Why mid-season is the best time to travel to South Africa
In terms of travel and tourism, fall and spring are known as the mid-seasons – the shoulder seasons. And right now we are in one because across Mzansi flowers are in bloom and green leaves have started to sprout on previously bare trees. With such beauty spread by nature across the country, why is summer still considered the best time to travel to South Africa?
The most obvious answer is that for most families, vacation planning coincides with school and work vacations. However, during these times prices increase with demand and the weather can tend to be cold or quite warm.
Mid-season – when the weather is less extreme and prices are lower – is also a great time to travel. Below, Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront Guest Relations Manager Nicol Carelse gives us five reasons why mid-season is the best time to take a vacation.
There are many discounts and great rates
This year, everyone is looking for affordable opportunities to travel as the cost of living has increased dramatically. During mid-season flight and accommodation, the rates are significantly lower than high season.
“Passengers who plan their trips strategically and travel outside of peak season this year can rack up savings while still taking a cross-country trip or taking that much-desired trip abroad. There are always seasonal flight price changes that travelers can benefit from. This spring, flight prices are currently seeing an even bigger drop compared to what we were seeing before the pandemic,” notes Laure Bornet, GM, KAYAK EMEA, who runs Cheapflights.co.za.
In fact, this year, mid-season domestic and international flight prices have seen a drop of 12% and 26%, respectively for 2022, compared to high-season flight prices.
Added to these lower fares are discounts on midweek travel, as there are often days when airfare and accommodation are cheaper. These are the days of the week when travelers are less likely to book accommodation or when flight bookings are generally lower, such as Mondays and Tuesdays.
You can have more fun in nature
Whether you’re crushing red and brown leaves under your feet or strolling dodging native flowers along a path, fall and spring are two seasons when nature is sure to amaze you with its beauty. These two seasons in particular are said to be the most colorful seasons where nature has its chance to show an array of leaves and flowers from across the color spectrum.
Across the country, there are several national parks maintained in pristine condition. Every spring, South Africa’s National Parks offer free entry to visitors for a week in the spring. Other seasonal activities include surfing in the spring when the water warms up after a cold winter and the waves are favourable.
For an easy travel tip that can save you time searching online, ask your hotel concierge in advance which activities they recommend you take part in. Concierges can be used before you arrive, so once you’ve sorted out your reservation, email the concierge for advice on setting up an itinerary for you that takes you to all the great natural sights local.
It helps with productivity and boosts mid-year recovery
Often people wait until the end of the year to give our body and mind a prolonged mental and physical rest. However, the mid-season breaks are the perfect opportunity to plan laying days or times to nap between activities. According to the Human Capital Hub, resting or taking a vacation can make you more productive once you get back to work. Indeed, getting out of a normal routine helps the brain to be more present and, therefore, to relax. In your normal routines, your brain is often on autopilot while repeating the same tasks over and over. Getting out of the daily grind forces the mind to be present while focusing on completely new experiences. This mental and physical pause and ability to be present gives individuals conscious experiences that add to well-being.
There are fewer people around
The COVID-19 pandemic has made everyone aware of their personal space. During high season, local attractions, shopping areas, beaches and parks tend to be crowded and busy. In mid-season, when travel density is lower, beaches and attractions are less crowded, making travel safer.
Also, lines are almost non-existent and reservations for local attractions, restaurants and activities are more likely to open during this time. There are also fewer cars on the road, which means less traffic. You will be able to see more in less time.
The weather is good
In South Africa, summers and winters live up to their reputation of being particularly hot and cold. In autumn and spring, however, temperatures are moderate and in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans the water is warmer for swimming. This allows for optimal weather for the outdoor activities the country is famous for.
Whichever season you choose to travel in, be sure to include time for planned rest, outdoor activities and interaction with locals for a relaxing and authentic experience of the region you are traveling in .