Are you dreaming about embarking on a journey to discover the best of southern Africa’s natural wonders and vibrant cities, but unsure which month to plan your trip during?
The best time of year to visit South Africa and Victoria Falls largely depends on your preferences and what you want to experience during your trip. These regions are a year-round destination that offers diverse climates, unique experiences and excellent attractions in every season.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the ideal times to visit Victoria Falls, where nature’s power meets breathtaking beauty, and South Africa, a land of diverse landscapes and rich culture.
Whether you’re an adventurer seeking the rush of high water at Victoria Falls or a wildlife enthusiast planning a safari in South Africa, we’ll help you pinpoint the perfect season to make the most of your unforgettable journey.
Let’s dive in!
South Africa is a remarkable destination offering diverse experiences. In Johannesburg, you’ll encounter a vibrant city with a rich history, while Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture make it a must-visit. Pilanesberg National Park provides the opportunity for thrilling safaris, while the picturesque towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek in the Winelands offer world-class vineyards and culinary delights. South Africa’s blend of urban excitement, natural wonders, and culinary excellence makes it an incredible place to explore and savor diverse adventures.
The most popular time to visit South Africa is during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months, which occur from November to March. December and January are the most highly sought-after months with many international tourists visiting the country. During this time, you can expect warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours, and a lively atmosphere at popular tourist destinations.
If your primary goal is to experience the incredible wildlife that South Africa has to offer, the dry winter months from May to September are the best for game viewing. This period is characterized by less rainfall, and the vegetation becomes less dense, making it easier to spot animals in national parks and game reserves. July to September is particularly excellent for witnessing the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) in their natural habitat.
South Africa’s hottest month is typically January, which falls during the summer season. If you enjoy sunny and warm days, this is a great time to visit coastal cities like Cape Town, where you can relax on beautiful beaches and partake in outdoor activities in the hot weather.
Good Time to Visit
A good time to visit South Africa for a balance between pleasant weather and fewer crowds is during the shoulder seasons. Spring (September to November) and autumn (April to May) offer mild temperatures and are ideal for exploring cities, hiking, and enjoying cultural experiences making them some of the best months to visit! These months provide a comfortable climate for outdoor activities without the peak-season crowds.
South Africa’s winter months, from June to August, are characterized by cooler temperatures, particularly in the evenings and early mornings. However, daytime temperatures remain mild in many parts of the country. This is an excellent time for a safari experience in destinations like Kruger National Park, as animals gather around water sources, making them easier to spot.
South Africa is known for its sunny days, and you can expect plenty of sunshine throughout the year. Even during the winter months, there are still many sunny days, making it a pleasant time to explore the country.
Victoria Falls, often referred to as Mosi-oa-Tunya which means, the “Smoke that Thunders,” is a truly awe-inspiring natural wonder. Nestled between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this magnificent waterfall is not only one of the largest in the world but also an astounding display of nature’s power and beauty. With waters plummeting into the Batoka Gorge below, the falls create an unforgettably mesmerizing spectacle. The sheer volume of water, the roaring sound, and the perpetual mist that envelops the area combine to create an atmosphere of sheer majesty.
Whether you’re marveling at its full force during the high water season or exploring its striking geological features during the low water season, witnessing Victoria Falls is an extraordinary experience that captures the essence of nature’s grandeur in a way that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.
The best time to visit Victoria Falls depends on what you want to experience, as the falls offer dramatically different views and activities during various seasons.
High Season (High Water Season)
The high season for Victoria Falls is typically from February to July, with the falls being at their most spectacular around March and April.
During this period, the mighty Zambezi River is at its peak flow, and Victoria Falls roars with incredible force. The mist generated by the falls creates rainbows and adds to the grandeur of the experience. This is the perfect time for a breathtaking Victoria Falls tour to witness the falls in full force.
Low Season (Low Water Season)
The low season, characterized by lower water levels, occurs from August to January, with the lowest levels usually in November and December.
While this may not be the ideal time for those seeking the full force of Victoria Falls, it offers a unique opportunity to see the geological formations of the falls and its underlying structure. The reduced water flow exposes the underlying rock formations, providing a different perspective for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
If you want a balanced experience, the months of May to June and September to October provide a great compromise between high and low water seasons.
During these months, the water levels are neither at their peak nor at their lowest. This is a perfect opportunity for a Victoria Falls tour, as you can still witness the falls in their grandeur while having the chance to explore the rocky formations and walk along the precipice for a unique vantage point.
