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South Africa's Weather and Average Temperatures

What's the weather like in South Africa?

| Cape Town | Durban | Johannesburg | Karoo Desert | Drakensberg Mountains |

South Africa's summers (November to March) are generally warm with average temperatures around 77 Fahrenheit (25 C). Winters (June to August) can get quite cold especially at night with temperatures averaging around 50 Fahrenheit (10 C). In the Western Cape area most of the rainfall comes in the winters whereas in the north (Johannesburg and Kruger Park) and east (Durban) rainfall is heaviest in the summer months (causing some fantastic thunderstorms). Durban has an almost tropical climate and enjoys warm days even in winter.

Scroll down to see what temperatures you can expect in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. There's more climate information for those planning trips to the Karoo Desert and the Drakensberg Mountains at the bottom of the page.

Today's Weather in Cape Town

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Cape Town is warm and dry during the summer months from November to March. But it's also often windy in Cape Town during the summer and gusts have been known to pick pedestrians right off their feet (grab a lamppost to be safe). Winters are chilly and wet and some of the higher peaks in the Western Cape can get light snow. Water temperatures are always quite cold around Cape Town, even in the summer.

Cape Town's Climate

Month Precipitation Maximum Minimum Average Sunlight
in cm F C F C Hours
January 0.6 1.5 79 26 61 16 11
February 0.3 0.8 79 26 61 16 10
March 0.7 1.8 77 25 57 14 9
April 1.9 4.8 72 22 53 12 8
May 3.1 7.9 66 19 48 9 6
June 3.3 8.4 64 18 46 8 6
July 3.5 8.9 63 17 45 7 6
August 2.6 6.6 64 18 46 8 7
September 1.7 4.3 64 18 48 9 8
October 1.2 3.1 70 21 52 11 9
November 0.7 1.8 73 23 55 13 10
December 0.4 1.0 75 24 57 14 11

Durban has a more tropical climate than Cape Town and the Indian Ocean is significantly warmer and more pleasant to swim in than Cape Town's coast. Summers can get quite hot and humid though, but it's easy to travel inland where stays somewhat cooler. Winters are very nice a mild with warm, dry and usually sunny days. Most of the rainfall is during the summer.

Today's Weather in Durban

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Durban's Climate

Month Precipitation Maximum Minimum Average Sunlight
in cm F C F C Hours
January 4.3 10.9 80 27 70 21 6
February 4.8 12.2 80 27 70 21 7
March 5.1 13 80 27 68 20 7
April 2.9 7.6 79 26 64 18 7
May 2.0 5.1 75 24 57 14 7
June 1.3 3.3 73 27 54 12 8
July 1.1 2.8 71 22 52 11 7
August 1.5 3.8 71 22 55 13 7
September 2.8 7.1 73 23 59 15 6
October 4.3 10.9 75 24 57 14 6
November 4.8 12.2 77 25 64 18 5
December 4.7 11.9 79 26 66 19 6

Johannesburg gets warm and humid during the summer (average around 25 C) and most of the rainfall comes during this time. Because of the heat, the storms can get quite spectacular. Winters in Johannesburg are moderate, with dry sunny days and chilly nights. If you're visiting Kruger National Park, the temperature chart below will give you a good indication of what the weather will be like.

Today's Weather in Johannesburg

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Johannesburg's Climate

Month Precipitation Maximum Minimum Average Sunlight
in cm F C F C Hours
January 4.5 11.4 79 26 57 14 8
February 4.3 10.9 77 25 57 14 8
March 3.5 8.9 75 24 55 13 8
April 1.5 3.8 72 22 50 10 8
May 1.0 2.5 66 19 43 6 9
June 0.3 0.8 63 17 39 4 9
July 0.3 0.8 63 17 39 4 9
August 0.3 0.8 68 20 43 6 10
September 0.9 2.3 73 23 48 9 10
October 2.2 5.6 77 25 54 12 9
November 4.2 10.7 77 25 55 13 8
December 4.9 12.5 79 26 57 14 8

The Drakensberg Mountains
The Drakensberg Mountains offer a lovely respite to the summer sun (December to February), and temperatures will rarely reach above 86 Fahrenheit (30 C). Rainfall can be significant during the summer months, but for the most part the thunder storms are interspersed with perfect weather. Winters (June to August) are dry and temperatures usually reach around 68 Fahrenheit (20 C) at midday. Nights are often freezing at higher elevations and snow is common. The best time to visit the Drakensberg Mountains is April and May. .

The Karoo
The Karoo is best visited between May and September when days are not too hot and nights are cool enough to sleep comfortably. Obviously there is little rainfall in this desert area, but if it does rain, it's during the summer (November - March). Average temperatures during the summer months can be as high as 104 Fahrenheit (40 Celcius) around the lower Orange River area.

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