“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” ─ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Crisp morning air, cool breezes, and shorter days ─ to the summer haters: Winter is finally coming. For those of you who, like me, aren’t so keen on the colder days ahead, don’t despair! Autumn also has some pretty awesome aspects to it before winter’s freezing temperatures hit us in full flair. Bye-bye mosquitoes and sweat, and hello bright coloured leaves, even brighter blue skies and less potent sun.

TravelGround has put together a list of where you can experience South Africa’s beautiful autumn season at its best before the trees shed the last of their brown leaves.

Cape Winelands: Painting with all the colours of the wind


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What could be more stunning than the lush green vineyards of the Cape Winelands turning a mixture of crimson, brown, yellow and orange? You can visit this area any time of the year, and every season has its own charm, but autumn brings something special. The Cape Winelands include the charming towns of Stellenbosch, Worcester, Franschhoek, Paarl and the smaller, quaint places in between, such as Pniel, Robertson and Ceres. All the white Cape Dutch houses on spectacular farms surrounded by vineyards changing colour surely is a sight to see ─ a real-life fairy tale!

Autumn in the Cape Winelands

Overcast autumn days provide the best lighting for the array of colours the vineyards display, and the cloudiness reduces the shadows. So don’t forget your camera for some breathtaking snapshots! It’s also not half a bad idea to go wine tasting on a sunny autumn day on one of the many excellent wine farms in this area before the winter rain keeps you clustered in. The summer winds also tend to lose their vigour during autumn, which is great news for the Capetonians!

TG tip: Don’t forget to check out Jonkershoek Nature Reserve outside Stellenbosch or just take a walk through this glorious university town for roads framed by spectacularly colourful oak trees.

Second Spring in KwaZulu-Natal


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Gardening experts claim that autumn is KwaZulu-Natal’s second spring seeing as so many trees in this area are in bloom. Durban is particularly famous for the thousands of tibouchina trees that naturally bloom purple flowers twice a year. These trees are originally from South America, and Durban used to be known as the only place in the world where tibouchinas had pinks flowers! This has since been exported all over the world.

The Midlands meadow and endless grassland beds are also a sight for sore eyes when these landscapes change into different shades of yellow, red, beige and brown. Country cottages, farm fares and scenic drives are what awaits you. Here an abundance London plane trees also shed their green leaves in various autumn colours. Visit the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Garden to marvel about the fiery colours of the swamp cypress ─ a sight that will leave you breathless! Be sure to visit the beautiful town Howick if you find yourself in these parts during autumn. You’ll be charmed by the timeless landscapes framed by orange trees, rustic cottages and picture perfect dams. Take your time, stop along the N3, and capture these picture perfect moments.

The Overberg charms and delights


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Now that this scenic area of the Western Cape is devoid of wheat after summer, the fields and green trees remain, leaving a dreamy landscape. The sweeping yellow hills with the round hay bales meet the vivid blue sky, creating a true piece of art. You can merely drive through this area and be swept away by the beauty all around. Don’t forget to visit the Overberg’s wildly popular small towns such as Stanford, Greyton, Napier and Swellendam for some bright-coloured, deciduous trees and old-worldly tranquility and charm.

Magical Magoebaskloof


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Magoebaskloof is situated between Tzaneen and Polokwane in Limpopo and is well-known for wonderful, mild autumn temperatures, scenery that will stop you in your tracks and hidden gems that are ideal for a much-needed getaway. The Wolkberg Mountain range, which is part of the northern subrange of the majestic Drakensberg, is the ideal place for autumn activities such as hiking, biking and fishing. Take a drive along the Magoebaskloof mountain pass, which offers unforgettable scenery.

For the true autumn experience, book a getaway to the little town Haenertsburg, which boasts with beautiful gardens, cute, touristy restaurants and tranquility that will make you forget all your worries!

Sequioa Garden Retreat 

Autumn in full flair at the Sequoia Garden Retreat

Magoebaskloof is also the home of this stunning botanical chronicle, which is an absolute dream to visit during autumn! Sequioa Garden Retreat is named after the dawn redwood trees Metasequoia Glyptostroboides, that originates from China’s Sichuan province, and offers two romantic cottages set on 6 hectares of formal and wild gardens. There are also 2 dams ideal for fishing on a peaceful getaway. This place is a photographer’s seventh heaven and any tired soul’s rejuvenation station.

Pretty pretty Pretoria


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I you’re a sucker for capturing the change of season at its peak, go to the Jan Cilliers Park, also known as Fairy Park nestled in Groenkloof with sunrise, where the different shades of trees will be lit up spectacularly. Or you can just relax and have a picnic surrounded by the beauty of this incredible season. You can even host your autumn child’s birthday party here, or bring your four-footed friend along for some quality time.

Awesome autumn getaways

If you’re looking for a magnificent place to stay where you can experience autumn’s full charm, we’ve got you covered:

Turaco Farm Cottage | Stanford Lake Lodge | The French Cottage  | Rose Cottages | Midlands Inverness Cottages | Rhodes Cottages – Welgemoed Trout Lodge

Autumn in different parts of South Africa

It’s not hard to agree with F. Scott Fitzgerald when he stated that life starts anew with the crispness (and beauty) of autumn. Whether you’re a summer lover or a winter enthusiast, autumn creates an incredible blend of the two extreme seasons that’s easy to love.   

Feature image: Unsplash