Weather in South Africa

Receiving around seven months of sunshine on average, the subtropical climate in South Africa, with its hot summers and mild winters, is a welcome adjustment for expats from colder countries. In fact, the pleasant weather in South Africa is one of the reasons holiday-makers and expats come to the country every year.

The best times of the year are arguably the brief transitional seasons. Autumn, reddening the trees from March to May, and spring, lasting between September and late November, offer pleasant temperatures with little rain in most of the country. 

Contrast this with the South African weather in summer, when temperatures of 90°F (32°C) are common and can soar up to 104°F (40°C) in some of the country's hotter areas.

Each region has its own distinct character, however, with its own average temperatures and rainfall. The warmest areas in winter are around the coast. That said, KwaZulu-Natal on the east coast and the Western Cape maintain different climates and are influenced by the two oceans on opposite sides of the country.

The Atlantic Benguela current brings a Mediterranean climate to Cape Town and surrounds, while the Indian Ocean's warmer Agulhas current creates a more tropical climate in Durban.

In summer, the interior of the country, which sits at a higher altitude, is less humid than Durban but generally has more rainfall than South Africa's coastal regions with landlocked cities such as Johannesburg enjoying frequent afternoon showers.

Expats are likely to enjoy the South African climate although they may want to purchase fans and heaters – many houses don't have central heating or air-conditioning.

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