A subtropical location and a high interior plateau are responsible for South Africa's temperate conditions so appreciated by visitors.
South African temperatures, which are measured in centigrade, average at highs of 28°C to average lows of 8°C in the summer months while winter temperatures range from 1°C at night to around 18°C in the day. Average annual rainfall is on the low side at under 500mm a year, making the country somewhat dry. Much of the rain falls in the Western Cape in the winter, differing from the rest of the country, which experiences summer rainfall. Thunder and lighting storms are common in provinces like Gauteng, North West and KwaZulu-Natal. On the plus side, the South African climate boasts more than its fair share of sunshine, recording an average of 8.5 hours a day.
South Africa's climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the south-western corner of the country to temperate in the interior plateau, and subtropical in the north-east. A small region in the north-west has a desert climate.
Our relatively mild and short winters do not justify the expense of central heating in many buildings and homes, which may lead visitors to think the winter is colder than it actually is. The answer to this is dressing in layers.