October is probably the best month to visit Johannesburg, when the winter chill has broken and the jacaranda trees are in full bloom. For a few weeks, before the summer rains knock the flowers to the street, the city’s long, leafy avenues turn a vivid purple. Take a drive through the suburbs of Greenside and Parktown to see them at their best.

The jacaranda trees of Pretoria line the streets and burst into bloom during October

Like September, October is a good month to combine regions, in particular the northern parks, and the south and west coasts. Temperatures are heating up everywhere, but it’s not yet too hot in the interior and along the coast there’ll be some wonderfully mild days. The odd big storm may still batter the Cape and the first thunderstorms will be gathering inland. The centre and northwest will likely be dry, but expect some light rain everywhere else in the country.

Spring and early summer is notoriously windy in Cape Town with windy days continuing through to January. The most sheltered areas are along the beach suburbs on the Atlantic Seaboard – Seapoint, Clifton and Camps Bay. They can get very busy in summer, but are ideal at this time of year.

Camps Bay beach

October is still an excellent safari month, although daytime temperatures in the north will regularly exceed 30°C. The icy early mornings will be a thing of the past however, and the Kruger National Park gates open half an hour earlier so there’s more time for game drives.