The Eastern Cape – Climate
The coastal area of the Eastern Cape Province lies directly between the subtropical conditions of KwaZulu Natal and the Mediterranean conditions of the Western Cape, while its inland area is bisected by the great escarpment resulting in the southern reaches defined by a series of rivers and corresponding wetland fauna and flora, while the northern areas are those of the altitudinous plains of the Plateau and great Karoo. These topographical differences are what cause the climatic differences and conditions experienced by the towns and cities within these areas.
In the North East along the Wild Coast, towns like Port St Johns experience long, hot, balmy conditions and high rainfall, while Graaff Reinet, in the heart of the Karoo Heartland, experiences long hot summer months and moderate winters. Up towards the Free State (at towns such as Lady Grey and Aliwal North) the rise in altitude means the appropriate lowering in temperature and the towns, just a few hundred kilometres from the swelter of the other areas, experience conditions favoured more by skiers than sunbathers.
The city of Port Elizabeth enjoys a daily average of +/- 7-8 hours of sunshine annually. In Winter (April to August) the temperatures range from 7º to 20º C. In summer the temperatures range from 16º to 26º C. On the whole the weather in the Eastern Cape is good to visitors, rarely reaching extremes, except perhaps in the height of the Karoo summer. The changes depend on how much you move across the province’s expanse and in and out of different climatological zones.