South Africa Geography and Climate

The Republic of South Africa is one of the most colorful countries on the African continent. Thanks to the mining of diamonds and gold, the South African economy is flourishing, and infrastructure and services are at a fairly high level. This is the most suitable country for getting to know African identity, its culture, historical heritage, unique flora and fauna, because you will be offered all the conditions for recreation. The gentle waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, which merge near the southernmost point of Africa, will also give a lot of impressions.

It is best to relax in South Africa from September to December, the swimming season lasts from September to mid-May. May-July is suitable for visiting national parks, when animals gather for a watering hole. Whale watching is best from June to December. The largest number of tourists come to South Africa for the New Year, at this time all the hotels are overcrowded, and prices rise slightly.

There are about 11 official languages in the country (Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, Sutho, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Pedi), but English is most commonly used.

Geography in South Africa

According to top-engineering-schools, the Republic of South Africa is located in the south of the African continent, in the tropical and subtropical latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. It borders Namibia to the northwest, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north, and Mozambique and Swaziland to the east. The Kingdom of Lesotho is located on the territory of South Africa, as an enclave. In the west, the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and in the south and east – by the Indian Ocean. The relief of the central part of South Africa is dominated by high flat plateaus (above 600 m) with “table” mountains, and the coastal regions are occupied by lowlands. Between the central plateau and the coastal lowlands stretches the arc of the Cape and Drakensberg Mountains. The highest point in the country is located in the Dragon Mountains – Enjesuti (3446 m).

The largest rivers are Orange (1865 km) and Limpopo. The rest of the rivers are mostly short and rapids.

Climate in South Africa

Since the country is located in the southern hemisphere, winter comes here in May-June, and summer – in January.

In winter, an area of high atmospheric pressure is established over the territory of South Africa. In such conditions, dry cool weather is formed. In summer, humid air masses of the Indian Ocean come from the east, at this time most of the annual precipitation falls, and the air temperature rises noticeably.

In general, one can distinguish between the climate of the western coasts, the central part and the eastern coasts.

In the west of South Africa, the cold Bengal Current flows in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, it is on this coast that the Namib Desert is located, where 30-50 mm of precipitation falls annually, and in some years they are not observed at all. Daytime temperatures in January in the Cape Town area reach +26 degrees, nighttime temperatures do not fall below +15 degrees, in winter it is around +18 degrees during the day, and at night the air temperature does not exceed +10 degrees. Precipitation here falls up to 300-400 mm per year. This is also explained by the fact that the moisture-carrying eastern air masses on their way encounter an obstacle in the form of the Great Ledge and do not reach these regions. On the east coast, the average annual rainfall is 1200 mm, the rainiest month is January (135 mm), and the temperatures here are higher than in the west: in summer – 28 degrees Celsius, in winter – +23 degrees. The central high-mountainous regions are characterized by large daily temperature ranges: in summer days the air warms up to +30 degrees, and at night it cools down to +18 degrees. In winter, frosts occur at night, but most often there is about 5 degrees Celsius.

The water temperature ranges from +20 to +26 degrees, with the exception of the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west of the country, where the cold Bengal Current flows. There, the water temperature does not rise above +18 degrees all year round.

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit South Africa is from September to December, the swimming season lasts from September to mid-May. May-July is suitable for visiting national parks, when animals gather for a watering hole. Whale watching is best from June to December. The largest number of tourists come to South Africa for the New Year, at this time all the hotels are overcrowded, and prices rise slightly.

South Africa Geography