South African climate

South Africa generally has a temperate climate thanks to its location and by being surrounded on three sides by the Indian and Atlantic oceans. South Africa’s position in the Southern hemisphere means that winters occur in June, July and summer in December, January. There are a wide variety of climates. In the north is the desert of Namib and to the East the tropical rainforests bordering Mozambique.

South Africa is famous its amount of sunshine and is a relatively dry country, experiencing an average rainfall of about 464mm a year. The Western Cape receives most of its rainfall in the winter whilst the rest of the country is generally moisture free in the summer months. Temperatures tend to be lower than in other countries at similar latitudes- such as Australia due to being at a higher elevation above sea level.


Summer – South African summers can be summed as sunny and hot. Thunderstorms are common, especially in the afternoons but these tend to be very short-lived, leaving a warm, uniquely South African scent in the air.

Autumn – This season often provides the best and most pleasant weather for South Africa. Very little rain falls over the country and the temperature is just right, not too hot and not too cold. Cape Town is especially good with hot sunny days and warm nights, ideal to spend an evening socialising outside with friends.

Winter - The interior of the country sees dry sunny days and cold nights. The coastal KwaZulu-Natal coast offers fantastic winter weather with warm sunny days and virtually no rain or wind. The Western Cape however, receives its biggest share of rain over these few months. These wet days are interspersed with pleasant warm days with temperatures that rival Britain in the summertime.

Spring – The place to be in spring is Cape Town and the surrounding provinces. The winter months are quickly forgotten as thousands of plant species burst into life and cover the plains with a carpet of colour. Many South Africans travel to the region of Namaqualand just to see the spectacular sight.

The sunniest city in South Africa is Port Elizabeth followed by Cape Town.