Weather in South Africa in November

Visit South Africa in November to experience the vibrant transition of spring into early summer, when the weather is noticeably warmer and the scenery is lush and inviting. This month is characterized by comfortable to hot temperatures and a combination of bright sunny days interspersed with occasional rain, mostly in the evenings. Wildflowers continue to grace the landscapes and the climate provides the perfect backdrop for relaxing countryside vacations and dynamic city walks. Our guide will help you navigate the weather in South Africa in November, ensuring an unforgettable trip.

What is the weather like in South Africa in November?

In November, South Africa welcomes the start of summer with open arms, presenting a warm and inviting weather palette ideal for a multitude of outdoor activities and explorations.

The weather in South Africa in November tends towards hot and sunny days, especially in the northern regions, while the coastal areas experience slightly cooler temperatures thanks to ocean breezes. This period is characterized by longer sunny days, which are occasionally replaced by brief refreshing rains, mainly in the afternoon or evening.

Such conditions favor outdoor adventures, from safaris in Kruger National Park to beach walks along the Garden Route, although you should be prepared for sudden changes in the weather, especially in areas prone to rainfall.

November also marks the start of the rainy season across much of the country, especially in summer rainfall regions where afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon. Average rainfall varies considerably from region to region, with the Western Cape experiencing a dry season and more frequent showers in the eastern and northern parts of the country.

In many regions of South Africa, this month falls during the 'shoulder' season. It represents the gap between the high tourist season in December and January and the quieter winter months. Prices are usually more favorable and attractions are less crowded, making it a great time to travel.

Overall, November can be a great time to visit South Africa due to the warm weather, colorful scenery and relatively fewer tourists. The variety of weather conditions also means that there is something for everyone, whether you want to bask in the sun on the beach, experience the bustling city life or go on safari into the wilderness.

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

St Lucia South Africa, Rocks sand ocean, and blue coastal skyline at Mission Rocks beach near Cape Vidal in Isimangaliso Wetland Park in Zululand © AdobeStock

Mission Rocks beach, Isimangaliso Wetland Park, Zululand © AdobeStock

Temperatures in South Africa in November

The weather in South Africa in November sees a wide range of temperatures across the vast and varied landscape, transitioning into the warm early summer months. On average across the country, high temperatures range from 25°C to 30°C (77°F-86°F), with minimums dropping to 15°C-20°C (59°F-68°F) in the evening. 

This range indicates a warm climate throughout the country, with heat being more pronounced in northern regions compared to cooler coastal areas in the south.

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

Northern Regions

Temperatures are generally higher in the northern parts of South Africa, including Limpopo Province and parts of the northwest. Daytime highs can reach around 30°C (86°F) and evening lows rarely fall below 20°C (68°F). 

This warm weather is ideal for visiting nature reserves and national parks, although you should be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms, which are common at this time of year.

Interior Plateau

The interior plateau, which includes cities like Johannesburg and Pretoria, experiences slightly cooler temperatures compared to the northern regions. Average daytime temperatures hover between 25°C to 28°C (77°F to 82°F), with nighttime temperatures dropping to between 15°C to 18°C (59°F to 64°F). 

Coastal Areas

Along South Africa's extensive coastline, covering the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, temperatures are moderated by the ocean. Daytime temperatures in coastal areas such as Cape Town and Durban range from 22°C to 26°C (72°F to 79°F), while cool nights average 14°C to 18°C (57°F to 64°F). 

The coastal climate is milder and less prone to the extreme heat and sudden storms found inland, making it ideal for beach vacations, coastal walks and enjoying the spectacular scenery of places like the Garden Route.

For more details on the weather in Cape Town, read our guide to the best time to visit Cape Town.

Cape Fox cubs come up from the borrow to play in the sun in the Kgalagadi, South Africa © AdobeStock

Cape fox cubs  in the Kgalagadi, South Africa © AdobeStock

Is November a good time to visit South Africa?

November is a great time to visit South Africa as the country begins the transition from a cool spring to a warm early summer. This period is characterized by a marked change in weather patterns in different regions, providing a pleasant climate conducive to a wide range of travel experiences.

