South Africa in July: Safaris and Celebrations


If you are looking for a vacation destination that offers a little bit of everything, South Africa is a great choice. In July, the weather is sunny but the temperatures aren't scorching, making it perfect to get outside and go on a safari or check out some of the country's iconic landmarks, such as Table Mountain or the Castle of Good Hope. Plus, there are plenty of cultural attractions to make your vacation a lively one. Keep reading to learn more about a trip to South Africa in July.

South Africa Weather in July

Elephants greeting each other in a national park in South Africa in July.
Winter is a great time to spot wildlife in South Africa as they gather around watering holes.

As the mid-winter season, the weather in South Africa in July is comfortably warm by day and cool at night, with temperatures generally ranging from 17°C to 7°C. Although usually sunny and dry, rain is not completely out of the picture, and you might see a few days of drizzle. Be sure to check the temperatures of your exact destination as they vary depending on location.

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

Weather in South Africa in July - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)262625222018171819212325
Avg Nightly (°C)16161412107789111315
Avg Daily (°F)78.878.87771.66864.462.664.466.269.873.477
Avg Nightly (°F)60.860.857.253.65044.644.646.448.251.855.459
Avg Rainfall (mm)2020305070901007050402020

Why Visit South Africa in July

A big male African lion in the Kalahari desert in South Africa in July.
You can head to the national parks as July brings ideal conditions to spot the Big Five.
A wonderful beach and Indian ocean waves at Plettenberg Bay.
Plettenberg Bay has amazing beaches which make it one of the most popular destinations in South Africa in July.

There are plenty of reasons for visiting South Africa in July. Here are some of them:

  • Wildlife: The winter months (June to October) are the best months for a South African safari. In July, temperatures in South Africa are moderate and grasses are not too high, making it ideal to spot the Big Five or other wildlife at the watering holes. Visit the famed Kruger National Park or Addo Elephant Reserve for some of the best game viewing. Lucky travelers may also witness whales giving birth close to the shore of the Western Cape.
  • Fewer crowds: July falls outside of the peak travel season, so you'll find better deals and fewer tourists. There will be plenty of opportunities to explore South Africa's amazing landscapes and culture without having to fight crowds. However, make advance bookings for more popular tourist attractions such as Plettenberg Bay.
  • Cultural events: There are also many cultural and sporting events happening throughout the month, including the hugely popular Vodacom Durban horse race held on the first Saturday of July. Or, indulge in the ten-day-long Knysna Oyster Festival in the Western Cape or the Durban International Film Festival, the oldest and largest film festival in Africa.
  • Celebrate Madiba: If you happen to visit around July 18, be a part of the International Nelson Mandela Day celebrations. Or learn more about the life of icon "Madiba" by going to Robben Island to tour his childhood home in Qunu. The Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha is also worth a visit.

Where to go and what to do

Two southern white rhinoceros crossing safari road in Kruger National Park.
You can explore the wilderness trails in Kruger National Park and view exotic species found in South Africa.

Depending on how many days you may spend in South Africa, plan your itinerary in advance. Start your trip by visiting the famous Kruger National Park for a safari or guided tour of lions, leopards, and honey badgers at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Attend the educational program at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center and learn about endangered animals such as rhinos, cheetahs, and sable antelopes. Mac Mac Falls is another breathtaking treat to enjoy in the park. It has 213-foot cascades which can be viewed from the observation deck above the falls.

Don’t forget to see Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world, spread across 160 kilometers with a width of 27 kilometers in the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. Try guided hiking or mountain bike trails in the park and camp overnight.

Celebrate Bastille Day Festival on July 14 in Cape Town, commemorating the French revolution. The town is full of lively activities on the day with military parades, fun dancing, and bright fireworks. Although it might be cool for swimming in July, for those who are determined to spend time on the beach, Mossel Bay is the right spot.

What to bring

A scenic view of Route 62 in the western cape of South Africa.
Route 62 is considered to be the world's longest wine route.

The weather in July can get cool so make sure you bring clothing layers and be sure to pack extra warm clothes if you plan on seeing penguins at the stony point. Don’t forget your insect repellent spray or cream and a first aid kit for emergencies. Also, carry a yellow fever card if it's applicable, depending on where you are traveling from. Lastly, add a South Africa power adapter and battery pack to keep the gadgets charged.

All in all, South Africa is a great place to visit during July. The South African weather in July is beautiful, and the locals are incredibly friendly and welcoming. In addition, there are several festivals and events that take place in July, making it the perfect time to visit.

Plan customized trips and consult with travel experts to get the most out of your trip. Go through our tours to South Africa in July for more inspiration.

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