Looking to escape Mzansi’s winter? Try these destinations...

The sun rising over the horizon signalling the start of a warm day. Picture: Unsplash

The sun rising over the horizon signalling the start of a warm day. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jul 8, 2024


Weather influences how and when people travel.

According to the National Science Foundation, weather has been shown to impact visitors’ travel and experiences. For example, in New Zealand, 39% of international tourists changed the timing of their trip due to weather, and 51% changed activities while on vacation.

The foundation also said that, in Austria, a recent study found that weather during peak season altered domestic overnight stays, with sunshine and temperature having a positive correlation, and precipitation having a negative effect.

With that being said, it’s safe to say that winter sun doesn’t hit quite like summer. With the colder season in full swing, many South Africans are yearning for summer days gone by.

Though it may be winter in the southern hemisphere with parts of South Africa experiencing freezing temperatures, cold fronts and snowfall, there are plenty of places around the world to escape to.

If you’re dreaming of sunshine and pool days, here are some of the warmest places to visit.

An aerial view of the island of Mauritius. Picture: Unsplash


Mauritius is a popular destination for South Africans looking to escape winter. The island is a 4-hour flight away, which explains why its a firm favourite.

The best time to travel to the island nation is from mid-May to September, which coincides with South Africa’s autumn and winter months. The island offers a warm and dry climate perfect for enjoying the natural beauty of the island.

The island is less crowded and temperatures range between 19° and 26°C with the temperature of the Indian Ocean measuring an average of 24°C during these seasonal cycles.

If a trip to Mauritius is on your radar, consider a stay at the Tamassa Bel Ombre on the beachfront.

Tamassa Bel Ombre is a 4- star resort offering the best all inclusive experience on the south coast of Mauritius. A stay at the resort starts from R2 051 a night for 2.

Elephants drinking at the waterhole at Hwange National Park , Zimbabwe. Picture: Unsplash


Zimbabwe has some of the most beautiful game parks on the continent and also provides some of the best safari experiences.

With mild temperatures, virtually no rain and low malaria risk, the dry May to October winter season is generally seen as the best time to visit Zimbabwe for game viewing, although September and October are extremely hot and dry months.

Though its also winter in the country, the temperatures aren’t as low as with nights turning nippy. Wildlife viewing is excellent in July through to October and you can even go on a canoe safari.

In August, the camps in the game reserves are usually full as the month is the heart of the dry season and one of the best months for a Zimbabwe safari.

If Zimbabwe is on your travel bucket list, consider a stay at Hwange Safari Lodge starting from R2 116 a night for 2.

A beach in Türkiye before the crowds come in. Picture: Unsplash


As a country nestled between two continents, Europe and Asia, Turkey attracts visitors from all over the globe with its blend of ancient history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine.

Türkiye can be explored at any time of year but, if you are looking for that summer feeling, the best times to visit, with mild temperatures, is during June through to September.

During this time, you can experience the Mediterranean heat, with temperatures reaching the mid-thirties on the south coast.

This is perfect for lounging by the sea or a pool, although visiting the sites can be quite uncomfortable.

On Türkiye's southern coast, Club Med Palmiye is a paradise perched on a vast stretch of sandy beach. Consider a stay at this beach-side resort starting from R3 576 a night a person.

Camels lay down in the desert in Dubai. Picture: Unsplash

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

If you’re looking to turn up the temperature, visit Dubai now. The city’s peak travel season is from November to April.

Though the temperatures are at their most enjoyable, you can expect higher costs for accommodation and more people at the city’s main attractions as a result so its best to travel against the crowd.

Dubai receives fewer tourists between the months of June and August, due to the scorching temperatures that can reach up to 40°C.

However, with top-of-the-range air conditioning in the hotels, malls and restaurants, there are still plenty of things to enjoy away from the sun.

If you prefer a quieter break, a trip to Dubai outside of peak season is a good idea.

W Dubai - The Palm has a private beach area, an outdoor swimming pool and rooms with fitted with air conditioning. A stay at the 5-star hotel starts from R2 863 a night for 2.

Locals enjoy some time out at a restaurant near the sea at Budva in Montenegro. Picture: Unsplash

Budva, Montenegro

Budva on the Montenegrin coast of the Adriatic Sea is an underrated and affordable summer destination in Europe.

Budva’s rich history and beautiful architecture are a must-see for anyone looking for a culturally-rich holiday. With plenty of sandy beaches and cosy restaurants, it’s perfect for couples or families looking for an affordable getaway.

For those looking for a bit of fun in the sun, the Montenegrin Riviera is known for its endless array of stunning beaches. Whether you want to relax on a secluded bay or party in the city centre, there’s something here for everyone.

Take a stroll along the cobblestoned streets of the old town, or relax on one of the city’s many white sand beaches.

Consider a stay at Reset Hotel & Restaurant starting from R2 887 a night for 2.