Weather patterns can vary from year to year, so it’s a good idea to check current conditions and plan accordingly. Also, keep in mind that peak tourist seasons may lead to higher prices and crowded attractions, so consider your preferences for weather, budget, and crowd levels when deciding the best time for your visit.
What is the best way to explore South Africa & Victoria Falls?
We think that the BEST way to explore South Africa and Victoria Falls is by joining Collette’s 15-day “Exploring South Africa, Victoria Falls & Botswana” Tour!
Continue reading to learn more about this incredible tour and why it’s the perfect way to experience this fascinating part of the world.
Collette’s “Exploring South Africa, Victoria Falls & Botswana” Tour
Get ready for an incredible 15-day adventure with Collette. Prepare yourself for an adventure like no other as you explore southern Africa’s rich wildlife and diverse culture. On 8 different safaris, look for the “Big 5”. In Pilanesberg National Park, take part in a real bush dinner beneath the stars. Local wineries offer a taste of South African culture. During a township tour and lunch guided by a local, you will experience Victoria Falls’ unmatched natural splendor while learning about its inhabitants. Meet African elephants and spend time learning about them. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the Chobe River’s twisting path and more!
Day 1 – Arrive in South Africa
Travel to southern Africa, a region known for its breathtaking scenery, diverse cultures, plethora of wildlife viewing, and fascinating history. Africa surprises you, from bustling cities to untamed safaris. Get ready to embark on your incredible African adventure!
Day 2 – Johannesburg, South Africa
Your journey begins in Johannesburg, a dynamic city with a rich history of gold mining and modernity. Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, is home to a diverse range of people, cultures, museums, and attractions. Before tomorrow’s wilderness trip, take advantage of some free time to get settled in this new destination.
Day 3 – Johannesburg to Pilanesberg National Park
Leave the city behind and head to Pilanesberg National Park, a Unesco world heritage site and a wildlife reserve located inside an ancient crater where lions rule as kings. This is the unspoiled Africa of your dreams, and it is now open to you and begging to be explored. Explore extensive marshes and rugged terrain in a 4×4 in quest of the “Big 5”. A typical African sundowner is a great place to unwind while watching the sunset behind a mountain.
Day 4 – Pilanesberg National Park
Drive out in your 4×4 before sunrise in Pilanesberg’s wide terrain in quest of the rare “Big 5.” Before you go back, sip coffee and tea amidst the wildlife. Drive past the big cats as they get ready for the hunt in the afternoon before enjoying a bush dinner beneath the stars. Allow your thoughts to wander as you wonder at the spectacular display of stars and constellations that can only be viewed in the Southern Hemisphere as you gaze up at the night sky in awe.
Day 5 – Pilanesberg National Park
Spend one more full day exploring the local animals in Pilanesberg. Continue looking for the “Big 5” and other local wildlife, such as giraffes or cheetahs, during morning and afternoon game drives.
Day 6 – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Today, take a flight to Victoria Falls, a breathtaking natural wonder of the world and the largest waterfall in Africa. Upon arrival, check into your lodge, an actual African tent camp with all the comforts of a five-star hotel. Witness the incredible power of Victoria Falls this afternoon when rainbows are at their most beautiful. Toast the breathtaking African scenery with a sundowner before supper at your hotel as the sun sets and the animals swarm the watering hole.
Day 7 – Victoria Falls
Set out on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Greeting African elephants, spending time with them in their natural environment, and observing some of their distinctive characteristics. Then, during your tour of the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, have an impact moment and see how their activities are having a good impact on the nearby communities and animals. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, go to a township where you’ll meet a local family for a straightforward lunch hosted by their home. Dinner is served while you watch Victoria Falls from the Zambezi River’s shores later in the evening.
Day 8 – Chobe National Park, Botswana
Visit a traditional rural homestead to start the day off well. There, we’ll meet the village leader and learn more about how people still live traditionally in this region of the world. Once in Botswana, cross the border to reach Chobe, a wild national park where the river bearing the same name winds across the landscape. Discover elephants, hippos, and crocodiles relaxing in the sun while taking an exhilarating safari cruise along the Chobe River.
Day 9 – Chobe National Park
Experience Chobe National Park’s exceptional biodiversity and different ecosystems on a game drive. You get to decide what to do after lunch! On a late-afternoon game drive, you can continue your land-based wildlife search, OR you can take a safari cruise to see the wildlife from a different angle on the river. Come together tonight for a memorable supper by the river. Discover how to cook a traditional braai, along with some regional specialties and local favorites.
