Weather in South Africa in February

Travel to South Africa in February and bask in the warmth of late summer, as weather conditions continue to offer glorious sunshine that invites outdoor adventuring. The Western Cape delights with mild sea breezes that soften the summer heat, while the northern regions continue to enjoy warmer and wetter climates. Our guide will take you through the variety of weather in South Africa in February, and ensure your trip is unforgettable.

What is the weather like in South Africa in February?

The weather in South Africa in February enjoys the warmth and energy of late summer, presenting an eclectic mix of sunny days, intermittent rainfall, and moderate temperatures that vary across the vast landscape.

The Western Cape, with its Mediterranean climate, enjoys hot and dry weather, ideal for exploring beautiful landscapes and al fresco dining. In turn, the northern regions, including Gauteng and the Kruger National Park area, can be warmer and wetter, with a greater likelihood of afternoon thunderstorms, which are usually brief and followed by clear skies.

February falls during the high tourist season in some parts of South Africa, especially in coastal regions, thanks to attractive beach weather and the alluring Cape Town. However, in other areas, it can be considered a "shoulder" season due to variable weather, including occasional downpours that can affect outing plans.

Average rainfall in February varies considerably from region to region. The Western Cape receives less rainfall, maintaining dry summer conditions, while the eastern and northern parts of the country can experience more frequent showers in the afternoon. These showers tend to be brief and can be a refreshing break from the heat, bringing lush landscapes to life and offering photography enthusiasts dramatic skies.

Overall, February can be a great time to visit South Africa due to the warm weather, diverse activities and the beauty of the natural landscapes. The likelihood of rain is usually offset by sunny days and a variety of experiences, from beach vacations to adventurous safaris, making it an attractive month for relaxation and adventure in a vibrant summer setting.

Rough Guides tip: if you're hoping to make the most of your trip, consider connecting with our local travel experts.

Chacma baboon Kruger National Park, South Africa © Shutterstock

Chacma baboon Kruger National Park, South Africa © Shutterstock

Temperatures in South Africa in February

The weather in South Africa in February embraces the warmth of the southern hemisphere summer and offers pleasant conditions that range across a variety of landscapes. Average high temperatures in February can range from 25°C to 32°C (77°F-90°F), while average low temperatures at night can range from 15°C to 20°C (59°F-68°F) depending on the region.

Northern Regions

In the northern parts of South Africa, including provinces such as Limpopo and the North West, temperatures in February are among the warmest in the country. Average temperatures in these areas can reach 32°C (90°F) during the day and drop to 20°C (68°F) in the evening. 

This region has a humid climate with warm nights, so you should prepare for both heat and humidity.

Interior Plateau

The interior plateau, which includes the Free State, Gauteng, and parts of the Northern Cape, experiences slightly milder temperatures compared to the northern regions. The average daytime highs here range from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F), with cooler evenings where temperatures can drop to between 15°C and 18°C (59°F to 64°F). 

This area is known for its dry heat and significantly cooler mornings and evenings, providing a pleasant climate for exploring the cities and countryside.

Coastal Areas

South Africa's coastal areas, including the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and parts of KwaZulu-Natal, experience moderate temperatures in February. In the Western Cape, particularly around Cape Town, the average high temperature is 25-27°C (77-81°F) and the average low temperature is 15-17°C (59-63°F). 

These regions benefit from the cooling effect of ocean breezes, making the heat more bearable. In contrast, the east coast, towards Durban, can be warmer and more humid, with maximum temperatures reaching 28°C (82°F) and minimums around 20°C (68°F), with higher humidity levels.

Learn more and compare the weather in different months with our guide to the best time to visit South Africa.

Hobie Beach, Port Elisabeth, South Africa © Shutterstock

Hobie Beach, Port Elisabeth, South Africa © Shutterstock

Is February a good time to visit South Africa?

In February, South Africa's summer season is in full swing, with warm and pleasant weather that lends itself to a variety of travel and outdoor activities. This time of year is characterized by long days of sunshine and warm temperatures throughout the country, making it the perfect time to explore the vibrant cities, beautiful beaches and stunning wildlife reserves.

The warm summer weather in South Africa in February is also conducive to many cultural and outdoor activities, taking advantage of the pleasant conditions. You should also be aware that the northern and eastern parts of South Africa occasionally experience afternoon thunderstorms, but these are usually brief and can be a refreshing respite from the heat of the day.

Given the favorable weather conditions and wide range of activities, February can indeed be considered a good time to visit South Africa. The country's transition from the peak of the summer vacation season means that while some areas can still be busy, overall it is not as crowded, creating a more relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the diverse attractions and natural beauty.

Ready to take your trip without the hassle of planning and booking? See our tailor-made trip service.

What about crowds and costs?

