Weather information for those travelling to South Africa

South Africa is commonly known as “sunny South Africa” and it is generally true that we are blessed with a good many sunlight hours per day.  Having said this, it is important to bear a few things in mind.

Snow in the Drakensberg

Snow in the Drakensberg

Even here, we do have winter.  Although it doesn’t often stay cold for weeks on end, it snows every year.  Snow has been recorded on the Drakensberg mountains even outside of the winter months.  Our homes and buildings are not insulated to retain the warmth as those in the northern hemisphere are.  This makes sense when you realize that winter here lasts for 3 or 4 months, so homes are built to be cooler in the summer months.

Most parts of South Africa fall into the summer rainfall area, but the Western Cape is a winter rainfall area.  So it might not be the best idea to plan water activities like swimming, if you’re visiting Cape Town in July.

Another thing to consider when you’re packing for your trip is where you’re going:  While Lesotho, because of the altitude, is usually cold, northern Zululand is often hot and humid, and depending on the time of year, the temperatures there can exceed 30ºC.

In South Africa the weather changes very suddenly

In South Africa the weather changes very suddenly

More info on the Geography and Climate of South Africa can also be found on

Check out the sunrise and sunset times on the following site by selecting the town or city and then selecting sunrise and sunset times Under Climate Guide for each town or city on this site you can also get an idea of the average day or night temperatures and which months have the most rainfall.
The following sites might help you with your planning:
And having said all that, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and a sunhat.

Happy travels.

Gwyn Fryer
087 940 3553

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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