When to Go
South Africa is a country of many climates, and the weather varies according to an area’s proximity to coasts or elevated lands. Generally speaking, the winter season in Gauteng lasts from June to September; summer lasts from October to May. In Cape Town, summer begins later, usually around November or December. Heavy rains arrive during the summertime in Johannesburg, and temperatures can fluctuate in the winter between autumnal and freezing. Cape Town, on the other hand, enjoys a Mediterranean climate with winter rains and dry summers. Keep an eye on the forecasts a week before you leave, and pack appropriately.
If you’re looking to enjoy food, music, or other arts in group settings, then checking out a calendar of festivals is an excellent way to plan an itinerary. South Africa Tourism has an interactive list of festivals; those of note include the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, in March, the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, in the summer, and the Oppikoppi Bushveld music festival in the province of North West, in August.