The geographical position of South Africa in the subtropical climate zone is not as noticeable on the Highveld, the central plateau, as in the Lowveld, where summer temperatures can climb above 40 degrees. Rainfall in the Lowveld averages 800 mm per annum, and falls mainly during the summer months, which results in humid, sultry weather. The rainy season usually starts in September and can last until May.
The climate is much more tolerable in the dry winter months of June, July and August. Then the days are mild and the nights a little cool. This time of the year is also ideal for animal viewing in the Kruger National Park, because the shrubs and trees don't have so many leaves to obstruct the view. Since it hardly ever rains in winter, the game must come to the waterholes to drink in the mornings and afternoons and can easily be observed from the car.
The climatic conditions in South Africa are largely dependent on the altitude of the area in question and its proximity to one of the oceans. Climate does, therefore, vary considerably regionally. Click on a climate zone for details.