Climate and Average Weather in South Africa

South Africa has many different climate zones. The north, west and large parts of the central part of South Africa have to deal with relatively warm climate areas with a a warm desert climate (northwest) and warm steppe climate (north). However most parts of South Africa have a temperate climate since it is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. It is a relatively dry country and is well known for its many hours of sunshine a day.

Winter in South Africa runs from June to August. These are the coolest and with the exception of the southwest (the Cape) driest months. The Kruger Park still has average maximum temperatures of around 26-27 degrees Celsius (78.8 - 80.6°F) in winter. At night it can cool down quite a bit to a few degrees above freezing. Those who want to have a beach holiday in South Africa during winter can still visit the coastal towns in the Kwazulu/Natal region. Due to the warm gulf stream, the sea water here remains pleasantly warm. With temperatures of more than twenty degrees Celsius (68°F) and often a clear sky this is a good option even in winter.

Summer from December to February it can get very hot. Especially in the desert area bordering the eastern side of Namibia, daytime temperatures easily rise easily to around 34 to 38 degrees Celsius (93 - 100.4°F). The Kruger Park is also very warm during this period and in combination with a reasonable chance of rain you can expect a fairly high relative humidity.

South Africa has an average annual rainfall of only 464mm (18.2 in). Best time of the year to travel to South Africa depends on what you want to do. The flowers are at their best in August and September. The best time for game viewing is in the late spring months of September and October. The Southern Right Whales are off the coasts from about mid-June to the end of October.

Interested in more detailed Weather and Climate information?
Please select the city you wish to travel to, or the one closest to your destination. Each selected city will show you the following graphs:
1. Average minimum and maximum temperature over the year
2. Average monthly precipitation over the year (rainfall, snow)
3. Average monthly hours of sunshine over the year
On certain pages we also offer other historical weather data like humidity, wind speed and water temperature.

Popular places in South Africa

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Regions in South Africa