Although spring is in the air, and the West Coast flowers in bloom, August can feel very wintery across most of South Africa. Regular storms still bring rain to the Cape and snow still covers the peaks of the Southern Drakensberg. Expect cool temperatures across the country, with the exception of Durban. The KwaZulu-Natal coast is still a good bet for a warm, sunny beach holiday.
August is the driest month in the African bushveld and the wildlife sightings around waterholes and rivers are at their best. There are no school holidays in August, but it’s still a very popular time to visit the national parks so be sure to book well in advance. The south of Kruger National Park is particularly busy in early August when the Kruger Park Marathon takes place. If accommodation in the south is hard to find, try the north where it stays relatively quiet.
From Cape Town to the Garden Route, the southern right whales are now out in force and mothers and their calves can often be seen swimming very close to the shore. Although the sea is cold, the winter swells produce the best surfing conditions in the Cape so if you’re looking to learn, August is a good time to head to one of the surf schools on Cape Town’s Muizenberg Beach.