South Africa Weather

What’s the weather like?

South Africa has a mostly temperate and pleasant climate, with lovely warm sunny days most of the year. Being in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to those experienced in Europe and North America, so, yes we spend Christmas on the beach.

Since a place like Cape Town has a mediterranean climate, its to predict.Last year for the FIFA world Cup held in June in Cape Town mid winter, no rain at all.


Generally, summer is from mid-October to mid-February, and over most of the country it is characterised by hot weather with afternoon thunderstorms which clear quickly, leaving a warm, earthy, uniquely African smell in the air.

The Western Cape, with its Mediterranean climate, is the opposite and gets its rain in winter. Autumn (or fall) runs from February to April and offers probably the best weather.

Very little rain falls over the whole country, and it is warm but not too hot, obviously getting colder as the season progresses.

In Cape Town, autumn is fantastic, with hot sunny days and warm, balmy nights which most people spend at outdoor cafés.

Winter (May to July)

Winter in the higher-lying areas is characterised by dry, bright, sunny, crisp days and cold nights.

So it’s a good idea to bring warm clothes. The lowveld and the Maputaland Coast offer fantastic weather in winter with bright, sunny, warmish days and virtually no rain or wind.

The Western Cape gets most of its rain in winter, and there may be a few days of grey, cloudy, rainy weather, but these are always interspersed with wonderful days to rival the best of a British summer.

The high mountains of the Drakensberg and the Cape usually get snow – and you can even ski.

Spring (August to October)

Spring, like everywhere else in the world, is a time of renewal and rejoicing – when bright green buds appear on the trees and young grasses pop up from the veld, but nowhere is it more spectacular than in the Cape.

Here the grey winter is forgotten as the bright green foliage of the south and east, and the sear browns of the north and west, give way to a riot of colour as thousands of small, otherwise insignificant plants cover the plains in an iridescent carpet of flowers.

The journey to see the flowers of the Namaqualand in the Western and Northern Cape is an annual pilgrimage for many South Africans.

What’s the best time of the year to travel?

Tricky one. Depends on what you want to do. The best time for game watching is late spring, August to October. The southern right whales hang around off our coasts from about mid-June to the end of October.

The diving is best in most of the area over winter (April to September), and so is the surfing (but that doesn’t limit it to those times). Flowers are best in August and September.

River rafting is better in the Cape at the end of winter, and in KwaZulu-Natal in summer (late November to February). In Mpumalanga and Limpopo, it’s not quite as time-dependent.

The shoulder seasons, spring and autumn, are best for hiking, as summer can be very hot all over. In the Drakensberg, summer thunderstorms are extremely dangerous and there is a good chance of snow in winter. In the Cape, the winters are wet, so hiking is a bit hardcore.

If you’re a birder, the palaeoarctic migrants arrive in about November and the intra-African migrants usually by mid-October. If you fancy getting in some southern hemisphere skiing, there is guaranteed snow from June to August.

Of course, if you want to lounge around on the beaches, mid-summer is the best time – but everyone else will be there too. And – big bonus – the beaches of northern KwaZulu-Natal are warm and sunny even in midwinter.

Also, don’t forget it’s the southern hemisphere, so summer is mid-October to mid-February, autumn from February to April, winter May to July, and spring August to October.


Text Credit to international marketting council of SA