South Africa's seasons are the reverse of those in the UK, with midwinter in June and July and midsummer in December and January.
On the highveld in the interior, there is sunshine the year round. Summers are hot and thundery; winters bright dry and cold at night. Cape Town and the southernmost part of Western Cape has a Mediterranean-type climate, with mild, changeable winters, when most of the rainfall occurs, and a warm to hot summer. Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal coast enjoys a sub-tropical climate, again with plenty of sunshine year round. Summers are hot, thundery and humid at sea level. June and July, when the humidity is low, are ideal months to visit Durban and the coast.
For the latest weather forecast, Tel: +27 12 082 162.
Whales are seen close to the shore around Hermanus in the Western Cape from July to November. The resort employs a Whale Crier to patrol the streets, blowing a horn to alert visitors to sightings!
What to take
A camera or camcorder is essential. Batteries and film are generally available in main centres, but it is a good idea to stock up before going into more remote areas and into the game parks, although some private reserves have well-stocked shops. Before going into the reserves take a can of insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes. Binoculars will considerably improve the game viewing, while a torch is a good idea for seeing the way around the camp after dark.
There are game parks and reserves throughout South Africa where wildlife can be seen in its natural habitat. Best time for game viewing is during the drier period from April to September, when the vegetation is more sparse and the game congregates at the waterholes. Conducted game trails are offered by most parks.