Whether you’re a local Saffa reading this blog or a foreigner wanting to visit our beautiful land, it’s important that you choose the perfect time to plan your holiday. Now most people believe they need to save up and make sure to enjoy the country during peak season which is during the summer. However, this can cost an exorbitant amount of money because in season rates for the most simple accommodation are pricey.
But to explore South Africa you don’t need the hot summer sun. In fact, unless you specifically are after some time spent lounging on the beach, you don’t need to pay top dollar to enjoy South Africa and its gems (hidden or otherwise). Yes we have magnificent beaches, but we also have an incredible wine route down in the cape and spectacular game farms further inland. South Africa is able to show off its wares during just about any time of the year. Whether you’re after an outdoor adventure like a South African Safari or a city slicker escapade, this country can offer you whatever you’re after. And, it’s known for being mighty friendly. What’s more, the diversity of the various cities is exciting and makes for a colourful and educational experience.
According to go2Africa.com, one of the top reasons to visit South Africa is because of its people, “visitors often comment on the fact that South Africans smile a lot... yes, we are a friendly bunch! We love to meet new people and passionately recommend our favourite place and things to do. We are a melting pot of many fascinating cultures forming one nation so you'll hear several distinct accents in our English, notice many different faces and taste a rich fusion of flavours in our cuisine.”
So, if you want to explore this country then consider setting up your holiday soon, like May. This might seem like an odd time of the year but there are many different reasons why this is the month in which to maximise your stay in the southern tip of Africa.
Accommodation rates drop as of 1 May each year. This is considered the beginning of winter and because most people want to vacation during the summer months, accommodation becomes cheaper so that hotels and the like can keep foot traffic coming in. Often bookings will require you book for a minimum of two night’s stay but you can find some incredible specials during this time too. And the specials aren’t limited to accommodation spots but restaurants and adventure packages will also be more cost-effective. And sometimes the cold weather provides a better opportunity to enjoy yourself. For instance, you looking to head out on a safari? The cooler weather makes it easier to spot wildlife because of the thinned out vegetation and the animals feeling more comfortable roaming around because there’s no blistering heat. Also, if you’re one for shark cage diving you’ll be treated to far more sharks circling around you in the colder winter waters.
The cooler weather and sporadic rainfall during this time turns the country into a lush, green landscape. Dusk and dawn during these months are spectacular to see and against emerald green hills and valleys you’ll be delighted by the sights. Also, you can enjoy the dramatic displays of fynbos which flower during this time. In addition to this, May is cooler but not completely wintry. You’ll be able to enjoy some sun-kissed days where you won’t have to wrap up in a coat or rain jacket. You’re essentially getting the best of both worlds.
South Africans are hard at work after the Easter holidays and not yet on their winter break so you won’t be fighting off locals. You should consider the school calendar when looking to explore South Africa. You see, the locals are aware of how beautiful their country is so when the school holidays hit they also head out to experience the sights. And in May you don’t need to worry. The kids are still in school and their parents are still in the office. The June holidays and the December holidays are when everything fills up. But in May you could end up with the whole place to yourself.