South Africa’s Climate

South Africa is positioned between the 22nd and 34th degrees of latitude which lie within the Sub Tropics of the Southern Hemisphere. Because of relatively high altitude, it has a far greater variety of climatological changes than its Sub-Saharan neighbours. South African temperatures are also lower than many of the other countries in Southern Africa.

The Western Cape Province has a Mediterranean climate in that it has a warm to hot, dry and sunny summer with mild to rainy winters. These favourable conditions stand in stark contrast to the climate of the eastern and north eastern interior. The latter regions experience a subtropical and subtropical highland climate respectively. These climates are characterized by hot and humid summers with later afternoon thunderstorms, experienced in the mid to late summer (November to March), however the winters in these regions are generally more pleasant with cool, dry and sunny conditions in the winter months which last from June to September.

South Africa can be divided into different climatic zones, namely: Namib Desert, Fynbos, Highveld, Karoo and Drakensburg. Each of these zones has their own unique micro-climates, the conditions of which vary broadly.

South Africa has the seasons of weather as you would expect for a Southern Hemisphere country. The coldest days are normally July-August. The West Coast’s temperatures are regulated by the Benguela Current which is a cold motion that moves from the lower South Atlantic Ocean. Because of this Current, the temperatures experienced in this area are moderate. In the interior regions (on the plateau), the Free State and Gauteng areas experience average temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius , mainly due to their altitude (1753 ft). In the winter months, these same areas, experience freezing winters, with temperatures dropping to minus figures in some parts. The coastal regions, especially the Eastern sea board, experience warm winters. It is during the summer, when South Africa receives most of its rainfall, with the exception of the Western Cape.

Oliver Bromley



About Andrew Anderson

Managing Director: African Insight - Travel Experiences That Make A Difference African Insight - Explorations Tourism Concessionaire - Somkhanda Game Reserve
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