In summer, the temperature in the Kalahari basin climbs up to 40 degrees Celsius and higher. The annual rainfall is rarely more than 100 mm, and some years it even stays below 50 mm. Precipitation can only be expected between December and April, when tropical thunderstorm activity extends down to the Kalahari basin. Then it rains huge amounts in a short time, and the desert transforms into a green oasis with colourful wild flowers all over.
In winter (June to August), the climate is pleasant. Then the air is dry, and temperatures lie around 25 degrees Celsius. But the nights are harshly cold. Winter is also the best time for animal viewing. Because of the drought, the game is forced to come to the waterholes in the riverbeds.
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.