South Africa in March: Weather, Tips and More

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As summer draws to a close, South Africa in March promises some of the best weather conditions of the year with lots of sunshine to accompany spectacular scenery. The country’s usually parched savannah starts bursting with life during this month and vineyards start to turn a warm golden hue as the harvest season draws closer. Visiting South Africa in March is also great for adventurers who want to take advantage of excellent hiking conditions or are looking forward to discovering its vast expanse of arid landscapes on the back of a motorcycle. Here is everything you can expect from the rainbow nation before autumn makes its arrival.

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South Africa Weather in March

Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa at sunset.
The ideal weather in Pretoria spurs parties and concerts in the city in March.

South Africa has two very distinct rainfall seasons, neither of which falls during March. The north of the country sees most of its rain during December and January, while the south is a winter rainfall area.

Cape Town is notoriously windy but March is the perfect time to explore this city, as pleasant temperatures ensure that winds remain at bay. The capital of Pretoria and other northern areas also see a pleasant climate during March with an average of 27°C. South Africa’s temperature in March hovers at around 25°C and drops down to the high teens in the evenings with an average minimum of 14°C.

For a seasonal overview, check out our article on the best time to visit South Africa.

Weather in South Africa in March - Rainfall and Temperatures

Feb Mar Apr
Avg Daily (°C) 26 25 22
Avg Nightly (°C) 16 14 12
Avg Daily (°F) 79 77 72
Avg Nightly (°F) 61 58 54
Avg Rainfall (mm) 20 30 50

Why Visit South Africa in March

Tea plantation on hills outside Limpopo, South Africa.
The country is covered in wonderful greenery after the summer rainfall.
A morning cyclist takes in the Cape Town view of Chapman's peak.
You should rent a bike and go cycling in the amazing weather conditions in South Africa in March.

South Africa in March hits a sweet spot and offers opportunities to see all corners of the country in optimal condition. If that is not enough to entice you, have a look at some of the other reasons why you should visit South Africa in March.

  • Fewer crowds: Most holiday destinations across the country are quiet during the few weeks before Easter kicks off. Fly to South Africa in March if you want to avoid hordes of travelers.
  • Natural at its best: The Bushveld is lush and green during this month after healthy rainfall in summer. Similarly, you will also find waterfalls on the hiking trails along the country’s east coast overflowing and forests abundantly green.
  • Outdoors beckon: South Africa’s weather in March is perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities. This is the start of the surf season and a time when trails are at their best. Plus, the bicycling season reaches its pinnacle in South Africa during this time of year.

Where to go and what to do

A man-made hiking path to Drakensberg mountains.
Strap on your hiking boots and head to the hiking trails in the Drakensberg in March.

South Africa offers a range of experiences to travelers during March. Cape Town is top on the list for most people as there are many things to do here. Although the city can be notoriously windy during other times of the year, this should not be a problem in March. Head out to charming fishing villages on the west coast or spend your day lazing in wine farms, soaking up some sunshine and sipping on the finest chardonnay in the world.

The country also has some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the world, winding along dramatic seaside cliffs or past bewildering mountain scenes. The latter part of March offers a suitable climate for those who wish to hike through the Drakensberg and see the famous Amphitheater at its greenest. This is also the best time to see Tugela Waterfall, the second-highest in the world. The Otter hiking trail on the country’s south coast is also immensely popular during this time as you can still wade in refreshing ocean pools while avoiding the scorching temperatures of January and February.

South Africa is renowned for its spellbinding nature reserves teeming with animals. Kruger is one of the biggest parks on the continent and close to a million people visit the park annually in search of the elusive Big 5. This wildlife reserve receives rains in December and January, which means that you can experience the bush at its greenest.

The month’s second Sunday sees bicycling enthusiasts from across the world head to Cape Town to take part in the Cape Town Cycle Race, the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Art lovers can also enjoy the Cape Town International Jazz Festival at the end of March.

Pleasant weather conditions also make a trip to the country’s interior, called the Karoo, a worthwhile adventure. This peaceful expanse is often overlooked when it is sweltering hot but in March you can appreciate the vastness of the Valley of Desolation and the illuminated starry skies of Karroo National Park.

South Africa enjoys similar weather conditions across the board during this small window, allowing visitors to see all corners of the country. Plus, you can take advantage of hotspots that are comparatively empty ahead of the Easter holidays and prices that are slightly lower than in December. Get in touch with our local travel experts for a customized trip to South Africa in March.

Check out all our South Africa tours in March for more ideas and inspiration.

Other articles:
South Africa in February
South Africa in April

Published by Tim Green, updated on February 1, 2023

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