AUTUMN IN SOUTH AFRICA
The autumn season during March, April and May is a fickle month in terms of the weather in South Africa, but it is rather beautiful, especially in the Western Cape. For some locals, this is the preferred time of year to vacation, when schools close for the Easter break.
The Western Cape slowly recovers from warm temperatures after the summer months. Expect less crowds, although the Cape Town International Jazz Festival that takes place in March, causes a bit of congestion in the city centre. Local and international musicians come together to celebrate the jazz genre. Expect some big stars of the jazz world. Beaches are still pleasant, as the wind starts dying down in autumn.
Weather in Gauteng and Johannesburg is fluid now, with the occasional cold snap, as summer and winter balance themselves out.
Kruger National Park becomes more balanced as the rainy season comes to an end. Just as in the summer season, the foliage is still green, but begins to recede. Still considered part of the low season, you’ll get great deals on accommodation, but be warned, the Easter school holidays bring plenty of visitors on self-drive safaris. April is roughly considered the start of the high season.
Kwazulu-Natal and Durban are fortunate in that the moderate and pleasant weather doesn’t generally differ too much when it comes to the seasons. Again, the Easter break can become rather busy, so plan ahead to avoid this is you prefer a quieter travel experience. Try a turtle tour in iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This is the only place in South Africa where Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles lay their eggs. Once laid, the eggs can take 80 days to hatch. The months of January to March are best if you want to see hundreds of baby turtles making their way to the sea to begin their watery journey to maturity.
Credit: Kosi Forest Lodge
In the Eastern Cape, this is a great time for a safari. The weather can be chilly in the evenings, but mildly warm in the day. The Karoo continues to experience high temperatures, and closer to Kwazulu-Natal, the climate is warm and mild. Port Elizabeth sees some rain, but the wind tends to die down a bit now.
The semi-desert and arid regions of the Northern Cape remain scorching, with thunderstorms continuing in the eastern region. The western coast temperatures mimic those of summer, however, it is still a destination worth visiting as temperatures settle somewhat. In the north it is still very hot, and white-water rafting along the Orange River is discouraged due to the low water levels.
Other areas in the east are still humid, with thunderstorms but moderate temperatures.
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