Day 10 – Cape Town, South Africa to Stellenbosch
The Western Cape Winelands are waiting. Discover for yourself why this region is regarded as one of the most picturesque wine countries in the world. Get on a plane to Cape Town, South Africa, from Victoria Falls. You can reach the picturesque town of Stellenbosch, one of South Africa’s most well-known wine areas, after a little drive. Set up residence for two nights amidst sweeping vineyards and traditional Cape Dutch buildings.
Day 11 – Stellenbosch to Franschhoek
Spend the day exploring the nation’s wine regions while sipping South African specialties. Start the day with a sampling at the first winery you visit in the Stellenbosch Valley. The Pinotage, a South African specialty that is a hybrid between a Pinot Noir and a Cinsaut, is a local favorite that you might want to try. Lunch will be served in the quaint village of Franschhoek. Utilize the free time before going to a second winery in the afternoon. Dinner prepared with foods acquired locally will close out the evening.
Day 12 – Stellenbosch to Cape Town
Welcome to Cape Town, the vibrant cultural center of South Africa that will enthrall you at every turn. Investigate Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The waterfront is one of South Africa’s most alluring locations, with its historic landmarks, marketplaces, boutiques, and restaurants. Upon arrival, ride a cable car gently up to Table Mountain** and enjoy the views of Cape Town, Lions Head, and historic Robben Island. Take Table Bay back to the city. Before stopping at Milnerton Lighthouse, pass through the Moorish Malay Quarter.
Day 13 – Cape Town
Visit Cape Point, which is the tip of Africa’s southwest coast. Observe the lush green foliage covering the rocky outcrops and how it contrasts with the brilliant blue waves below. Start a short stroll down the mountain while passing various patches of local flora. Visit Boulders Beach for the most exclusive black-tie event ever: a meeting with critically endangered African penguins! You are a welcomed guest in the house of a Capetonian family this evening. Tell stories over supper and learn about daily living in Cape Town.
Day 14 – Cape Town
Enjoy your last day full of free time before joining your fellow travelers for a farewell supper to sample the nation’s cherished flavors, which will feature a variety of South African specialties and delicacies.
Day 15 – End of Tour
As you depart from the lovely city of Cape Town, you say goodbye to your fellow travelers. You will have access to a day room, depending on the time of your flight out.
Why Choose Collette?
Each individual who travels with Collette is treated like Collette’s own personal guest!
Collette, who has been around for more than a century, is fundamentally a family-owned business. By choosing Collette, you can enjoy advantages that elevate your guided vacation experience. You’ll receive more for your money and experience more of what makes travel exceptional with their all-inclusive packages.
More Peace of Mind
Collette values each and every second of the journey because they are aware of how much it means to you, the traveler. They are there for you every step of the way, whether it’s assisting you with location selection, driving you to and from the airport, providing the security of Collette’s industry-leading Travel Protection package, or providing round-the-clock support.
Make your adventure your own! Because every traveler is unique, Collette has developed a variety of methods for you to customize your tour and make it uniquely yours.
A family-owned and award-winning travel business with 106 years of experience, Collette is proud to show you the world. Traveling the world, creating fresh experiences, and staying on top of the newest travel trends is important to Collette’s dedicated tour design team. You can rest assured that you won’t miss a thing with a qualified tour manager at your disposal and local guides by your side.
More On Tour
In order to provide a richer experience, Collette is dedicated to going above and beyond expectations. To start, they have added additional iconic must-see and cultural highlights. Collette also offers dining experiences that spotlight the unique culinary offerings of your destination, and they provide curated accommodations to make sure each and every facet of your trip is enjoyable and comfortable.
With their support of legacy programs in countries including Kenya, Australia, Fiji, Cambodia, and Peru and through local community volunteering and support, Collette makes an impact in the places where they travel to.
Collette is one of our preferred suppliers for good reason, and we know you’ll love your trip to South Africa and Victoria Falls when you choose to travel with them!
ARE YOU READY FOR AN INCREDIBLE AFRICAN ADVENTURE WITH COLLETTE?
When you’re ready to book your next travel journey, contact one of our Tier One Travel consultants. They will craft something incredible that is suited to your unique needs and will make sure your travel plans will be as stress-free as possible.
One call; endless experiences!
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous