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December is Summer Holiday Time in South Africa

Updated on January 1, 2017
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | Source

December in South Africa

The majority of South Africans take their annual holiday in December, as it is summer, Christmas, and furthermore, the end of the year.

Some travel many kilometers by car, train or airbus to spend up to fourteen days in their favorite holiday resort, while the rest stay quietly at home in the company of their beloved relatives.

However, policemen, traffic officers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, fire fighters, and almost all community servants are on duty to perform their distinctive tasks.

Let’s see what South Africans do during December – a Photo check -

The courses of the warm Agulhas current (red) along the east coast of South Africa, and the cold Benguela current (blue) along the west coast.
The courses of the warm Agulhas current (red) along the east coast of South Africa, and the cold Benguela current (blue) along the west coast. | Source

Most popular destination is the East Coast followed by the South Coast

The most popular region of South Africa during the summer holiday is the Eastern Coast, as it has the north-to-south Mozambique/Agulhas Current, which provides warm waters.

Countless beaches, from the most northern beach in the province of Kwazulu-Natal to the most southern in the Western Cape Province, are packed to their limits during December.

Only some of the countless beaches on the East and South coasts of South Africa

Durban Beach
Durban Beach
Margate Beach
Margate Beach | Source
Mossel Bay Beach
Mossel Bay Beach | Source
Plettenberg Beach
Plettenberg Beach | Source

Although the sea in the region of Cape Town is cold, the beaches are packed -

Clifton Beach
Clifton Beach | Source
Muizenberg Beach
Muizenberg Beach | Source
Bloubergstrand
Bloubergstrand | Source

The West Coast of South Africa is for water sports and angling

Anglers and water sport fanatics seem to prefer the West Coast, where the cold Benguela Current from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean keeps the water a bit too cold, though quite refreshing, for swimming.

Langebaan Lagoon
Langebaan Lagoon | Source
Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa
Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa | Source
At Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa
At Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa | Source
Fishing up the West Coast of South Africa
Fishing up the West Coast of South Africa | Source

Nature Reserves offer an exquisite holiday to thousands

Countless Nature reserves in South Africa meet the expectations of those who refuse to become part of the boisterous crowds that assemble during December in coastal towns.



Pumba Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape
Pumba Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape | Source
Addo Elephant Park, Eastern Cape
Addo Elephant Park, Eastern Cape | Source
Madikwe, North West, South Africa
Madikwe, North West, South Africa | Source

Inland holiday resorts

Countless inland holiday resorts in all the provinces of South Africa are open for old and young to enjoy adventures of all sorts.

Klein Kariba
Klein Kariba | Source
Leshiba Wilderness
Leshiba Wilderness | Source
Magoebaskloof
Magoebaskloof | Source
Lost City
Lost City | Source

Holidays at home

Millions of South Africans prefer staying home during December. They entertain relatives and friends, and/or simply relax and generate energy for the coming new year.

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©MartieCoetser
©MartieCoetser

Opinion of an owfma-sa

When I was very young I preferred spending December in a lively coastal town, and most of the time on the beach.

Then, during the 1980's our house was the family's holiday resort, and I was the hostess.

Since about 1990 I tried my utmost best to be alone during December. I even lied in order to be left in peace. I was in the claws of Depression.

Since 2004 it was not that easy to be alone, as I became my daughter, her husband and my grandchildren's neighbor. Thank heavens, they respect my need to be alone and don't demand too much of me. Sporadic visits from relatives are always expected and enjoyed.

I am not sure if I am normal. However, I do know that I am an owfma-sa - an ordinary white female middle age South African, and I am happy.

I wish all my relatives, friends and readers a Happy and Prosperous 2017.

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    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Wanted to be the first here to wish you the best year ever, my dear SA SFAM.

      I am ready for summer, even though we have just started winter. Thanks for making me feel like the warm temps are around the corner.

      What delicious treat is in the "injections" on your lovely table of edibles?

      ABBA is a favorite of mine - what a perfect song... and you surely are normal to me (for what that's worth)!

      Love you and lots of hugs, mar

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      Thank you so much my dearest Maria! Those injections are filled with sweet condense milk to be inserted into the mouths of kiddies of all ages. After

      administration the kids (of all ages) turn the injections into water-pistols.

      Happy New Year my dearest friend and soul mate!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Sweet ... I think "this" kid would need to be restrained from the injectables!

      Now pass me a glass of that wine, my Sista... :)

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 months ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you Maria for answeing the burning question! Love that idea of injectables! Will have to copy!

      Martie, of all the beautiful places to vacation in South Africa, your home looks by far the warmest! Happy New Year!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      marcoujor – Cheers, dear Mar! I’ll take your injection :) I have a sweet tongue...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The pictures of the sunshine and beach are cruel as I sit here with snow and chill. :) I do not like the holidays. December has always been a tough month for me. I associate it with death. Both my mother and father died in around Christmas, and I often relapsed with my alcoholism during December. I, like you, spend a great deal of time alone and thankfully, Bev understands my need to do so.

