Best time to go to KwaZulu-Natal

April and May are perhaps the best months to travel to KwaZulu-Natal; bringing bright sunshine, pleasantly warm temperatures all round and decent wildlife viewing.
With hot and humid summers (Oct-Apr) and mild, dry winters (May – Sep), whenever you travel sub-tropical KwaZulu-Natal will provide warmth. Temperatures stay highest along the coast, cooling the further inland and west you go. The Drakensberg Mountains, at an elevation of 3,000m can experience heavy snowfall during the winter, while Durban stays toasty around 20°C with warm seas for swimming and snorkelling. December to February is peak season on the coast – with accommodation in iSimangaliso Wetland Park at a premium. For wildlife, travel during dry July to September for the best chances to see game in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi.

Durban Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
21
27
140
FEB
21
28
125
MAR
20
27
118
APR
17
26
68
MAY
14
24
56
JUN
11
23
31
JUL
11
22
30
AUG
13
23
54
SEP
15
23
76
OCT
16
24
98
NOV
18
25
116
DEC
20
27
101

KwaZulu-Natal, month by month

Temperatures (and prices) peak in December, January and February, with Durban and the coast hitting up to 32C. Humidity is high, and increases the further north you travel. Even inland summer temperatures can be stifling and accommodation will need to be booked well in advance. March can be a good option if you want to hit the beach, but without the peak crowds. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park’s gorgeous lodges will be starting to quieten down at this time. April and May bring bright sunny days and pleasant autumn temperatures for hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains. This is one of the best times to visit KwaZulu-Natal. Travel in June to July for the Sardine Run, which sees the waters along the KwaZulu-Natal coast come alive with billions of sardines, as the ‘Greatest Shoal on Earth’ migrates north towards Mozambique - followed by hundreds of thousands of hungry sharks, dolphins and sea birds. During the drier months of July, August and September game is much easier to spot in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi and KwaZulu-Natal’s other reserves as vegetation thins and wildlife congregates around shrinking water sources. While early morning game drives can be chilly, daytime temperatures are still in the 20s(C). Conversely October to April is the best time for bird watching, with many migratory species present. During November the heat and humidity starts to build across the region – especially along the coast - although temperatures are spring-like in the Drakensberg, with an abundance of wild flowers in bloom.

Our top KwaZulu-Natal Holiday

Zululand safari holiday, South Africa

Zululand safari holiday, South Africa

Experience wildlife reserves, beaches and Zulu culture

From £2155 11 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be arranged at any time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about KwaZulu-Natal or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Responsible Travel recommends

Simon Mills, from one of our leading South Africa specialists shares his favourite time to visit KwaZulu-Natal: “I love driving in the Southern Hemisphere Autumn - so April and May, as the leaves turn and the days are bright and sunny. Places like the Drakensburg Mountain really come into their own then. The routes in this area and Battlefields and the Midlands are also really lovely; fantastic driving and wonderful views.”

Festivals and events

The Reed Dance – Umkhosi Womhlanga

Thousands of Zulu maidens take part in the Reed Dance each year, where they dance in traditional costume and present symbolic reeds to the Zulu King. This spectacular celebration of Zulu culture takes place annually in the second week of September at the Enyokeni Royal Palace and attracts participants from across KwaZulu-Natal and the Kingdom of Swaziland.

The Comrades Marathon

The world’s biggest and oldest ultra-marathon has taken place in early June each year since 1921 between Pietermaritzburg and Durban to commemorate South African soldiers killed in World War I, and to ‘celebrate mankind’s spirit over adversity’. Expect thousands of runners and a festival atmosphere at the finish.

The Sardine Run

In June to July each year millions upon millions of sardines travel up the KwaZulu-Natal coastline in shoals up to 15km in length. The ‘Greatest Shoal on Earth’ is followed by one the world’s greatest marine feeding frenzies – with thousands of sharks, dolphins and seabirds trailing in the sardines’ wake. Boat trips and scuba diving excursions get you up close to the action.
Written by Sarah Faith
Photo credits: [Page banner: meunierd] [The Drakensberg: Steve Slater] [Reed Dance Festival: GovernmentZA]
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