The climate of South Africa is determined by South Africa’s situation between 22°S and 35°S, in the Southern Hemisphere’s subtropical zone, and its location between two oceans, Atlantic and Indian. It has a wider variety of climates than most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and it has lower average temperatures than other countries within this range of latitude, like Australia, because much of the interior (central plateau or Highveld, including Johannesburg) of South Africa is at higher elevation. Winter temperatures may reach the freezing point at high altitude, but are at their most mild in coastal regions, particularly the Eastern Cape. Cold and warm coastal currents running north-west and north-east respectively account for the difference in climate between west and east coasts.

South Africa experiences a high degree of sunshine with rainfall about half of the global average, increasing from west to east, and with semi-desert regions in the north-west. While the Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall, most of the country experiences summer rainfall.

We always advise to travel with sunblock, a hat and a warm jacket.

Average temperatures (°C) in South Africa

City

Summer

Winter

(January)

(July)

Max

Min

Max

Min

Bloemfontein

31

15

17

-2

Cape Town

26

16

18

7

Durban

28

21

23

11

East London

26

18

21

10

George

25

15

19

7

Johannesburg

26

15

20

4

Kimberley

33

18

19

3

Nelspruit

29

19

23

6

Pietermaritzburg

28

18

23

3

Polokwane

28

17

20

4

Port Elizabeth

25

18

20

9

Pretoria

29

18

24

5

Richards Bay

29

21

23

12

Skukuza

33

21

26

6

Upington

36

20

21

4