South Africa in September: Safari Holiday in Dry Weather


As the start of South Africa’s spring, September is a great time to visit this beautiful country. A peak season for both safari and whale-watching, there are plenty of things to enjoy in September. In terms of weather, you can expect near-constant sunshine, minimal rain and blue skies, perfect for sightseeing in Kruger National Park, sunbathing on Durban beaches or taking on new adventures. If you want to escape the autumn months of the Northern Hemisphere for some much-needed heat, South Africa in September might be just the ticket. Not sure what there is to see and do on your trip to South Africa? Read on to find out.

South Africa Weather in September

An aerial view of Cape Town in South Africa in September.
Cape Town is one of the best tourist destinations in South Africa and it is cooler in September.

With wall-to-wall sunshine comes some serious heat. The average September temperature in South Africa is a sizzling 32℃. However, as you journey towards coastal areas, the climate gets cooler thanks to Atlantic and Indian Ocean breezes.

In the coastal cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, you can expect to see slightly lower temperatures of 21℃, with increased chances of rain showers. That being said, September in South Africa is mostly a dry month, with just three millimeters of rainfall in and around its inland national parks. All these conditions combine to make a trip to South Africa in September a sunny escapade.

Find out more about the best time to visit South Africa in our travel guide.

Weather in South Africa in September - 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 September

Visitors on the beach in Durban City in South Africa in September.
The coastal areas such as Durban have beautifully warm conditions for a beach holiday.
Sharks in underwater world in South Africa.
If you are an adventure lover, diving with sharks should be on your list when you visit South Africa in September.

Many travel experts believe that September is actually the best time to visit South Africa, primarily because wildlife start emerging from their winter hideouts with the start of spring. Along with this, there is also an improvement in weather conditions. There are a lot of reasons to check out South Africa in September. Let us go through a few of them below.

  • Safari magic: The start of spring and South African weather mean that the animals of Kruger National Park come out into the open seeking watering holes, making this an ideal time to go on safari tours.
  • Beach paradise: If you are heading towards Durban and the coastal areas of the Indian Ocean, you can expect beautifully warm and dry conditions. This makes September a great month to enjoy a relaxing stay on the beach.
  • Whale-watching: September marks the start of the peak whale-watching season. Head down to Hermanus and the Western Cape to track their migratory pattern and see these magnificent giants in the wild.
  • Swim with sharks: If you want to swim with some of the oceans’ scariest inhabitants, September is the last month of the peak season. This is because cooler waters draw sharks to the shore to feed. Dive if you dare!

Where to go and what to do

Speaking of whale-watching, you might want to join the flood of locals and tourists alike and head down to Hermanus for the Hermanus Whale Festival. This event celebrates the start of their migration, and you can enjoy three days of parades, eco-friendly educational exhibits, music and culinary delights. This, together with spotting whales, makes for an unforgettable experience.

Whale tail in the Atlantic ocean near Hermanus city.
Hermanus is a premier whale-watching destination in South Africa.

If you are planning on being in South Africa towards the end of September, specifically on September 24, you can enjoy Heritage Day, a national holiday. This is also known as National Braai Day and offers a chance to try South African classics on the barbecue like chakalaka and pap. Events are held all across the country on this day, so you are bound to have an amazing time regardless of where in South Africa you find yourself.

The weather in South Africa in September is ideal for a hiking trip on the famous Table Mountain. Although the peak hiking season begins in November, when South Africa is at its driest, cooler temperatures make September a more enjoyable time to go on a hike — just come prepared for any impromptu rainfall!

If you are coming to South Africa for safaris, this is a great time to do it as warm weather means that animals queue around watering holes. Great spots for an ultimate safari experience include Kruger, Addo Elephant Park and Marakele.

All in all, September is a great month to visit South Africa. Whether you are heading inland to check out the wildlife at one of the many national parks, traveling to coastal areas for whale-watching, or are looking forward to kicking back on a sandy stretch, there is something to suit everyone during this time of year.

If you are not sure how to fit everything into your dream South African itinerary, check out our customizable trips. Simply enter your basic requirements and our travel experts will put together the perfect itinerary for your needs. Booking a personalized itinerary could not be easier!

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

More information

Create your custom-made trip to South Africa

Traveling to South Africa? Chat with a local travel specialist in South Africa who can help organize your trip.

  • Victoria Erskine
    Victoria Erskine
    Travel Expert in Kenya & South Africa
  • Remondy Kabura
    Remondy Kabura
    Travel Expert in South Africa
  • Carla Ferreira
    Carla Ferreira
    Travel Expert in Mauritius & South Africa
Our travel experts are recommended by
  • BBC
  • Independent
  • Herald Sun
0 Comments We welcome your questions or comments to this article. Our travel experts will respond within 48 hours.
Travel Expert in Kenya & South Africa
Victoria Erskine Travel Expert in Kenya & South Africa
5.0 - Excellent
Travel Expert in South Africa
Remondy Kabura Travel Expert in South Africa
4.8 - Excellent
  1. Add Comment

Sign-in to unlock instant trip discounts. Create wish lists and save up to USD 1,500.

More login options here.