When to go
South Africa is mainly sunny throughout the year. Seasons are the reverse of those in the UK, with midwinter in June and July and midsummer in December and January. The best time to go to South Africa will depend on your destination as the climate varies considerably between regions. More details on where to go and when are below.
The southern-most part of the Western Cape, including Cape Town, has a Mediterranean-type climate, influenced by winds blowing in from the South Atlantic. This can result in changeable, though usually mild, days in winter, when most of the rainfall occurs. From November to March, weather is hot and sunny.
On the east side – including the Kruger Park Area – there is sunshine year round. Summers are hot, with short, heavy rains; winters sunny, dry and sometimes cold at night. Game viewing is particularly good between May and September, when the water shortage encourages animals to gather at waterholes.
KwaZulu Natal enjoys a subtropical climate, with plenty of sunshine year round. Summers are hot and can be humid, with sudden downpours.
There are daily non-stop overnight flights between London and Johannesburg (10.5 hours) and London and Cape Town (11 hours), with add-on fares from most regional airports. British Airways and South African Airways are our main partners. We use KLM out of certain regional airports.
GMT +2 hours
British citizens do not require visas. A full passport valid for 6 months beyond your date of return is required, with at least two empty pages for immigration stamps.
There are no compulsory requirements. Malaria is present in some eastern parts of the country, but check yellow fever requirements if you are entering via an African country. Always consult your doctor at least six weeks before travel and refer to this useful NHS website for details of recommended vaccinations for your destination.