The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel



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.

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