The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel
HOW TO DO IT
When to go
South Africa is a year-round destination. If you are looking for pretty much guaranteed sunshine, come between Christmas and March (you won’t be alone, so book early) or wait until April when temperatures are balmy, the light is soft, sunsets are spectacular and the Cape Doctor (the south-easterly wind that howls through Cape Town during summer) is off duty.
The Cape winter kicks off in June but is still temperate, with sunny days alternating with short downpours.
July and August are quiet and relaxed – and the Cape’s low-season rates, in what is known as the “green season” or the “secret season”, make it a bargain. From July to November, southern right whales migrate to the Overberg coast, offering some of the world’s best land-based whale-watching.
The end of August into September sees the seemingly barren plains along the West Coast and the Cederberg carpeted in a riot of spring flowers. From
October to December, the coastline sparkles under a temperate sun – as good a time as any to meander along the Garden Route before taking a trip through the big-space valleys of the semi-arid Karoo.
What to book
The itinerary outlined in our main story can be arranged independently, but you may find it easier to use a South Africa specialist such as Cedarberg Travel. It can tailor something to your exact specifications or offer a 13-night trip similar to the above called Mellow Cape Self-drive Safari, priced from £1,840 per person.
What to take
As little as possible – whatever you forget can be purchased in South Africa, there are overnight laundry services almost everywhere on the itinerary – and with all the excellent shopping opportunities, you will need plenty of suitcase space. ATMs are widespread and most places, even market stalls, accept cards.