South Africa has more hours of daylight in winter than most countries – and in many parts of the country winter days are superbly mild and warm; rates are low and special offers are plentiful. From mountains to beaches there is somewhere to suit everyone and every budget! Here are our favourite South African winter getaways.
Durban and its South Coast
These two KwaZulu-Natal kids will always feature on top winter destination lists, with the tropical climate in this part of the world making it the ideal retreat during the chilly season. It’s during the winter months when the humidity of Durban’s summer gets swapped for pleasant, mild days that are still comfortably warm. In fact, sometimes temperatures can rise enough for you to head to the beach and even take a sneaky swim in the Indian Ocean (if you dare!) The beautiful South Coast, with its countless resorts and gorgeous beaches, retains its usual charm during the winter, but without all of the crowds – yes please!
The Karoo in the centre of South Africa might be the last place you would consider for a winter getaway due to the low temperatures. This is definitely the place to head to “get away from it all”. If you’re craving vast night skies, endless horizons and limited cell phone signal you need to plan a visit to the Karoo this winter! Yes, it gets frosty… but nothing a good jacket, wooly beanie and pair of gloves can’t sort out! And as the day unfolds you can peel the layers off to enjoy the warm sunshine.
Golden Gate National Park
The Golden Gate National Park is exquisitely beautiful all year round but becomes something truly special in the wintertime. Its famous orange hues turn to white as winter visits the Free State. Snowfall is regularly recorded in the highlands, and the mountainous snow-capped lands of Lesotho lie just to the south-east of the town.
Kruger National Park
Kruger is one of the best destinations in South Africa for wildlife viewing on any day. Want to increase your chances of spotting all the Big 5 on a Kruger safari? Winter season in South Africa is your best option. Lions, rhinos, elephants, Cape buffalos and other animals are seen more frequently in the park during the cooler, drier winter months. Go catch them all!
Mbombela and Kaapsehoop
Another tropical winter getaway spot is undoubtedly Mbombela in Mpumalanga. Even though the mornings and evenings tend to get a bit chilly, the reality is that during the day it’ll be hard to believe that it’s actually wintertime! The city has many fantastic sights to see, including the Lowveld National Botanical Garden, Sudwala Caves and Chimp Eden, but it’s the fact that it’s literally down the road from the famous Kruger National Park that makes it a worthwhile base or stopover.
The best way to capitalise on the cold weather during the chilly season is to head of somewhere charming. These winter-friendly escapes around South Africa will appeal to all sorts of travellers, from bush lovers to beach enthusiasts. If you’re looking for exciting career opportunities in South Africa, make sure you click through to our job section.