South Africa in August: Weather, Tips & Whale Watching
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As winter starts to loosen its grip on the country, the weather in South Africa in August takes a turn for the better. Long, sunny days start to beat the crisp morning chill and the usually stormy Cape Town also sees light at the end of the tunnel.
The temperature in South Africa in August is temperate and your winter coats can happily be left at home during the day. Nature readies itself for the arrival of spring that is around the corner, and visitors are spoiled with displays unlike any other. Continue reading to find out more about why you should visit South Africa in August.
South Africa Weather in August
South Africa’s weather in August is vastly different from north to south. The Highveld and the Lowveld, distinct geographical areas located in Johannesburg, are nearing the end of the dry season, which means you will have plenty of long sunny days with crisp mornings during your trip to these areas.
As the temperature in South Africa in August starts to climb, so does the wind speed. The Gauteng province experiences a swift bout of August winds near the end of the month. On the other hand, Pretoria boasts plenty of blue skies with pleasant highs of 23°C and lows of only 7°C. Further north, in Nelspruit, the mercury reaches up to 26°C, which is arguably the most comfortable weather of the year in this region. Cape Town tells a different story with temperatures still hovering between 12°C and 20°C as the rainy season spills its last drops.
Cannot visit South Africa in August? Take a look at our handy travel guide for the best time to visit South Africa in other months.
Weather in South Africa in August - Rainfall and Temperatures
|Avg Daily (°C)||26||26||25||22||20||18||17||18||19||21||23||25|
|Avg Nightly (°C)||16||16||14||12||10||7||7||8||9||11||13||15|
|Avg Daily (°F)||78.8||78.8||77||71.6||68||64.4||62.6||64.4||66.2||69.8||73.4||77|
|Avg Nightly (°F)||60.8||60.8||57.2||53.6||50||44.6||44.6||46.4||48.2||51.8||55.4||59|
|Avg Rainfall (mm)||20||20||30||50||70||90||100||70||50||40||20||20|
Why Visit South Africa in August
August is a unique time to visit South Africa as you get to witness the dramatic change in seasons and some of the most glorious natural displays the world over. Below are a few perks of traveling to this country during this time of year.
- Less footfall: August is solidly in between two holidays in the South African school calendar, which means you can expect much emptier tourist attractions and better rates.
- Animal-spotting opportunities: The north of the country is still dry during this time of year, which means that animals congregate together in search of water. This makes it easy to spot them in arid grasslands.
- Whale-watching: The magnificent southern right whales are drawn to the warmer waters of the Atlantic for breeding and mating during this month before they make their way back to Arctic waters.
Where to go and what to do
The sleepy seaside town of Hermanus becomes one of the best places to visit in South Africa in August. Swarms of majestic ocean giants head to the Walker Bay to mate and calf and spend the month of August splashing around in magnificent displays. You can easily spot these marvelous creatures from land but for an up-close experience, take to the water by boat or kayak.
August is the peak game-viewing time in Kruger. Enjoy stunning warm days that are perfect for a safari along with light and breezy mornings. The Bushveld is dry during this month, thirsty with anticipation of the approaching rainy season, so animals congregate around permanent water sources. A morning next to a watering hole will most give you the chance to see elephants splashing in the shallows, hippos catching some rays and many thirsty herds of antelope making their way past for a drink.
Just west of Kruger is the world’s largest green canyon, the Blyde River Canyon. August is the best time to hike through the imposing natural landmark as milder temperatures are a welcome relief from the usually scorching sun.
To the north of Cape Town, nature undergoes another dramatic change as Namaqualand bursts into full bloom. This normally arid region plays host to one of the most colorful displays in the world as thousands of species of wildflowers come to life in its arid landscape. This unique phenomenon is best experienced on foot with multi-day walking excursions.
A new addition to the month of August is the Comrades Marathon, which was traditionally held in May but has been rescheduled to the last weekend in August. The race takes place on the east coast between Durban and Pietermaritzburg and runs along a grueling 89km route.
Foodies eagerly await the arrival of August as that means the festival season is here. There are small food festivals popping up all around, especially if you head to the Western Cape, where revelers can make the most of the sunnier weather and explore vineyards bursting with green leaves. The Stellenbosch Food and Wine Festival is one of the most notable events on the social calendar during this month.
South Africa in August is mild in most regions with little to no extremes, signaling the end of the wet season in the south and dry season in the north. This is the time to book a safari, take long hikes and visit tourism hotspots before springtime crowds arrive.
Our travel experts can help you create a custom tour, ensuring you get to see as much of the beautiful scenery of South Africa in August as possible.
Check out our tours to South Africa in August for more information.
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