Experience some of the activity highlights of South Africa and Victoria Falls with this 9-night itinerary that is designed with active older teens in mind. Experience the vast variety of activities in Cape Town, hike the trails of Marataba and stand in the spray of the iconic Victoria Falls.
South Africa through the seasons
There is no bad time to travel to South Africa. It’s a vast land – the biggest African country in the Imagine portfolio – and it varies so much from place to place. Whenever you want to travel, there’s something exciting going on somewhere in the country. Whether it’s migrating whales off the coast, seasonal flowers in the Northern Cape or outdoor concerts in Cape Town, we can make sure you’re in the right place at the right time to witness some truly unmissable moments.
Where better to see in the new year than one of the world’s most captivating cities? An impressive New Year’s Eve firework display kickstarts a wonderful month in the city, which includes Cape Town Minstrel Carnival on 2nd January and Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts throughout the month.
While February is the rainy season in Madikwe which can make wildlife viewing more difficult, it’s a great time of year for birders; migrating bird species arrive in the reserve en masse displaying all manner of bright plumage. It’s calving season too, which means you’ll also see lots of baby animals.
March is the end of the peak summer season in Cape Town and temperatures become milder and more comfortable. There’s lots going on in the city this month, with Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Cape Town Cycle Tour both very popular with locals and visitors alike.
Head to the game reserves of the Eastern Cape in April to witness the impala rutting season. As testosterone levels rise, these often-overlooked creatures put on a thrilling display, going head to head to gain victory of a herd and producing sounds that can be heard for miles.
May is a great time to be on safari in all of South Africa’s parks and reserves, not least the Kruger, where the concentration of wildlife is second to none. The rains are firmly over by now and the bush is getting sparser, making animals easier to spot as they gather round waterholes to drink.
In June, visitors to KwaZulu-Natal’s coastline might have the good fortune to witness the sardine run – a feeding frenzy in which a shimmering mass of billions of sardines makes its way along the coastline, closely pursued by sharks, dolphins and other predators. It’s a truly spectacular natural phenomenon.
The town of Knysna on the Garden Route is popular with foodies for its abundance of deliciously fresh oysters. If you travel at the start of July, you can experience the annual oyster festival, complete with shucking competitions and wine tasting.
With the arrival of spring in August, the vast and arid landscape of Namaqualand in the Northern Cape comes to life with a superbloom of wild flowers (largely orange, yellow and pink), including many rare, unique and endangered species.
From June to November, migrating southern right whales arrive in Hermanus en masse in what is one of the planet’s greatest natural performances. Visitors in September can attend the annual Whale Festival, which combines whale watching with a wealth of live music and entertainment and has a strong eco-marine focus.
October is a great time of year to get off the beaten track and visit the remote and beautiful De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Western Cape. This is towards the end of the whale season, but there’s a high chance of seeing whale calves and you’ll bask in the spring sunshine away from the crowds.
From November, on the northern stretch of the KwaZulu-Natal Coast, known as the Elephant Coast, visitors have a chance of witnessing the magnificent natural phenomenon in which loggerhead and leatherback turtles come onto the beaches to lay their eggs.
December is a time of year when we traditionally over-indulge in food and drink, so where better to be than the Winelands, the gastronomic capital of South Africa. Enjoy a tour of a wine cellar complete with delightful tastings, before tucking into a picnic lunch among the vines.
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