12 destinations to explore according to the months of the year

A traveller has a year planner looking at travel dates. Picture: Unsplash.

A traveller has a year planner looking at travel dates. Picture: Unsplash.

Published Jan 5, 2024


South Africa and the world offer beautiful destinations for intrepid travellers to explore.

With 12 months in a year, we have compiled a list of 12 places to see and explore this 2024.

And with a bit of planning, you can structure your calendar to ensure you make the most out of these destinations.

Here is a guide on some popular and up-and-coming 2024 hotspots by month.

It also includes where to go locally and at which time of the year it would be most ideal to visit.

January - Escape the post-holiday blues in Mauritius

According to Antoinette Turner, GM of Flight Centre South Africa, you can swap those gloomy post-holiday weeks for a few sun-soaked days in Mauritius in late January and early February.

During this time, the sun will be out and the cost of visiting this island paradise will be lower.

Turner explained that visitors can laze on dazzling beaches, hike through rainforests or explore local markets.

“From January through February, when schools are back in session, is a great time to visit Mauritius,” she said.

“’Expect lower humidity, lower rates and an ideal climate for exploring.”

February - Safari Season in the Cape: Madikwe Game Reserve

February is prime time for safari escape.

It’s the perfect trip for those who want to watch elephants roaming and lions napping under the shade of acacias.

“A February escape to Madikwe Game Reserve almost guarantees spectacular wildlife sightings,” said Turner.

March - Party in Rio Brazil

Turner revealed that March ushers in the sizzling Rio Carnival in Brazil, the world’s biggest and boldest festival.

“Samba your way through the streets and prepare to have your mind blown by the colourful costumes and infectious rhythms,” she explained.

April - Hike the Drakensberg in Lesotho

According to Turner, the Drakensberg reaches its scenic peak in April when the summer rains nurture the landscapes.

“So lace up your boots for epic hikes and breathtaking vistas in Lesotho and the Berg.”

May - Whales & wine in Hermanus

“From May to September, treat yourself to an idyllic weekend getaway in Hermanus, enjoying the best land-based whale-watching in the world,” explained Turner.

She added that when visitors aren’t scanning for whales, they can indulge the senses in the region’s famed vineyards, restaurants, and galleries.

June - Island time in Mozambique

“June is an ideal time to trade in the winter blues for an affordable tropical getaway,” Turner said.

“Think coconut palms swaying in the breeze, snorkelling, sailing, and lounging on the beach.”

July - Wildflower spotting in Namaqualand

July to September is flower season in Namaqualand, when the arid landscape transforms into a kaleidoscope of colour.

‘You can marvel at fields of orange, yellow, and purple daisies,“ she said.

August - Hiking and stargazing in Sutherland

“Sure, it may be chilly, but for the best stargazing in the south, head to the Karoo town of Sutherland,” Turner insisted.

“After all, it’s one of the world’s top astronomical sites – albeit infamous for being South Africa’s coldest spot.”

September – Bask in the joys of spring in Langebaan

“September is the perfect time for wildflowers and whale watching in Langebaan,” said Turner.

She recommended lapping up the West Coast sunshine and colourful flora and fauna, or kayaking on the lagoon.

Meanwhile, music lovers and foodies would do well to bookmark the DSTV Delicious Food and Music Festival, hosted over the Heritage Day weekend.

October - Desert solitude in the Sossusvlei, Namibia

If you’re looking for wide open spaces, the Sossusvlei in Namibia beckons in October, which is one of the best months to experience its otherworldly sand dunes and starry night skies.

Turner suggested a hot air balloon ride for phenomenal desert views.

November - Turtles & tranquillity at iSimangaliso Wetland Park

“From November to February, join a turtle tour in iSimangaliso Wetland Park – the only place on the continent where turtles nest,” she said.

“Watching the huge leatherback and loggerhead giants coming ashore under the moonlight is magical.”

December - A Jozi Jol: Johannesburg

And finally, if you’re keen on a Christmas with a difference, Jozi is the place to be.

While most of the city’s residents head off to Durban or the Mother City, how about going against the crowds and heading to Joburg?

“Ring in the holidays Jozi style by experiencing the vibrant music scene and markets of Maboneng and Braamfontein,” said Turner.

“Popular tourist spots such as Gold Reef City, the Apartheid Museum, Cradle of Humankind and others are also less crowded. Plus, the weather is unbeatable.”