South Africa Table Mountain

Typical Kalahari desert climate
in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park has a typical Kalahari desert climate, characterized by great extremes, not only in extremes in appearance, but also extremes in temperatures.



Temperature variations of up to 40 degrees Celsius within a 24hr period, are not uncommon. Spectacular landscapes simmering under the blazing desert sun, that is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, situated in the most northern corner of the Northern Cape province, bordering Namibia on the one side and crossing the border into Botswana on the other side.

The seasons

This one didn’t survive - Kalahari Desert Climate in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
This one didn’t survive
Kalahari Desert Climate in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
Photograph by Eddy Westveer of www.eddywestveer.com

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has a typical arid to semi-arid climate, very hot and very dry for much of the year. There is what one can call a rainy season during the summer months. The summer season begins in November and ends in March, with very high temperatures.

The winter season runs from May to the end of August, dry with virtually no rainfall. The in between periods, April/early May and September/October, still tend to be dry, but the days are cooler than in summer and the nights are warmer than in winter.

Kgalagadi's seasons are as follows:
  • Winter or Dry Season: May to August.
  • Pre-rainy Period: September to October.
  • Summer or Rainy Season: Novermber to April.
  • Most Rainy month is April.
The rainfall

The Kalahari after a few of those rare heavy thunder storms - Kalahari Desert Climate in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
The Kalahari after a few of those rare heavy thunder storms
Kalahari Desert Climate in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
Photograph by Annie Austin

The rainfall in the Kgalagadi is rarely more then 100mm per annum and tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. Most if it falls during heavy thunderstorms, often accompanied by strong winds and dust storms.

Often a heavy downpour may occur in one area, while 10 or 15 kilometres away there is no rain at all. Showers are often followed by strong sunshine so that a good deal of the rainfall does not penetrate the ground but is lost to evaporation and the vegetation will soon wither.

The temperatures

Rest rooms at the Dikbaardskolk pick nick site - Kalahari Desert Climate in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
Rest rooms at the Dikbaardskolk pick nick site
Kalahari Desert Climate in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
Photograph by Morne Stevens

In summer (November to April), day temperatures in the Kgalagadi average between 35 and 38 degrees Celsius, often exceeding the 40 degrees Celsius mark. Summer nights are warm, with temperatures averaging around 20 degrees Celsius.

Winters are clear skied and bone-dry, the air seductively warm with day temperatures averaging around 25 degrees Celsius during the daylight hours. Because there is no cloud cover the nights are very cold, sometimes bitterly so, with temperatures below freezing, sometimes getting as low as -10 degrees Celsius.

The humidity

Gemsbok at a waterhole in the Kgalagadi - Kalahari Desert Climate in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
Gemsbok at a waterhole in the Kgalagadi
Kalahari Desert Climate in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park

In summer during the morning period humidity ranges from 60 to 80% and drops to between 30 and 40% in the afternoon. In winter humidity is considerably less and can vary between 40 and 70% during the morning to between 20 and 30% in the afternoon.

For visitors, the best game visiting months are from April through to October, in terms of both weather and game viewing. It is during this period that the wildlife of the great spaces gather around what water there is in the natural waterholes and the borehole-fed dams and are at their most visible.






<< Top of Page




Beautiful mountain scenery in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, South Africa

The Hartebeespoort dam in the Magaliesberg mountains near Pretoria, South Africa

Endless maize fields in the Free State province of South Africa

Breathtaking Drakensberg mountain scenery in Kwazulu-Natal province, South Africa







Copyright: 2005-2017 South-Africa-Tours-and-Travel.com
Return to top