South Africa in September is a time of pleasantly warm weather and new beginnings! Spring has Sprung and September is the beginning of the best time to visit South Africa if you want to avoid the crowd and extreme weather at the same time.
September is considered the best month of all for game viewing in Kruger National Park and other northern reserves, while travelers on the west coast can catch the tail-end of wildflower season.
With many things to do in South Africa, you won’t run out of things to do while exploring provinces like Mpumalanga, Free State, North West, Limpopo, or the Western Cape Region.
Here’s the ultimate guide to spending September in South Africa:
Planning a trip to South Africa in September?
Why Visit South Africa in September
South Africa is a special place to visit anytime, you’re bound to have a good time. But a trip to South Africa in September brings along the perfect blend of convenience and beauty that’s generally so hard to find. Here’s why:
- Whale watching is at its peak off the southern coast.
- Vegetation will remain sparse as the majority of shrubs and grasses will have been grazed down throughout the winter, making this the perfect time to safari in South Africa.
- Wildlife viewing is at a prime as many animals give birth after winter.
Weather in South Africa in September
September in South Africa sees the offset of winter and the arrival of spring. Precipitation decreases and temperature rises. With average highs of 28°, C and lows of 12°C, the nights are still chilly in September, I highly recommend layering up so you can remove them if a warm day sneaks up on you!
Both Atlantic and Indian oceans are too cold for swimming and surfing at this time and the average number of daylight hours is 8.
South Africa in September: Top 5 Things to do
Known for its African, Indian and colonial influences. Durban is the warmest city in South Africa and one of the best cities to live in Africa One of the best things to do in Durban include a trip to uShaka Marine World, a harbor boat cruise to a South African Safari tour of Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa.
Kruger National Park
This one’s a no-brainer really. Any trip to South Africa, no matter the month, has to include a trip to the world-renowned Kruger National Park, this is one of the best national parks in SA and the fact that it’s September in South Africa, means fewer people and less waiting times, is an additional bonus.
Kruger has a high density of wild animals includes the Big 5: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos. Hundreds of other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles, and storks.
The Garden Route
The Garden Route is one of the most scenic routes in South Africa. The route consists of picturesque coastlines, winding and weaving past lagoons, rivers, mountain passes, forests, bays, and the most pristine beaches.
The route starts in Mossel Bay in the west and ends at Storms River in the east. Knysna, in the middle, is a great place to base yourself on the Garden Route as all the attractions are within very easy reach and accommodation is good here. You can relax for a couple of nights in the knowledge you don’t need to do much driving!
South African Wine Country
South African Wine Country was established in the 1600s and the country ranks eighth among the biggest wine-producing countries in the world.
The most renowned wine regions of South Africa are Stellenbosch, Paarl, Constantia, Franschhoek, Robertson, and Worcester.
Events in South Africa in September
Tourism Month is celebrated annually during September in South Africa and provides a heightened month-long focus on the importance of the sector to the South African economy.
Tourism Month features themed activities that are aligned to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day Celebrations that take place annually on 27 September.
South African National Parks Week
South African National Parks (SANParks) host the annual SA National Parks Week from 8 to 15 September. During this week they grant free access to most of the 21 national parks for day visitors, especially people from the local communities.
Free entry excludes Namaqua National Park and Boulders Penguin Colony and the Table Mountain Cableway in Table Mountain National Park. It should be noted that free access to parks does not include free access to accommodation facilities and other tourist activities.
24 September is a public holiday and celebrated nationwide as Heritage Day. Heritage Day in South Africa recognizes and celebrates the cultural wealth of our nation. Various events are staged throughout the country to commemorate this day.
Many South Africans will use the long weekend for exploring the country and visiting family and friends. Also, most public schools break up for a one-week holiday over this period. It’s important to book your accommodation and activities in advance as Finding a place to stay over this long weekend can be difficult.
Hermanus Whale Festival
Hermanus Whale Festival is a celebration of the return of the southern right whales to the coastal waters of Southern Africa. Dubbed”The Only Eco-Marine Festival in the World”, All events and activities during the whale festival are focused to create awareness on how to protect the whales and all our marine wildlife who share our coastal waters.
South Africa in September: 5-day Itinerary
With 5 days in South Africa, I recommend you visit one or two regions at most.
Johannesburg and Beyond
This 5 day South Africa Itinerary is for someone who wants to get to know the City of Gold and visit South Africa’s capital – Tshwane (Pretoria).
|1||Arrive in Johannesburg||Johannesburg|
|2||City Tour: Constitutional Hill, Pretoria, Carlton Center Observatory, and the SAB World of Beer.||Johannesburg|
|3||Soweto: Apartheid Museum, Nelson Mandela House Museum & Gold Reef City||Johannesburg|
|4||Safari near Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind (Maropeng) and Lion Park or Pilanesberg National Park||Johannesburg|
Johannesburg Travel Tips
Nature, Wine, and Cape Town Safari Tour
This 5 day South Africa Itinerary is for someone who wants to indulge in the fine wines and cuisines of the Western Cape region, and also see wildlife. You’ll explore the city center, wine country and visit one of the best game reserves near Cape Town.
|1||City Tour: Robben Island, V&A Waterfront, Two Oceans Aquarium||Cape Town|
|2||Nature: Robben Island Hike or Cableway, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens||Cape Town|
|3||Franschhoek Wine Tram Explorer Tour||Cape Town|
|4||Cape Town Safari||Cape Town|
|5||Depart in Cape Town|
Cape Town Travel Tips
Travel Insurance for South Africa
Use travel insurance while visiting South Africa so you are covered for theft and medical expenses. There are a lot of adventurous activities to do in SA, and it’s best to have peace of mind while driving, hiking, and trying some of the best food in the world.
Find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance Review.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a booking after clicking on a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!
6 thoughts on “South Africa in September”
Wow! Fantastic. I have South Africa on my bucket list. Hopefully we will get to go within the next 3 years. Kruger National Park for sure. I would also love the coastal drive you recommended from west to East. September is an ideal time for our “fall”, your spring trips. Thanks for the many great suggestions.
As a full-time traveler, South Africa is obviously on my list of countries to visit. I had absolutely no idea, however, how beautiful and diverse it is. I can’t wait until I can start traveling again. South Africa and the beautiful coast plus Kruger National Park will be on my list. Thank you for this useful guide. I will be pinning it for future reference.
I have been wanting to go to South Africa for what feels like foreverrrrr. I really hope to make it in 2021, and now what I know about the Whale Festival, I know Sept. is the month I want to go!! I pinned + saved your blog for my 2021 travel planning.
I would love to visit South Africa – and am especially intrigued by Kruger National Park and The Garden Route is breathtaking! Thanks for all these recommendations – pinning for sure!
Wow so stunning I wish we could travel right now and we can all explore South Africa next month!
Lerato, this gives me everything I need to plan a trip AND the right timing! I’m pretty amazed that in one trip during September (Tourism month) that I can actually see whales, the “Big 5” wild animals, wildflowers, and drink wine. YES! I’m definitely putting this on my list and now I even have the itineraries to help with planning. What is your favorite South African wine? Do you have one?