South Africa climate
South Africa is generally sunny and hot in the summer, which lasts from December to April. The winter is mild. The country is large and has many different climates. The Cape is cold and wet in the winter, with snow falling in the mountains. Northern areas get regular thunderstorms on summer evenings, while winters are warm by day and cold at night.
South Africa insider information
- There is no shortage of national parks in South Africa. Of these, Kruger is both the largest and best-known. Established in 1898, it features 147 mammals, 114 types of reptile and 507 species of birds. So while hippos, crocodiles and Impala antelopes (most common animal in South Africa) can all be found here, zebras, buffaloes, giraffes and elephants also abound. Big cats also call the park home with 1,500 lions, 900 leopards and 300 cheetahs on display. Rest camps are scattered throughout Kruger and they range according to your budget from huts to family cottages to luxury guest houses.
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is actually two national parks combined (Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and Gemsbok National Park in Botswana). Although it measures a staggering 3.6 million hectares, vegetation here is limited with many of the local animals congregating around the Auob and Nossob rivers. The most common animals are round squirrel and suricate (meerkat) though badgers, anteaters and fox are also in evidence.
- On the coast whales, turtles and penguins can all be seen. Watch breaching whales at Hermanus, south of Cape Town, where a whale crier calls out the location of whales. African Jackass Penguins call Boulder’s Beach in Simonstown (Simon’s Town) home and nesting Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles can be seen at St Lucia in KwaZulu Natal. These tend to nest between November and January but do not hatch until the period between January and March.
- The Apartheid Museum and MuseuMAfricA in Johannesburg offer a glimpse at the country’s history and culture, respectively. South African Lipizzaners jump into action on Sunday mornings in Kyalami.
- In Cape Town a cable car whisks visitors to the top of Table Mountain. The ride covers the 1085m of elevation in under ten minutes and features a rotating floor offering unobstructed views of the city below.