December Weather In South Africa: A Guide

Are you planning a trip to South Africa in December? Wondering what the weather will be like during your visit? Well, you’re in luck! The weather of South Africa in December is simply magnificent. With its warm and sunny days, December is one of the best times to explore this beautiful country. Whether you’re seeking stunning beaches, thrilling wildlife encounters, or adventurous outdoor activities, South Africa has it all. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of the weather in South Africa during December, so you can plan your trip accordingly. Let’s dive in!

December Weather in South Africa: A Guide

Weather of South Africa in December

December is the beginning of summer in South Africa, and it brings favorable weather conditions for tourists and locals alike. With warm temperatures, picturesque landscapes, and a variety of outdoor activities, December is an ideal time to explore this vibrant country. In this article, we will delve into the weather patterns and climatic characteristics of South Africa in December, highlighting key subtopics such as average temperatures, rainfall, and recommended clothing. So, let’s embark on a meteorological journey to discover the wonderful weather of South Africa in December.

1. Average Temperatures in December

South Africa experiences a diverse range of climates, from Mediterranean in the southwestern region to subtropical in the northeast. In December, the average temperatures across the country are generally high, making it a perfect destination for sun-seekers. Here is an overview of the average temperatures in popular cities and regions:

  • Johannesburg: With an altitude of 1,753 meters (5,751 feet) above sea level, Johannesburg experiences warm and pleasant temperatures in December. Average highs reach around 26°C (79°F) during the day, while nights can be cooler, dropping to around 15°C (59°F).
  • Cape Town: Located in the southwestern region, Cape Town enjoys a Mediterranean climate. December marks the start of summer, with average temperatures ranging between 16°C (61°F) and 26°C (79°F). The city experiences longer daylight hours, providing ample time for outdoor activities.
  • Durban: Situated on the east coast, Durban experiences a subtropical climate. December is characterized by hot and humid weather, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) to 29°C (84°F). The city is renowned for its beautiful beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters.
  • Kruger National Park: This iconic wildlife destination in South Africa’s northeast offers an incredible safari experience. In December, temperatures can reach highs of 32°C (90°F) during the day, while nights are usually cooler, averaging around 20°C (68°F).

2. Rainfall in December

December is generally a dry period in South Africa, particularly in the western regions. However, some areas experience occasional rainfall, creating lush green landscapes and providing relief from the summer heat. Let’s explore the rainfall patterns in different parts of the country:

  • Western Cape: Cape Town and its surrounding areas have minimal rainfall in December, with an average of about 15mm (0.6 inches) throughout the month.
  • KwaZulu-Natal: Durban and the eastern coastal region receive slightly more rainfall compared to the western parts. December brings sporadic afternoon thunderstorms, contributing to a monthly average of approximately 80mm (3.1 inches).
  • Limpopo and Mpumalanga: These provinces, home to renowned national parks and game reserves, experience occasional afternoon thunderstorms in December. The average monthly rainfall ranges from 100mm (3.9 inches) to 150mm (5.9 inches).
  • Eastern Cape: Similar to KwaZulu-Natal, this region also undergoes sporadic afternoon thunderstorms, resulting in an average rainfall of around 80mm (3.1 inches) in December.

3. Recommended Clothing

Given the warm temperatures and varying climatic conditions, it’s important to pack appropriate clothing for your visit to South Africa in December. Here are some clothing suggestions based on the different regions:

  • Johannesburg: Light summer clothing is suitable for daytime activities, but evenings can be cooler, so it’s advisable to pack a light jacket or sweater.
  • Cape Town: As the weather can be changeable, it’s wise to bring layers, including t-shirts, shorts, light pants, and a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.
  • Durban: Lightweight and breathable clothing is essential to combat the high humidity. Don’t forget to pack a hat, sunscreen, and swimwear for beach visits.
  • Kruger National Park: Comfortable and lightweight clothing in neutral colors is recommended for safari excursions. Also, pack a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and closed-toe shoes for bushwalks.

In conclusion, South Africa offers a delightful weather experience in December, with warm temperatures and a low chance of rainfall in most regions. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant cities, relaxing on picturesque beaches, or embarking on thrilling wildlife adventures, the weather in December sets the perfect stage. So pack your bags, embrace the sunshine, and get ready for an unforgettable visit to South Africa.

SA Weather Report | 27 December 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weather like in South Africa in December?

The weather in South Africa in December is generally warm and sunny. It is the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, so temperatures are typically high, especially in the northern regions. However, it is important to note that South Africa has diverse climatic conditions, and the weather can vary depending on the specific region.

Are there any rainfall and humidity levels to expect in December?

December is the beginning of the wet season in South Africa, particularly in the northeastern parts of the country. These areas experience higher rainfall and increased humidity levels during this time. In contrast, the western and southern coastal regions tend to have less rainfall and lower humidity levels in December.

How hot does it get in South Africa in December?

In December, temperatures in South Africa can be quite hot, especially in the northern and inland regions. Daytime temperatures can range from the mid-20s to the mid-30s Celsius (mid-70s to mid-90s Fahrenheit) in these areas. The coastal regions, particularly along the eastern coast, usually have slightly lower temperatures due to the influence of the ocean.

Can I go swimming in the ocean during December in South Africa?

Absolutely! December is an excellent time to enjoy the beaches and swim in the ocean in South Africa. The coastal waters are relatively warm and inviting during this month, especially along the eastern coast, where the Indian Ocean brings in warm currents. Popular beach destinations like Durban and Cape Town offer fantastic opportunities for swimming, surfing, and other water activities.

Should I pack warm clothing for evenings in South Africa in December?

While daytime temperatures can be hot in December, it is advisable to pack some warmer clothing for the evenings, especially if you plan to visit the inland regions or higher altitudes. Evenings can cool down, particularly in areas such as Johannesburg and the Drakensberg Mountains. It is always a good idea to have a light jacket or sweater handy for cooler evenings.

Are there any specific weather precautions to consider in South Africa in December?

When visiting South Africa in December, it is important to protect yourself from the sun’s strong rays. Apply sunscreen regularly, wear a hat, and use sunglasses to shield your eyes. Also, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, particularly in hotter regions. If you plan to visit the wildlife reserves, follow the instructions of your guide regarding safety precautions and be aware of the risk of mosquito bites in certain areas.

Final Thoughts

The weather in South Africa during December is a perfect blend of sunshine and warmth. With average temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, it is an ideal time to explore the country’s breathtaking landscapes and stunning beaches. Whether you’re planning a safari adventure or a beach getaway, South Africa offers a delightful climate for outdoor activities. Pack your sunscreen and swimsuits, as you’ll be greeted with clear skies and refreshing ocean breezes. South Africa in December is a true paradise for those seeking a memorable holiday filled with sun-kissed days and unforgettable experiences.

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