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Why winter is the best time to explore South Africa

Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel. Pictures: Supplied

Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel. Pictures: Supplied

Published Apr 20, 2022


It’s very tempting to become a hermit and a total recluse during these colder months. The thought of heading out and on holiday during this time might not appeal to all, but it’s actually the perfect time! Below are a few reasons why winter is a great time to explore South Africa.

Indoor events

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With most of the country going through wet weather during this period, event organisers and venues use this time to really think outside the box when it comes to what they can offer.

From the Cape Town Funny Festival at the Baxter Theatre to the National Arts Festival in Makhanda, and more, there’s bound to be an exciting event that appeals to anyone and everyone over this period. Many hotels and restaurants are also latching on to the Christmas in July trend in South Africa right now.

It’s the perfect time for safaris

The winter months in the Kruger National Park, for example, are when a lot of the animals congregate around the watering holes in the area.

These are excellent spots to take in some unique sightings. And if you are keen on filling your own cup at a watering hole, head down to Skukuza and turn right at the traffic circle. This is where you will find the Kruger Station with plenty on offer for the whole family. Families can enjoy a host of other activities such as the Li’l Gricers play zone for children, the 360-degree cinema, refreshing cocktails from the Round in 9 bar and so much more.

Great for hiking and other outdoor activities

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Millennial man leading friends hiking on a path in the countryside

According to regular hikers, winter is actually the best time to go hiking. The mornings are crispy and you’re not about to sweat out a whole tank.

While it’s easy to get out and about early in summer and enjoy a hike or outdoor activity, you often have to plan your routes carefully so that you don’t get caught outdoors over the hottest time of the day.

During winter, however, it can often be a lot more pleasant to enjoy a hike, a walk or a bike ride when the weather is cooler. There is less chance of being dehydrated and you’re less likely to burn in the sun.

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South Africa has a variety of hiking spots to choose from in every province.

Winter food is comfort food

With autumn here, a comforting soup is just the thing. Picture: Coco Safar

Let’s not even deny it, winter food is the best kind of food. Whether you choose to stay home or dine out, food is always a good choice.

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Think soups, stews, curries, slow-cooked meat and more! Restaurants across the country are switching from fresh summer salads to the heartier dishes of winter, often paired with some of the country’s finest red wine if that’s your thing.

Restaurants everywhere will be offering menus geared towards those who enjoy hearty winter meals, so keep an eye out for these.

Wine tasting

Wine tasting is a fun activity for everyone to do, whether you’re in a group or couple setting.

Some wine farms offer an indoor section including a fire place, where you can enjoy some of your favourite wines and pairings of your choice. That way, you get to learn and experience what the country has to offer when it comes to wines.

Let’s not forget about the great views and scenery you can experience at some of the country’s best wine farms.

There’s a lot you can do in winter, to get you out of that gloomy fuzz. Choose to explore this coming winter season.