South Africa in February: Hikes and Beaches

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If you are looking to visit South Africa in February, you are in for a treat. Expect glorious sunshine, moderate-to-warm temperatures and welcoming waters during your stay in the country at this time of year. As February falls during the country’s summer season, you can enjoy a lovely beach holiday along the Atlantic, which benefits from the ocean breeze. It is also worth noting that Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal coast can be oppressively hot during February, so you will need to plan around this. The peak nesting season for both loggerhead and leatherback turtles falls in this period, so head to iSimangaliso in the evening for nighttime tours to see these creatures.

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South Africa Weather in February

People on the beach of Port Elizabeth in South Africa in February.
The coastal regions are perfect to beat the heat and have a beach holiday in South Africa.

With February being South Africa’s summer, you can expect to find twelve hours of sunshine, average temperatures of 26°C and warm Atlantic water temperatures reaching up to 21°C, with nightly temperatures staying at 16°C.

The further inland you go, the climate in South Africa toward national parks such as Kruger and Addo gets hotter and drier, with the mercury shooting up to 29°C. Temperatures tend to be cooler on the Atlantic coast of the country, including Cape Town, than in the regions close to the Indian Ocean, offering a reprieve from what can be a stifling heat.

If you are not 100 percent sure when to visit South Africa, check out our seasonal overview on the best time to visit South Africa.

Weather in South Africa in February - Rainfall and Temperatures

Jan Feb Mar
Avg Daily (°C) 26 26 25
Avg Nightly (°C) 16 16 14
Avg Daily (°F) 79 79 77
Avg Nightly (°F) 61 61 58
Avg Rainfall (mm) 20 20 30

Why Visit South Africa in February

Loggerhead Turtle laying eggs in iSimangaliso in South Africa in February.
You can head to iSimangaliso Wetland Park where it is the turtle nesting season.
Burchell's starling bird in Kruger National Park in South Africa.
February is the ideal bird-watching season in South Africa.

Although February is not a peak season for tourists in South Africa, there are a lot of benefits to traveling during this month. We have listed a few of them below.

  • Smaller crowds: Despite it being a great time to visit, February sees crowds starting to thin out, especially around Cape Town and the Garden Route. The latter sees more windy conditions during this month compared to other times of the year.
  • Turtle-nesting season: If you want to witness a miracle of the animal world, head to iSimangaliso and see loggerhead and leatherback turtles during their nesting season.
  • Beach time: The weather in South Africa in February is great to check out the beaches along the country’s Atlantic coast. A refreshing breeze and ample sunshine mean you can relax without sweating up a storm.
  • Go birding: Thanks to tropical thunderstorms in the country’s northeast, this is a great time to see migratory birds. Grab your binoculars and go on bird-watching tours.

Where to go and what to do

Mountains valley river overlooking horizon landscape in Sani Pass.
If you are up for an off-road adventure, Sani Pass is just the destination for you.

There are lots of things to do in South Africa. If you are partial to a nice glass of wine, it is the peak harvesting season in the country’s vineyards. In fact, the wine season is such a big thing in February that there is even the Franschhoek Summer Wine Festival, where you can taste delicious wine, learn more about the area and its vineyards, and even kick back and listen to some live music.

Looking to celebrate with a trip to Cape Town? While most pride events around the world are celebrated in June, they are organized in Cape Town in February with a huge parade, music, dancing and tons of fun!

If you are looking to strap on your hiking boots and explore more of this beautiful country on foot, February is an ideal month to do so. Whether it is a day hike up Table Mountain to enjoy panoramic views of Cape Town, or a multi-day hike through the Drakensberg, South Africa is a hiker’s paradise.

Not a fan of traveling on foot but love a panoramic mountain view? Jump on an off-road vehicle and head to the Sani Pass. Dry and sunny South African weather in February make it the perfect time to explore this mountainous wonderland. Do not forget to pack your binoculars before traveling to this destination, as it is one of the most popular spots for birdwatching. The extensive list of birds that you might see includes the Drakensberg rockjumper, bush blackcap, large-billed lark and even bearded vultures!

So if you are looking to escape the dreary cold of the Northern Hemisphere for lots of warmth and sunshine, South Africa in February is just what you need. From kicking back on the beach and taking in beautiful vistas during a hike, to seeing baby turtles emerging in the wild, heading for South Africa in February provides you with an experience that you will never forget!

Planning your trip to South Africa can be stressful. Why not let our travel experts do the hard work for you with your own customized trip. Just enter your preferences and requirements and we will do the rest!

Check out our trips to South Africa in February for more inspiration.

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Published by Tim Green, updated on May 19, 2023

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