December marks the start of summer in South Africa, which also means you’ll be traveling during the high tourist season. While there are plenty of things to do at this time of the year, expect the tourist places to be crowded and the prices to be high.
South Africa has some of the world’s highest average daily sunshine (8.5 hours per day) and also enjoys the warm temperate conditions.
December represents early summer in South Africa. The interior plateau enjoys warm to hot temperatures but dry conditions with temperatures averaging 25-35C during the day. Thunder storms occur in the afternoon but they don’t last long. On the coastal area the humidity is high and the temperatures can reach 40C. The nights are balmy.
The Cape Town area enjoys a Mediterranean weather, with warm, dry conditions. There’s practically no rain. The temperatures range between 20C and 30C.
Cape Town avg high 23C , avg low 16C
Durban avg high 26C ; avg low 21C
Johannesburg avg high 24C ; avg low 15C
Pretoria avg high 27C ; avg low 18C
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December is part of the high season in South Africa. The locals are on holiday and everyone travels. You need to book the flight and hotel in advance but be prepared for higher rates. A good option is the hostel , but also remember to book it before you leave. Still, compared to the high season in Europe, South Africa is not that crowded.
Things to do
There are plenty of things to do in South Africa during December. If you are in Cape Town, plan to hike to the top of Table Mountain. Or to the top of Lion’s Head. Don’t miss a visit to the Planetarium and you might want to enjoy a day with the penguins on Boulders Beach. For a more relaxed day soaking up the sun, choose Llandudno Beach. Robben Island is a must place to visit if you are interested in history.
If you visit Johannesburg , make sure to spend some time in Lion Park or at the Zoo . The Botanical Garden is also a lovely choice for a relaxing day. Learn about the Humans at the Cradle of Human Kind World Heritage Site and learn the history of the apartheid at the museum dedicated to it.
You can also plan to try one of the safaris and enjoy the beauty of the natural parks and the animals living there.
And if you happen to visit South Africa during Christmas, why not enjoy a barbeque on the beach? Soaking up the sunshine along with it is a must.