Climate – Seasons:
Summer: (November to February)
Clarens summers (November to February) are mild, and whilst you may encounter the occasional thunder storm, temperature and humidity levels are such that you can enjoy most activities throughout the day without getting too hot. The evenings are slightly cooler, and you may need a light jersey if you wish to sit outside – and why not – Clarens is a malaria-free area.
Autumn: (March – May)
Night temperatures start dropping in Autumn and the deciduous trees take on their autumn colours, making Clarens one of the most photographed destinations in South Africa.
Winter: (June – August)
Winter nights can be very cold, and whilst the days are usually clear and sunny, there is often a bite in the wind coming off the snow-capped mountains.
Spring: (September – October)
Spring in Clarens is particularly beautiful as all the fruit trees come into flower. The days start warming up and the wind looses its bite. The countryside however is usually still dry and doesn’t turn green until the summer rains arrive.
As with most mountainous areas, climatic conditions can change very quickly. Visitors to Clarens are advised to take this into account: always have a hat, sunscreen, and something warm to hand. Days throughout the year are usually sunny and bright, but given the lack of cloud cover temperatures can drop sharply once the sun disappears behind the mountains, and winter night temperatures have been known to drop to -14°C. (On the upside – the stars are particularly bright on cold winter nights.) Rainfall occurs mainly in the summer months, and storms are mostly of a very short duration. Clarens is in a low-rainfall area, and the atmosphere is therefore generally very dry. Visitors from moister climates are advised to pack some skin moisturizer. Snow:
Snow in Clarens is very unpredictable. The mountains around Clarens are often dusted with snow during the winter months, as are the Maluti Mountains, and given the clear skies this makes for postcard perfect photographic opportunities. During winter visitors can go skiing at Afriski in Lesotho – only a few hours away – and there is a regular shuttle service between Clarens and Afriski during the winter months.
(Those watching the South African weather reports on TV should look at the temperatures for Bethlehem, but bear in mind that Clarens is usually 2°C cooler than Bethlehem.)
June 2014: Welcome to Winter – Afriski
June 2014: How to stay warm in Clarens
September 2013: Clouds and Rain (Article by Mary Walker)
June 2014: Skiing and Snowboarding in Lesotho
June 2014: Self-drive Clarens to Afriski
More about Clarens
Environment: Clarens Village Nature Reserve