The weather in South Africa in November is usually warm and sunny, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as wildlife safaris, beach walks and trekking. At this time of year, the countryside blooms with vibrant colors and many species of birds return, highlighting the natural beauty of the environment. 

In addition, November falls during the peak tourist season, meaning travelers can enjoy less crowding at popular destinations, more affordable accommodations and often better prices.

The combination of favorable weather conditions, spectacular scenery and relative calm before the high season begins in December makes November a particularly attractive time to visit South Africa. Whether you want to explore bustling cities, relax in picturesque coastal towns or travel through vast national parks, November offers a balanced climate that enhances the overall travel experience.

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

What about crowds and costs?

November is a favorable period in South Africa in terms of visitation and tourist prices, making it a good time if you're looking for a balance between pleasant weather and low-key crowds.

As this is the shoulder season - the period between the low season and the busy high season in December and January - you can enjoy relatively lower prices for accommodation and services compared to the peak months. This time allows traveling at lower costs without sacrificing the quality of attractions.

Crowds are smaller in November, providing a closer look at popular attractions, from Table Mountain in Cape Town to the vineyards of the Western Cape and the wildlife-rich Kruger National Park. For travelers who appreciate both the warmth of early summer and the tranquility before the holiday rush, November offers the perfect combination of moderate prices, fewer tourists and a full range of South African attractions.

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

Cape vineyard Buitenverwachting, South Africa © Gareth Weeks/Shutterstock

Cape vineyard, Buitenverwachting, South Africa © Gareth Weeks/Shutterstock

Festivals and events in South Africa in November

November in South Africa is not only a time of blooming landscapes and favorable weather, but also a vibrant period filled with festivals and events that showcase the country's rich cultural tapestry and diverse heritage. Here are some of the major festivals and events taking place in November that offer unique experiences:

The Ficksburg Cherry Festival

The Ficksburg Cherry Festival is South Africa's oldest harvest festival, held in the eastern part of the Free State. Celebrating the cherry harvest, the festival offers the opportunity to take part in cherry picking tours, enjoy a variety of cherry-flavored foods and drinks, and experience the local culture through music, dance and craft markets. 

This is a delightful event for families and anyone who wants to enjoy the beautiful scenery and agricultural heritage of the Free State.

The 947 Ride Joburg

For sports enthusiasts, the 947 Ride Joburg is one of the world's largest timed bike rides. It attracts thousands of professional and amateur cyclists, offering a unique way to experience the streets and sights of Johannesburg on two wheels. 

Participating in or watching the event creates a lively and energetic atmosphere, demonstrating the city's commitment to promoting physical activity and sustainable transportation.

The Kirstenbosch Craft and Food Market

The Kirstenbosch Craft and Food Market in Cape Town, while not a festival, is well worth a visit for those visiting in November. It takes place on the last Sunday of the month and offers a wide range of craft goods, gourmet food and live music within the grounds of the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. It is the perfect place for those who want to enjoy local crafts, food and the great outdoors.

Long Street, Cape Town South Africa

Long Street, Cape Town, South Africa © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to South Africa in November?

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.

  • 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.
  • A family self drive in South Africa & Swaziland (7 days): Take an African adventure with the whole family in a rental car, the perfect companion to explore Kruger National Park at your own pace. Next, you will travel to Swaziland and then on to Hluhluwe. This journey focuses on wildlife and exploration, all at your leisure.
  • Five Star South Africa (18 days): Start your journey in Johannesburg with a few days to explore the city. After that, travel to Cape Town on the exclusive Rovos Rail with several stops along the way. From Cape Town you will travel to the peninsula as well as the wine lands. The Garden Route completes this luxurious journey.

Want to be better prepared for your trip to South Africa? Read our useful travel tips for visiting South Africa.

Table mountain cable way, Cape Town, South Africa @ Shutterstock

Table Mountain cable way, 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:

  • December: welcome the peak of summer with bustling cities, lively festivals, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
  • January: kick off the year with warm temperatures, vibrant cultural festivals, and exploring stunning beaches and diverse wildlife.
  • February: the peak of summer brings scorching temperatures that are ideal for beach lounging and thrilling safari adventures.
  • 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.
Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 20.05.2024

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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