      Happy New Year, Martie!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      btrbell – Oh, our home is a holiday resort. What more than only a swimming pool does one need in this hot North West province? Happy New Year!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      billybuc – So sorry that you have such sad memories of December. Since I’ve started to escape reality through sleeping pills at the end of the 1990’s, and almost committed suicide – because those damn pills deprived one of the will to be awake and of a balanced dose of chemicals to face reality – I don’t take them at all, even if it means I have to stay awake (writing) for 48 hours. Depression seems to be the cross of most writers, and only some of us develop strong enough muscles to do it. Happy New Year, Billy. Close your eyes and imagine a holiday in one of our nature reserves.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Martie...

      It's so interesting to see how those south of the equator celebrate Christmas and their summer holidays. Those photos are inviting. Although the beaches look scrumptious, I think I'd opt for the coastal fishing and Nature Reserves. I loved that pic in the Addo Elephant Park, Eastern Cape. (Sign me up! :-) And that photo of you in the Santa sit next to the tree is precious.

      Happy New Year everyone!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      Genna East – I have a need to walk at least once a year barefoot on a beach and perhaps ankle-deep in the waves, but we always go out of season, in other words not during school holidays. I will not go to any holiday resort during school holidays. Really, I just don’t want to be surrounded by a lot of people while I am on holiday. As a matter of fact, I am an extrovert; I will be able to catch the vibe of any crowd. I just don’t have any need for such a vibe. As I’ve said, I had it when I was young, but I’ve lost it somewhere in my 30’s.

      Happy New Year to you, dear Genna!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 months ago from Brazil

      We are in Brazil so enjoying a summer Christmas as well. I am with you, I wouldn't want to be on a crowded beach.

      New Years Day will find me fishing in flip flops and shorts.

      Happy New Year to you from beautiful Brazil.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Martie, I love the beautiful beaches, but I must admit, I'm a bit jealous. I'm freezing my butt off here and you're having a ball. I wish I had a heated pool, and I wish you the best new year ever. Every time I read one of your hubs, I realize we are much alike. I must have my time alone too and Christmas is my least favorite time of the year. I guess, I know it's because so many of the people I loved are gone and Christmas was special at one time, but enough of feeling sorry for myself, it's a new year and by golly I'm going to make up for lost time. Have a wonderful summer. Love and hugs..

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      It was fun to see how you spend the holidays in South Africa. The beach is the furthest thought from our minds with it being so cold here but I'd probably head there too as a young person. Now I'd probably enjoy those gorgeous animal reserves. I hope you had an enjoyable holiday and new year. I don't like crowds either, even if they are my relatives. My parents live a mile away and we spend time together but I prefer not to do the whole extended family thing with all the kids. I have one child for a reason, whereas my sister has 3 young boys and my brother has 5 kids. It's just too loud and makes me nervous. I would rather be alone or with one or two of them baking or painting. I stayed home this year while most everyone else went to my brother's farmette for a week. Happy New Year!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      A very unusual sight for this Western New Yorker to see in December. A beach crowded with people having fun and soaking up the sun!....as bill mentioned.....while we sit in front of the fireplace trying to keep from shivering! The reality for me is that I'm not really envious. I live on Lake Erie and I don't frequent the beach even in July! Not a sun nor sand lover am I ! My much-loved seasons are Spring & Fall.....they're the best in this area!

      This is quite lovely though, Martie, and your photos are simply fabulous! I'm not quite sure how I'd react if Mr. Dumbo the Elephant came by to pay me a visit as I sat at a picnic table. That sort of stuff blows me away! LOL Everyone looks so happy and healthy & truly enjoying every minute. I'm quite taken by what you have shown us of your beautiful country.

      You make a terrific Santa, Martie!! Ho Ho Ho to you! Ohhhh Please, PLEASE send me one of those totally adorable puppies!! How incredibly precious are they??! If I could, I would adopt every one of them! I am wishing you all the very BEST in this New Year & sending hugs! Love ya, Paula

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 months ago from England

      Love the way you have a Margate beach! I go to Margate most years, specially when I was growing up! lol! only England of course. its weird to think of December as a hot month, but I am sure its weird the other way round too! lol! lovely photos and info.

    • profile image

      Sannel 4 months ago

      Dear Martie,

      Thanks to our mutual, darling friend, Maria I found this hub of yours. Reading and seeing the pictures of South Africa, I know I spent too little time over there when I had the chance to be there. I hope I will be back one day. Right now, I'll close my eyes and imagine summer that's on its way. . . Eventually! :/

      Happy New Year, my beautiful friend! Thank you for a wonderful post.

