Weather in South Africa in September

Head to South Africa in September, when spring brings warm weather and colorful scenery. This period marks the transition to a busier tourist season, with mild weather and occasional rain, especially in the afternoons. Enjoy the blooming wildflowers and pleasant climate, ideal for visiting both the picturesque countryside and busy urban areas. Our guide will help you navigate the variety of weather in South Africa in September.

What is the weather like in South Africa in September?

South Africa welcomes an early spring in September, characterized by a marked transition to warmer temperatures and more vibrant, flowering landscapes. The weather is predominantly sunny and mild, although some regions have occasional afternoon rains, especially towards the end of the month.

This transition period from winter to spring gradually increases daytime temperatures throughout the country, while nights can still be cool, especially in the southern regions.

The weather in South Africa in September is generally favorable for a wide range of outdoor activities. You can enjoy wildlife watching in the national parks, as animals are more active with cooler temperatures in the morning and late afternoon.

The blooming wildflowers in the Western Cape, especially in the Namaqualand region, attract everyone's attention, offering spectacular sightings. The warm weather is also conducive to exploring the country's beautiful beaches and scenic walking trails.

September falls during South Africa's 'shoulder' tourism season. This means that while visitor numbers are beginning to rise, they have not yet reached the peak levels seen during the summer months (December through February). As a result, you can take advantage of less crowding at major attractions and possibly more competitive accommodation and tour prices.

The combination of pleasant weather, lower tourist density, and the natural beauty of the spring season makes September an ideal time to visit South Africa.

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

South Africa, Wild Coast

South Africa, Wild Coast

Temperatures in South Africa in September

The weather in South Africa in September begins to warm up as it transitions into spring, with temperatures varying from region to region.

Learn more and compare the weather in different months in South Africa to make the most of your trip with our guide to the best time to visit South Africa.

Northern Regions

In northern regions such as Johannesburg and the vast expanses of Kruger National Park, daytime temperatures are comfortably around 25°C (77°F), with cooler evenings dropping to 10°C (50°F). The warm days and cool nights are ideal for wildlife watching as animals are active during the cooler hours of the day.

Interior Plateau

The interior plateau, which includes the Free State and parts of Gauteng, experiences a slight variation with similar daytime temperatures but cooler mornings and evenings. Activities such as hiking in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park or exploring the historical sites in Bloemfontein are delightful thanks to the mild climate.

Coastal Areas

In the coastal areas, which include Cape Town and the Western Cape, temperatures are milder, ranging from 18°C (64°F) during the day to 8°C (46°F) at night. This weather is ideal for getting outdoors, admiring the vibrant wildflowers in the West Coast National Park, and enjoying the beaches or exploring the famous Cape Winelands.

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

Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town, South Africa © Shutterstock

Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town, South Africa © Shutterstock

Is September a good time to visit South Africa?

September is a really great time to visit South Africa. As spring arrives, the country's weather becomes increasingly travel-friendly, with warmer days and nature coming to life. This month sees a combination of mild temperatures and relatively low rainfall, especially in the northern and coastal regions, making it ideal for wildlife enthusiasts and beach lovers alike.

If you're interested in wildlife, September is particularly appealing because it falls during the dry season and animals are easier to spot near water bodies and rivers. The famous Kruger National Park, as well as other wildlife reserves become a haven for safari enthusiasts. In addition, the Western Cape's floral kingdom comes alive with spectacular wildflower displays, attracting visitors from all over the world.

The combination of pleasant weather, enhanced wildlife viewing opportunities and the scenic beauty of spring makes September one of the best months to explore South Africa's diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage.

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

What about crowds and costs?

September in South Africa offers certain advantages in terms of price and crowds due to its position between the end of the winter low season and the beginning of the high summer season.

There is a moderate tourist flow at this time, allowing for a more relaxed exploration of popular destinations without the dense crowds that characterize December-February. Prices for accommodation and excursions in September are often more competitive than during the peak season, giving you the best value for money.

The dwindling crowds enhance the experience at major attractions, from the serene beaches of the Garden Route to the bustling streets of Cape Town and the wildlife-rich expanse of Kruger National Park.

In addition, the pleasant weather and natural spectacles of spring - especially the blooming of wildflowers in the Western Cape - make September an attractive month for those seeking both adventure and benefits, compared to the busier and more expensive summer months.

Not yet finished planning your trip? Browse our South Africa itineraries for inspiration.

Namaqualand, South Africa © Marie-Anne AbersonM/Shutterstock

The weather in South Africa in September is ideal for Namaqualand's blooms © Marie-Anne AbersonM/Shutterstock

Festivals and events in South Africa in September

September in South Africa is a vibrant month filled with many festivals and events that showcase the country's rich cultural diversity and natural beauty. From wildlife spectacles to blooming landscapes and cultural festivals, this month offers a unique experience.

It is advisable to book accommodation and tickets in advance, especially for the most popular events, so as not to miss out on these incredible experiences.

Hermanus Whale Festival

The Hermanus Whale Festival, held in the picturesque coastal town of Hermanus in the Western Cape, celebrates the return of southern right whales to these waters. It is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to see these majestic creatures up close. 

The festival also features environmental workshops, arts and crafts stalls, and various local culinary delights, making it popular with nature lovers and families.

Arts Alive Festival

The Arts Alive festival in Johannesburg brings the city to life with a diverse arts and culture program. This month-long event encompasses music, dance, theater, and visual arts, showcasing local and international talent. 

It is a celebration of creativity that transforms the city's streets, theaters, and public spaces into vibrant centers of cultural expression. You should book early to experience the unique artistic atmosphere Johannesburg has to offer at this time.

stairs-johannesburg-south-africa-shutterstock_1208264443

Johannesburg, South Africa @ Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to South Africa in September?

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

  • City Life & Safari - South African Gems (17 days): Start in Cape Town, where you'll see Table Mountain, Robben Island, the Peninsula and more. Head further into the wine lands to relax, and then head to Kruger National Park - a 3-day safari awaits you, before ending your journey in Johannesburg.
  • Cape town and Garden Route - a luxury guided tour (7 days): Cape Town and the Garden Route have fascinating cultures, safaris, chocolate and wine tasting, and much more. Discover the coastal city of Cape Town and the Peninsula, then head to the Garden Route with Knysna and Mossel Bay for several game drives.
  • Explore the North of South Africa: Sun City and Madikwe game reserve (7 days): Those with little time to spare should stop closer to Johannesburg. On this trip, you'll arrive and depart Johannesburg and head to Lost City theme park before continuing on to Madikwe, where you'll go on a game drive.

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

Cape Town, South Africa - aerial view © Mark Van Overmeire/Shutterstock

Cape Town, South Africa - aerial view © Mark Van Overmeire/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:

  • 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: 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.
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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