African safari destinations which are ideal year-round, Cape Town is a slightly more seasonal destination. It is fantastic for most of the year, however, winters can be unpredictable. Sunny winter days are magnificent, but there’s no guarantee you won’t get your fair share of thundershowers and wind in between. So when is the best time to go on a safari in Cape Town?

Seasons and Climate

December to March is the peak of summer in Cape Town with hot, dry, and sunny weather. Although it can be pretty windy it seldom rains with day temperatures between 24-30°C ( 75-86˚F). Once the peak of winter hits during June and July temperatures drop with daytime highs between 14-19°C ( 57-66˚F). It is rainy, windy and cold, and Capetonians take to cozy fireplaces and red wine and instead of beaches and cocktails.

Monthly Average Temperatures Cape Town

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Min (°C) 16 16 14 12 9 8 7 8 9 11 13 15
Max (°C) 26 27 25 23 20 18 18 18 19 21 24 25
Min (°F) 61 61 57 54 48 46 45 46 48 52 55 59
Max (°F) 79 81 77 73 68 64 64 64 66 70 75 77


Summer days are ideal for a horseback safari.

10 Reasons October to April is the Best Time to Go on Safari in Cape Town

  1. Days are long, sunny, and warm with late sunsets, allowing you to get the most out of your game drives and maximize your time in the bush.
  2. The warm weather is also perfect for combining a safari with other activities, and although the weather may not always be perfect, there will be less chance of you having to reschedule activities due to poor weather conditions.
  3. During summer and autumn (January to May), the bush is less dense due to dry weather making it easier to spot wildlife.
  4. Animals are drawn to permanent waterholes to find water which makes game viewing fairly effortless.
  5. Days are ideal for a horseback safari, quad bike safari, bush walks, and hikes.
  6. If you are combining your safari experience with other activities summertime is extremely festive, with bustling beaches as well as festivals and more markets than you can keep track of.
  7. Evenings are perfect for sundowners in the bushveld and outdoor dining.
  8. Migratory birds return to the area during spring, making it a great season for birdwatchers.
  9. Spring is also calving season so you will have the opportunity to see calves and other baby animals. Get your camera ready!
  10. Spring (September / October) is the end of the rainy season and therefore you’ll still witness incredibly lush landscapes making for beautiful photography.


Cool off in the lodge pool after a hot summer safari – Aquila Private Game Reserve.

There is no doubt that each season in Cape Town boasts something special, but if sunny safari days and great game viewing are what you’re after, it is best to avoid mid-winter. October and November can be windy, however, this will not affect your game viewing. If you still want to get some great low rates but avoid the peak of rainy season, you can opt for August and September which is also prime season for incredible wildflower viewing along the West Coast. Although the weather may still be nippy, there will always be a glass of red wine and crackling fire nearby.

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