Stories and Traveltips

ID #1269

Climate, Southern Africa.

Being in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons in South Africa are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. Furthermore, since one is standing upside down, everything is done backwards in reverse!

December and January are the summer holiday months and locals flock to the beaches in droves. The country virtually comes to a standstill, roads are congested, and so on. The Easter (April) is the other important holiday period. Millions of pilgrims travel on the N1 from Gauteng to Moria near Pietersburg in Limpopo. Accommodation is at a premium during such times so try to schedule holidays outside of April, December and January if possible.

Autumn, in April, May and June, has warm sunny days and cool nights.  There is little wind, and the climate is at its best in most parts of the country. 

From the beginning of June to the end of September one can expect sunny days and cold nights in most of the country, with rain in the Western Cape.  Snow sometimes falls on the Natal Drakensberg and the Cape mountains in winter. This is the best period to visit most summer rainfall areas (the entire region with the exception of the Western Cape and the Garden Route) because the surface water will have dried up, game congregates at waterholes, the visibility is good (there are no leaves on the trees), and the risk of contracting malaria is reduced.

Avoid visiting low-lying areas such as the Zambezi Valley immediately before the start of the rainy season in October. While the risk of contracting malaria at this time is low, temperatures are so high (above 40oC) one can scarcely breathe. Alan McIver ATTraclimate

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Last update: 2014-03-17 02:18
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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