      Hugs,

      Sannel

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      Blond Logic – Welcome in my corner! I hope to find a lot to read about Brazil in your hubs. May 2017 treat you well :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      always exploring –What I miss the most at this time of the year is my childhood. Tomorrow I have to be back in office again, and then December’s nostalgia will disappear like ice on a hot summer’s day. May 2017 meet all your expectations.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      FlourishAnyway – I was the eldest of five, and I did enjoy the 1980’s when my parents and in-laws, and all siblings, gathered at my house. My ex-husband and I are both firstborns. We merely took the responsibility of hosting and entertaining relatives during the Christmas season from our parents' shoulders. In the meanwhile the siblings got married and became parents and grandparents, and the children got married and became parents. As we grow older we are being relieved from one obligation after the other, and eventually we can use the time to relax, and often all by ourselves. Happy New Year, Flourish.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      fpherj48 – It is not always nice to know that I will never experience a white Christmas, you know. Your Christmas season seems to have such an idyllic and romantic atmosphere.

      Spring and autumn are also my favorite seasons. Fortunately, thanks to an air-conditioner, the inside of my home always feels like spring and autumn.

      I can picture your reaction when Mr. Dumbo arrives for lunch. Lol! But between me and you, I think the elephant in the picture is a retired circus elephant who doesn’t know that he is an elephant. Wild elephants will not be allowed in camps, as they will wreak absolute havoc, and not to talk about any other wild animals. Lions, for example, will have you for dinner.

      My daughter’s in-laws have two thoroughbred fox-terriers who surprise us more than once a year with the cutest litter. (Or what does one call a bunch of baby dogs?) If I haven’t grown into the laziest momma on this planet, I would have had a house full of cats and dogs and budgies and what-have-you’s.

      Love and hugs to you, Paula, and only the best year ahead.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      Nell Rose – The wonder of the Internet: We can have a virtual experience of all seasons any time of the year. It is actually quite arty – winter and summer or autumn and spring, coming down on my Facebook feed at the same time. Have a good year, dear Nell!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
      Author

      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      Hi Sannel! Wonderful to see you! I wish I could get an opportunity to take you on a tour of SA. You will love living in Cape Town, where one can expect the temperature of all four seasons in one day. You may find the East Coast too hot and humid during summer, and perhaps also too hot during winter. You will hate the hot and dry climates of the inland.

      I think summer and autumn is the best time for Europeans to visit SA. I am always ready to take you around.

      By the way, when were you here, and where did you stay, and for how long?

      May the 2017 treat you well, dear Sannel

      PS: I am glad you found the link on Mar's timeline. So easy to miss a link, as they disappear so quickly in the thread.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I loved looking at your photos, Martie. We've had more snow than usual this winter, so I'm envious of the sunny and colourful scenes where you live! I hope you have a great 2017.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      AliciaC – It will be my turn to enjoy your summer this coming July. Wish it could be real and not only ‘in spirit’ :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 months ago from Central Florida

      Happy New Year, Martie!

      I'd much rather spend the holiday at your house. Your property is beautiful and has a pool. What more could I ask for?

      Your beaches are far too crowded for my liking. The inland resorts look lush and interesting, although I'm now sure how I'd react to an elephant reaching across the table with his trunk! LOL.

      Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed this read and your awesome photos.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
      Author

      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      bravewarrior –Fortunately, I never go on holiday during school holidays, as I just can’t handle those ridiculous crowds. However, the younger generations, especially teenagers, love it. To each their own. Take care, dear Sha! I hope 2017 is going to treat you like a queen.

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 4 months ago from Alabama, USA

      I've never been there but would love to visit. I use to live in a climate that was warm all of the time and it was wonderful.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      bodylevive – It can get quite cold in winter, but not by far as cold as it gets in the Northern Hemisphere. Average: Summer’s maximum 36C, Winter’s minimum -2C. Best times to visit are Spring and Autumn.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_South_Afr...

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Your photojournalism is just the best. South Africa looks like a beautiful place.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 months ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you SAA for the virtual vaca of SA. Always a pleasure travel among your tourist articles free of charge! :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 3 months ago from South Africa

      mckbirdbks – Next week I will be on the road again, enjoying only the beauty. The beauty of a country is like a wedding dress. Always beautiful, radiating the realization of fantasies. But inside the dress is a mortal woman who will simply be what she is able to be. I’ve read some articles about Norway. Why, I wonder, are things so perfect up there?

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 3 months ago from South Africa

      Hi, Sunshine625! Good to see you! I’ll be travelling again on Monday, all the way to the ocean :) Why are you so scarce?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      It is nice that Christmas and the warm season of year for vacationing are all wrapped up in one tidy package. Beautiful beach photos! Sorry to hear that you suffer from depression. I hope you are finding help for that and will be feeling much better as the seasons pass. Sending good thoughts your way and a great big virtual hug!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 6 weeks ago from South Africa

      Hi, Peggy W! The differences between the northern and southern hemispheres are very prominent during Christmas. Go figure, half of the world experience extremely cold weather while we enjoy summer in all its glory. I have learned the hard way how powerful the depression monster is, and how to stay on top of it. Thanks for the virtual hug. I am returning it with a smile :)

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