February sees mixed tourist traffic in South Africa, with some areas still seeing late peak season crowds, especially popular coastal destinations such as Cape Town and the Garden Route.

However, the number of local tourists is starting to decrease, causing attractions to become slightly less crowded compared to the December-January peak.

In terms of cost, February may provide a slight respite from peak season prices as demand for accommodations and tours begins to decrease. While flight, accommodation and entertainment prices in February are not as low as they are during the off-peak period of late fall and early spring (April-May and September-October), they can become more reasonable, providing better value for money.

Still planning your trip? Browse our South Africa itineraries for inspiration.

Lions in Kruger National Park South Africa

Lions in Kruger National Park South Africa

Festivals and events in South Africa in February

February in South Africa is a vibrant month filled with a variety of festivals and events that showcase the country's rich cultural tapestry and lively spirit. From music to art, there's something for everyone, making it an attractive time to visit.

Cape Town Art Fair

The Cape Town Art Fair is an event for art lovers, showcasing contemporary works by leading artists and galleries from across Africa. It is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the dynamic African art scene, interact with artists, and purchase unique works.

The fair also features talks and panel discussions, adding to the educational nature of the event. Reservations are recommended as the fair attracts collectors and art lovers worldwide.

Up the Creek Music Festival

The Up the Creek Music Festival held along the Breede River in the Western Cape, is a must-see for music lovers. This festival offers a unique experience with local bands and artists performing on various stages. 

Participants can enjoy a mix of genres in a picturesque setting, with camping and river rafting opportunities. This is a fairly closed festival, so it is recommended to purchase tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

Before you head to South Africa, also be sure to read our guide on whether South Africa is safe, which contains everything you need to know about travel safety.

Johannesburg, South Africa © Mark G Williams/Shutterstock

Johannesburg, South Africa © Mark G Williams/Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to South Africa in February?

Ready to see South Africa? You can easily book your trip today with our tailor-made trip service, which allows you to skip the planning and booking process completely. Our trips are designed by local travel experts who work with you to make your perfect adventure.

  • Complete Cape Town: Wildlife, Wine and Whales (7 days): Discover the natural beauty of Cape Town. Located on the southwestern tip of South Africa, the area is home to rugged coastlines, undulating vineyards and expanses of pastureland that are home to some of the largest, wildest and most majestic creatures on earth.
  • Secret gem in South Africa - Northern Cape Self Drive (17 days): Embark on an epic road trip adventure from Cape Town to the Northern Cape. See breathtaking floral arrangements in Namaqualand, marvel at the diversity of wildlife in Karoo National Park and take in the awe-inspiring sight of the cascades of Augrabies Falls.
  • Safaris, culture & wine - South Africa's must do's (17 days): Explore cosmopolitan Johannesburg, go on safari in Kruger NP, sip wine in the Cape Peninsula and explore the Eastern Cape - this fast-paced itinerary allows you to truly immerse yourself in South Africa's culture and lifestyle, discovering some of the country's most exciting corners.

Want to be better prepared for your trip to South Africa? Read our useful travel tips for visiting South Africa. And if you're going on a family trip, also find out all the information you need from our guide to South Africa with kids.

Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town, South Africa © Shutterstock

Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town, South Africa © Shutterstock

Visit South Africa in other months

Exploring South Africa is not limited to just one season: each month offers unique experiences and breathtaking sights to suit every type of traveler. From witnessing majestic natural phenomena to experiencing vibrant culture and diverse landscapes, here's what each month has to offer:

  • March: a great time to enjoy the pleasant transition to autumn with cooler weather — ideal for outdoor activities and wine tasting.
  • April: crisp autumn days that are perfect for exploring national parks and indulging in delicious seasonal produce.
  • May: the start of winter sees mild temperatures — ideal for spotting wildlife and enjoying outdoor adventures with fewer crowds.
  • June: a great time for a trip in chilly temperatures — think fireside coziness and discovering the scenic allure of the Garden Route.
  • July: take a trip to enjoy the winter chill with clear skies perfect for stargazing and more.
  • August: witness the annual migration of whales along the southern coast while enjoying crisp mornings and sunny afternoons.
  • September: spring brings renewed life to the landscape, with blooming flowers and opportunities for scenic hikes in the countryside.
  • October: thanks to warmer weather, October is ideal for outdoor activities like visiting national parks and indulging in local cuisine.
  • November: visit during this month for early summer vibes with longer days and the chance to witness wildflowers blooming across the Western Cape.
  • December: welcome the peak of summer with bustling cities, lively festivals, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
  • January: begin the year amidst balmy temperatures and cultural festivities, perfect for exploring exquisite beaches and diverse wildlife.
Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 03.06.2024

Online editor at Rough Guides, specialising in travel content. Passionate about creating compelling stories and inspiring others to explore the world.

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