Best time to travel to South Africa

Red Sunsets in South Africa

The South African sunset is a colourful riot of blood-red, pink, gold, and auburn

Best time: March–May | September–November

Red Sunsets
Red Sunsets
Red Sunsets
Red Sunsets

Red South African sunsets deserve the praise. It's quite a spectacle to see the calm neutral-coloured sky suddenly turn flaming red. Seascape, mountains, and plentiful natural reserves offer the perfect setting for such a sight. Some of the most iconic sunsets can be observed from Table Mountain, Lion's Head, and Kalk Bay in Cape Town and its proximity. Another scenic spot is Swartberg Pass located five hours drive east of Cape Town, or two hours north of George.

Of course, Cape Town is not the only spot to relish the beauty. Other treasured spots for magical sunsets include Kruger National Park, Western Cape’s Garden Route, Madikwe Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, iMfolozi Game Reserve, and more. Game reserves are particularly good for combining gorgeous sunsets with wildlife watching.

The best season for red sunsets is either spring (September–November) or autumn (March–May) as these are the times of year when the rain is not yet frequent. At the same time, the sky is cloudy enough for the creation of such a beautiful palette. Summers and winters differ across the country—northern regions have rain mostly in summer, while the southern parts, particularly Western Cape, have more of a rainy climate in the winter.

Practical info

What is the best time of year to witness the red sunsets in South Africa?

In South Africa, you can experience stunning red sunsets during spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May). During these months, there is less frequent rainfall, which does not obstruct the view, and cloudy skies complement the beautiful color palette. Show more

Where are the best locations to see red sunsets in South Africa besides Cape Town?

Other than Cape Town, areas such as Kruger National Park, Western Cape’s Garden Route, Madikwe Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, and iMfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa are famous for their incredible sunsets. These places are also best to observe local wildlife while enjoying the sunset views. Show more

When does the rainy season occur in South Africa?

The timing of the rainy season in South Africa differs widely among regions. The northern areas have downpours mostly during summer, while major portions of the southern regions, particularly Western Cape, receive rainfall in the winter. It is always advisable to check the weather forecast for the area and season you are planning your trip to, to make sure there is no rainfall that could hamper your sunset experience. Show more

What are the recommended game reserves to watch wildlife during sunset?

To catch the breathtaking sunset view and the wildlife at the same time, several game reserves in South Africa are perfect spots, including Kruger National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, and more. These reserves offer an ideal combination of natural landscapes and wildlife, making it a unique experience for anyone who wants to witness spectacular sunsets while enjoying the sight and sounds of African nature. Show more

How do South African red sunsets compare to others across the world?

South African red sunsets are unique not only because of the stunning colors but also because of the exceptional landscape in which they occur. The diverse natural surroundings of mountains, coasts, and game reserves offer visitors a one-of-a-kind experience when watching the sunset. Every experience is unique, and witnessing a South African sunset is a magical and awe-inspiring moment that everyone should experience in their lifetime. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych