South Africa climate guide

Temperature in South Africa (°C)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max temperature (daytime)
25°C maximum daytime temperature in January in South Africa (Cape Town)25
25°C maximum daytime temperature in February in South Africa (Cape Town)25
24°C maximum daytime temperature in March in South Africa (Cape Town)24
22°C maximum daytime temperature in April in South Africa (Cape Town)22
19°C maximum daytime temperature in May in South Africa (Cape Town)19
17°C maximum daytime temperature in June in South Africa (Cape Town)17
17°C maximum daytime temperature in July in South Africa (Cape Town)17
17°C maximum daytime temperature in August in South Africa (Cape Town)17
18°C maximum daytime temperature in September in South Africa (Cape Town)18
20°C maximum daytime temperature in October in South Africa (Cape Town)20
22°C maximum daytime temperature in November in South Africa (Cape Town)22
24°C maximum daytime temperature in December in South Africa (Cape Town)24
Min temperature (night-time)
15°C minimum night-time temperature in January in South Africa (Cape Town)15
15°C minimum night-time temperature in February in South Africa (Cape Town)15
14°C minimum night-time temperature in March in South Africa (Cape Town)14
12°C minimum night-time temperature in April in South Africa (Cape Town)12
10°C minimum night-time temperature in May in South Africa (Cape Town)10
8°C minimum night-time temperature in June in South Africa (Cape Town)8
8°C minimum night-time temperature in July in South Africa (Cape Town)8
8°C minimum night-time temperature in August in South Africa (Cape Town)8
9°C minimum night-time temperature in September in South Africa (Cape Town)9
10°C minimum night-time temperature in October in South Africa (Cape Town)10
12°C minimum night-time temperature in November in South Africa (Cape Town)12
14°C minimum night-time temperature in December in South Africa (Cape Town)14
Sea temperature
19°C sea temperature in January in South Africa (Cape Town)19
20°C sea temperature in February in South Africa (Cape Town)20
18°C sea temperature in March in South Africa (Cape Town)18
16°C sea temperature in April in South Africa (Cape Town)16
15°C sea temperature in May in South Africa (Cape Town)15
15°C sea temperature in June in South Africa (Cape Town)15
15°C sea temperature in July in South Africa (Cape Town)15
15°C sea temperature in August in South Africa (Cape Town)15
15°C sea temperature in September in South Africa (Cape Town)15
15°C sea temperature in October in South Africa (Cape Town)15
16°C sea temperature in November in South Africa (Cape Town)16
18°C sea temperature in December in South Africa (Cape Town)18

Sunshine & Daylight in South Africa

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily hours of sunshine
11 hours of sunshine per day (77% of daylight hours) in January in South Africa11
10 hours of sunshine per day (77% of daylight hours) in February in South Africa10
9 hours of sunshine per day (75% of daylight hours) in March in South Africa9
7 hours of sunshine per day (66% of daylight hours) in April in South Africa7
6 hours of sunshine per day (60% of daylight hours) in May in South Africa6
5 hours of sunshine per day (54% of daylight hours) in June in South Africa5
6 hours of sunshine per day (57% of daylight hours) in July in South Africa6
7 hours of sunshine per day (60% of daylight hours) in August in South Africa7
7 hours of sunshine per day (62% of daylight hours) in September in South Africa7
9 hours of sunshine per day (67% of daylight hours) in October in South Africa9
10 hours of sunshine per day (72% of daylight hours) in November in South Africa10
11 hours of sunshine per day (74% of daylight hours) in December in South Africa11
Daily hours of daylight
14 hours of daylight per day in January in South Africa (Cape Town)14
13 hours of daylight per day in February in South Africa (Cape Town)13
12 hours of daylight per day in March in South Africa (Cape Town)12
11 hours of daylight per day in April in South Africa (Cape Town)11
10 hours of daylight per day in May in South Africa (Cape Town)10
10 hours of daylight per day in June in South Africa (Cape Town)10
10 hours of daylight per day in July in South Africa (Cape Town)10
11 hours of daylight per day in August in South Africa (Cape Town)11
12 hours of daylight per day in September in South Africa (Cape Town)12
13 hours of daylight per day in October in South Africa (Cape Town)13
14 hours of daylight per day in November in South Africa (Cape Town)14
14 hours of daylight per day in December in South Africa (Cape Town)14

Rainfall in South Africa

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Number of days with some rain
5 days with some rainfall in January in South Africa (Cape Town)5
4 days with some rainfall in February in South Africa (Cape Town)4
5 days with some rainfall in March in South Africa (Cape Town)5
8 days with some rainfall in April in South Africa (Cape Town)8
12 days with some rainfall in May in South Africa (Cape Town)12
13 days with some rainfall in June in South Africa (Cape Town)13
13 days with some rainfall in July in South Africa (Cape Town)13
14 days with some rainfall in August in South Africa (Cape Town)14
11 days with some rainfall in September in South Africa (Cape Town)11
9 days with some rainfall in October in South Africa (Cape Town)9
6 days with some rainfall in November in South Africa (Cape Town)6
6 days with some rainfall in December in South Africa (Cape Town)6
Average monthly rainfall (mm)
32 mm monthly rainfall in January in South Africa (Cape Town)32
31 mm monthly rainfall in February in South Africa (Cape Town)31
43 mm monthly rainfall in March in South Africa (Cape Town)43
82 mm monthly rainfall in April in South Africa (Cape Town)82
136 mm monthly rainfall in May in South Africa (Cape Town)136
189 mm monthly rainfall in June in South Africa (Cape Town)189
164 mm monthly rainfall in July in South Africa (Cape Town)164
163 mm monthly rainfall in August in South Africa (Cape Town)163
96 mm monthly rainfall in September in South Africa (Cape Town)96
61 mm monthly rainfall in October in South Africa (Cape Town)61
40 mm monthly rainfall in November in South Africa (Cape Town)40
43 mm monthly rainfall in December in South Africa (Cape Town)43

More climate for South Africa

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
UV Index (Maximum)
UV (maximum) index 11+ (Extreme) in January in South Africa (Cape Town)11
UV (maximum) index 11 (Extreme) in February in South Africa (Cape Town)11
UV (maximum) index 9 (Very High) in March in South Africa (Cape Town)9
UV (maximum) index 6 (High) in April in South Africa (Cape Town)6
UV (maximum) index 4 (Moderate) in May in South Africa (Cape Town)4
UV (maximum) index 3 (Moderate) in June in South Africa (Cape Town)3
UV (maximum) index 3 (Moderate) in July in South Africa (Cape Town)3
UV (maximum) index 4 (Moderate) in August in South Africa (Cape Town)4
UV (maximum) index 6 (High) in September in South Africa (Cape Town)6
UV (maximum) index 8 (Very High) in October in South Africa (Cape Town)8
UV (maximum) index 11 (Extreme) in November in South Africa (Cape Town)11
UV (maximum) index 11+ (Extreme) in December in South Africa (Cape Town)11
Heat & Humidity
Low heat & humidity in January in South Africa (Cape Town)L
Low heat & humidity in February in South Africa (Cape Town)L
Low heat & humidity in March in South Africa (Cape Town)L
No heat & humidity in April in South Africa (Cape Town)0
No heat & humidity in May in South Africa (Cape Town)0
No heat & humidity in June in South Africa (Cape Town)0
No heat & humidity in July in South Africa (Cape Town)0
No heat & humidity in August in South Africa (Cape Town)0
No heat & humidity in September in South Africa (Cape Town)0
No heat & humidity in October in South Africa (Cape Town)0
No heat & humidity in November in South Africa (Cape Town)0
No heat & humidity in December in South Africa (Cape Town)0

Note: 0 = None, L = Low, M = Moderate, H = High, VH = Very high, E = Extreme

Going to South Africa? Find the best month to visit South Africa based on the weather.

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Check climate guides for South Africa showing average temperature, rainfall & sunshine figures for each month of the year. The climate guide shown above is for Cape Town.

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More about South Africa

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

The climate guide for South Africa, represented by Cape Town, shows long term monthly weather averages processed from data supplied by CRU (University of East Anglia), the Met Office & the Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Find out more about our data sources.

Metric (°C / mm)  |  Imperial (°F / inches)

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South Africa climate overview

South Africa is situated at the southern most part of the African continent bordering Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It is Africa's most industrialised nation, with much of its wealth based on mineral resources, for example half of all the gold produced in the world comes from South Africa.

By African standards South Africa is not particularly large. The most notable geographic feature is a vast plateau that stretches from the north to a succession of mountain ranges that divide the high interior from a fertile strip that runs all the way down the Indian Ocean coast to the Cape. The spectacular Drakensberg Mountains form part of this chain and extend from northeast to southwest for over 1,100 km (700 miles).

The climate of South Africa varies from tropical with a winter dry season in the northeast to sub-tropical with a summer dry season in the extreme southwest. With the exception of a narrow band along the south coast the whole of the western half of the country is dry to arid, becoming drier as you travel towards Namibia and the fringes of the Kalahari Desert.

The most fertile region is in the southeast where most of the population is centred and where crops such as sugar cane grow. Here and in the north there is abundant rainfall during the summer months from November to March. However even at this time of year there is also a great deal of sunshine. In Johannesburg the cloudiest month still has an average 60% of daylight hours with bright sunshine.

In contrast, the extreme southwest around Cape Town has a summer dry season with rain falling in the winter months from April to September. The climate here is similar to the Mediterranean and parts of southern California, and the area is well known for the wine it produces.

Along the coastal belt between Cape Town and Durban there is less of a marked dry season because of the influence of the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean. There are beaches along much of this coastline and some spectacular scenery particularly to the north of East London.

Much of the high plateau in the north of the country is open grassland where crops like wheat will grow. Because of the altitude, over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft), temperatures are moderated during the summer months but in the winter dry season they regularly drop to freezing. Snow falls on the Drakensberg Mountains and there is even a ski resort in the Eastern Cape.

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