Situated on the south-eastern coast of South Africa the Garden Route boasts 300km (190 miles) of magnificent coastline. With a temperate oceanic climate, summers are mild to warm, and winters mild to cool. Intriguing wildlife, lush forests, and beautiful beaches, the Garden Routes has everything a nature lover’s heart desires. So when is the best time to go on a Garden Route Safari?
Seasons and Climate
The summer season between November and February boasts a fantastic warm climate, rarely over 28˚C (82˚F). Rains are experienced throughout the year, however, peak slightly during springtime. Winters can get a little cold but generally don’t drop too far below 10˚C (50˚F). Some winter days can be beautifully sunny, but the region is well-known for its ‘four-seasons-in-one-day’ temperament.
Monthly Average Temperatures Garden Route
9 Reasons to Take a Spring or Autumn Garden Route Safari
Although the Garden Route is spectacularly scenic year-round, we recommend spring and autumn, especially the months of September, October, and March to May for the best safari experience in the region. Here’s why:
- Skipping the height of peak season and visiting the Garden Route during autumn and spring allows you to enjoy moderate temperatures, little wind, and limited rainfall (March to May).
- Days are slightly longer than in the cold winter months which means you have more daylight to enjoy game drives and wildlife activities.
- Horseback safari’, bushwalks, hiking, and mountain biking can all be enjoyed without having to worry too much about the erratic winter weather ruining your plans.
March to May (Autumn)
- During Autumn keen birdwatchers can spot nomadic nectar-feeding birds such as the Cape sugarbird and orange-breasted sunbird.
- Witness the blooming of unique Fynbos flowers including Ericas and South Africa’s indigenous red-bearded Protea.
- Autumn time is also a fascinating time to witness antelope species such as impala in rutting season. Watch as they challenge one another in noisy, boisterous clashes to gain and hold territory.
- This time of year is slightly dryer after the heat of summer and therefore the bush may be less dense and animals will be easier to spot. Animals will also gather to drink around water sources which makes for effortless game viewing.
September to October (Spring)
- Bright yellow and pink Fynbos flowers bloom during spring in their masses.
- This is calving season for many antelope including eland, red hartebeest, gemsbok, and a very special time to see many new-born animals on the reserves.
- You stand a good chance of spotting some whales along the coast during September and October.
While summers are delightfully warm and there are a host of activities and festivals to enjoy the roads do get very busy during the Christmas holiday season. If you are planning a bush and beach combination holiday and wish to avoid busy beaches, rather opt for the Autumn months. The wildlife however awaits your arrival year-round and the beauty of the Garden Route’s extravagant landscapes promise not to disappoint regardless of the time of year you decide to visit.