South Africa: Geography                                                  

  • South Africa measures about 1,600km from north to south, and roughly the same from east to west.
  • South Africa has nine provinces (image below), which vary considerably in size.

o The smallest is the tiny and crowded Gauteng—a highly urbanized region.

o The largest is the vast, arid and empty Northern Cape—which takes up almost a third of South Africa's total land area.


South Africa is…

  • slightly less than twice the size of Texas.
  • roughly the same size as Niger, Angola, Mali and Colombia.
  • one-eighth the size of the US.
  • twice the size of France.
  • over three times the size of Germany. 

South Africa: Climate                                                      


Explore the world's climate zones here! Search for South Africa and discover where each zone listed is located within the country.


  • South Africa's climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the southwest of the country to temperate in the interior plateau, and subtropical in the northeast.

  • A small area in the northwest has a desert climate.
  • Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights.
  • Rainfall generally occurs during summer (November through March), although in the southwest, around Cape Town, rainfall occurs in winter (June to August).
  • Temperatures are influenced by variations in elevation, terrain, and ocean currents more than latitude.