South Africa in April: Start of Safari Season

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Looking for the best season to visit South Africa? April is a strong contender. With warm temperatures and 12 hours of sunshine a day, this is a great month to visit South Africa. It is warm enough to feel like a holiday, yet cool enough to enjoy excursions such as hiking in the Drakensberg and attending festivals like AfrikaBurn. April falls towards the end of the peak season, which means that you can expect cheaper rates and fewer crowds towards the end of this month. Want to know why April is an amazing time to explore South Africa? Let us find out more.

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South Africa Weather in April

Exposure shot of Johannesburg city skyline and Nelson Mandela bridge.
A trip to Johannesburg should be on your itinerary as the climate is amazing there this time of year.

April is a great time to visit South Africa, thanks to its warm and sunny weather that is not oppressively hot. Overall, the average daily temperature in South Africa in April is 22℃, meaning that you can enjoy the heat and sunshine while it is still cool enough to be able to actually take part in a variety of activities.

Johannesburg hits an average of 22℃, while Cape Town is slightly warmer at 23℃ during this time of year. If you journey inland towards Kruger National Park, away from ocean breezes, the average temperature reaches 29℃. The weather is predominantly warm across the entire country in April, but the rainfall does start to increase in autumn, hovering at 50mm.

For a seasonal overview, go through our travel guide on the best time to visit South Africa.

Weather in South Africa in April - Rainfall and Temperatures

Mar Apr May
Avg Daily (°C) 25 22 20
Avg Nightly (°C) 14 12 10
Avg Daily (°F) 77 72 68
Avg Nightly (°F) 58 54 50
Avg Rainfall (mm) 30 50 70

Why Visit South Africa in April

A Hippopotamus among a group of crocodiles in Kruger National Park.
It is safari season in Kruger National Park where you can spot animals in their natural habitat.
A scenic view of cityscape of Cape Town at night.
If you want to get lost in the beautiful night sky in South Africa, there are plenty of stargazing excursions in April.

While there is not exactly a bad time to visit this country, there are some aspects that can turn a trip to South Africa in April into a memorable experience.

  • Lower hotel rates: If you are traveling towards the end of April, which is the end of the peak season, and not during the Easter holidays, you might be able to book hotels in some areas at a cheaper price than in other months.
  • Start of safari season: The rainy season typically lasts until April in South Africa. As rains dwindle, animals come out in the open, kicking off the wildlife-watching season. Head for Kruger during your trip to the country in April and try spotting the Big 5.
  • Hiking in Drakensberg: If you are looking to strap on your boots and explore on foot, ambient temperatures make it the perfect time to hike in the Drakensberg region. There are plenty of gorgeous routes, ranging from those that pass through breathtaking gorges and cliffs to those that take you to caves and waterfalls.
  • Stargazing: Combine your trip to the Northern Cape with a pre-bookable stargazing excursion. April offers clear skies in this area—a stargazer's dream.

Where to go and what to do

Panorama of a vineyard in the south of Franschhoek.
Do not forget to grab some fine South African wine as their wineries experience the harvesting season.

If you find yourself in South Africa in April, there is one thing you absolutely have to do, and that is attending the Splashy Fen Music Festival in the Drakensberg. Running since 1990, Splashy Fen is the oldest music festival in the whole of South Africa. Enjoy the outdoor musical extravaganza and discover your new favorite artist.

Looking to head out to the wild open expanses of South Africa and connect with people on a deeper level? Head to AfrikaBurn. The festival promotes ‘Radical Self Reliance’, a practice that allows visitors to discover themselves. If that sounds like you, grab a car and head 80km east of Cape Town.

If festivals are not your thing and you want to head to the coast, April is the start of South Africa’s peak surfing season. Check out Jeffrey’s Bay, one of the most famous places to surf on the planet. If you are a novice, there are plenty of qualified and experienced surf schools all along the coast. By the time you leave South Africa, you will not only have great memories but also a cool new skill to show off to your friends.

Looking for something a little bit more relaxing? Pick a designated driver and head to the winelands of Franschhoek or Stellenbosch to celebrate the end of their harvest season. South African wine is fast becoming a popular choice all over the world, so grab a bottle or two as a souvenir after you have had your tasting.

April is a great month to visit South Africa. The month marks the beginning of safari and surfing seasons and offers cooler weather conditions along with a vast choice of festivals. There is a lot to love and enjoy if you visit South Africa during this time of year.

For a lot of people, the main draw of South Africa is its wildlife, so with cooler temperatures and light rainfall, April is the ideal time to book that safari trip on your bucket list.

Unsure of how to organize your South Africa itinerary? Check out our customized trips here. They are put together by travel experts and made to suit your needs and requirements.

Check out our tours to South Africa in April for more ideas.

Other articles:
South Africa in March
South Africa in May

Published by Tim Green, updated on June 27, 2022

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