Bright blue se encases by a beach and the Twelve Apostles mountains looking down covered with greenery.

The luxury of a winter sun vacation never tires for those who reside in the northern hemisphere. For travelers seeking an enchanting destination, while the frost settles at home this is simply the best time to visit South Africa.

Watch the summer sun set on safari as wildlife gather around a waterhole. Enjoy golden beaches and pristine waters. Sip pinotage at a world-renowned vineyard.

South Africa’s allure lies not only in its breathtaking landscapes but also in its ability to create unforgettable memories that linger long after the summer sun has set.

Idyllic weather

Table mountain against a bright blue sky, with Cape Town in the foreground on a sunny day

South Africa’s summer, which falls between December and February, promises a blissful escape from the winter chill in other parts of the world, with its pleasant climate and ample sunshine.

Days are typically warm, with temperatures ranging from 57.2°F (14°C) to 78.8°F (26°C). This offers the perfect climate to explore cities such as Cape Town, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and ascend the famous Table Mountain.

Balmy evenings are perfect for enjoying a cocktail on a terrace, and dining under the stars. Radiant sunsets paint the sky in vivid hues, casting a magical glow over the landscapes making this the best time to visit South Africa.

Discover this on: Spectacular South Africa

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Ripening vineyards

close up of black grapes ripening on green vines, with the sun on them


Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Constantia. South African’s wine regions are recognized worldwide for their vintages. For connoisseurs of fine wines and those seeking a tranquil respite, a visit to the vineyards provides the ultimate decadent escape. The country’s summer sees the vines in full bloom, with sprawling fields of lush grapes ripening in the sunlight.

Fine wine takes center stage on our Spectacular South Africa tour, as we spend time in the historic Cape Winelands. Enjoy a scenic drive through the wine towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Franschhoek. Taste the wines at Vergelegen Estate and, at Boschendal Estate, savor a seasonal Farm-to-Table lunch before returning to Cape Town in a chauffeured vintage car.

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Seasonal cuisine

delicate colourful sushi dishes placed on a white table cloth, with high end cutlery and glasses of champagne


A delightful array of seasonal produce is brought forth in South Africa’s summer, making it a haven for culinary enthusiasts seeking winter sun and fresh, vibrant flavors. The abundance of sunshine and fertile soil during this time of year results in a bounty of ingredients that grace the menus of renowned restaurants across the country.

Local farms and markets offer a vibrant selection of summer fruits and vegetables. Juicy tomatoes burst with flavor, while succulent berries, including strawberries and blueberries, are at their peak. Oranges and grapefruits lend their refreshing zing to dishes and cocktails. While crisp greens, including lettuce and spinach, are plentiful and add a touch of freshness to summer salads and light, healthy meals. For all lovers of gastronomy, this is the best time to visit South Africa.

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Sensational seafood

A sensational destination to savor the flavors of the ocean, when it comes to seafood coastal regions come alive during South Africa’s summer months. Fresh catches of line fish, such as yellowtail and kingklip, are readily available, and mussels and oysters are in abundance.

For the ultimate seafood experience, Azure Restaurant blends panoramic sea views with a menu of exceptional Cape cuisine. Azure is the in-house restaurant of the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, home for four nights on Spectacular South Africa. The menu champions local ingredients, particularly local seafood and sustainably caught fish. Mussels, crayfish, oysters, prawns, langoustines and squid all take center stage on their elegant, fine dining menu.

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Sunshine safari

Close up of a lion’s head roaring, against a dusty brown backdrop

Witnessing some of the planet’s most majestic creatures in their natural habitat is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. South Africa is renowned for its spectacular wildlife, a paradise for travelers seeking to explore its vast game reserves.

The country’s summer brings forth an abundance of wildlife activity, as the lush vegetation provides nourishment for an array of animals. Wildlife is also easier to spot as animals gather around water sources to cool off, making this the best time to visit South Africa for safari.

Witness the “Big Five” – lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalos. Plus, many other mammals and birdlife, including zebra, giraffe, vultures and eagles. The thrill of seeing these magnificent creatures up close is an unforgettable sensory experience, only heightened by the warmth of the sun.

A luxurious three-day safari in the heart of Big Five territory, Kruger National Park is a highlight on our Spectacular South Africa tour. The exquisite Lion Sands Lodge welcomes you with luxury suites with private decks and plunge pools. Daily private game drives offer many opportunities to see the wildlife up close.

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A treasure trove of culture and heritage

Beyond its natural wonders, South Africa’s rich cultural heritage adds an enriching dimension to any summer itinerary. The country boasts a multi-ethnic society with 11 officially sanctioned national languages. Twenty percent of the country’s population is of mixed ancestry, with many having descended from European and Asian immigrants. The indigenous population speaks different Bantu dialects, while the relatives of white settlers know a variant of Dutch called Afrikaans. These wide influences offer a wealth of history traditions, music and art, made even more enjoyable to explore by the summer sun, the perfect time for South Africa travel.

Visit South Africa with Luxury Gold and ecplore UNESCO World Heritage Site Robben Island. Here you’ll have the opportunity to meet with Christo Brand, former prison guard to Nelson Mandela. Learn about life with the inspirational leader, and the work of the non-profit Amy Foundation, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience.

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To discover the winter sun of South Africa for yourself, take a look at our Spectacular South Africa limited edition journey.