Johannesburg Weather May Averages, South Africa
What's the Weather like in Johannesburg in May
It starts to get cold in Johannesburg in May as the high-altitude city settles into winter. The average temperature for the month is 14°C, with daytime highs averaging 20°C and the nights dropping down to 8°C. Nighttime temperatures rarely reach freezing.
May is one of the driest months in Johannesburg, tying July and August for the least amount of rainfall with only 10mm. On average it only rains on three days in May. The chance of any precipitation at all is 6%, and the chances of snow are near zero.
The days keep getting shorter in Johannesburg going into May. The length of the day is 10 hours 37 minutes by the end of the month. With the occasional passing clouds, you'll get an average of nine hours of sunshine every day. The chance of overcast or mostly cloudy skies is roughly 13% in May.
Winters in Johannesburg are very dry. The average relative humidity in Johannesburg in May is only 52%, continuing to decline as winter progresses.
The winds in Johannesburg come from all directions in May, and remain fairly light at an average of 3.1 m/s.
Johannesburg's dry, mild winters make packing for travel very easy. Long pants and short sleeve shirts should work just fine during the day, but you will want a sweater or light jacket for nighttime. Also remember to bring appropriate clothing if you plan on participating in any of Johannesburg's outdoor activities. Johannesburg has a casual vibe to it, so there's no need for formalwear unless you'll be visiting a dining establishment that requires it. Check the Johannesburg forecast before your trip for a better idea of what to bring.
Johannesburg Hotels in May
Peermont Mondior at Emperor's Palace Hotel, Casino, Convention, and Entertainment Resort
The 150-room, four-star Peermont Mondior is one of many hotel options for those wishing to stay at the Emperor's Palace. This large casino in Kempton is right next to O.R. Tambo International Airport and makes a great stop for a couple nights on your way out of Johannesburg. The hotel itself is moderately priced and all rooms are stylishly decorated with simple yet comfortable furnishings. Various types of rooms are available, including large executive suites. There's a stylish lounge and breakfast restaurant in the Peermont Mondior and all hotel guests also have access to the other great restaurants at Emperor's Palace. Peermont Mondior also has a fitness center and spa for guests.
The Reef Hotel
If you want to stay in Johannesburg's Central Business District but have a budget to stick to, check out the affordable, four-star Reef Hotel. The rooms, bar, and restaurant all have an urban vibe, decorated with minimalist furniture and modern black-and-white photos. The rooms aren't big, but the great location of The Reef Hotel means that you shouldn't be spending a lot of time there. You're close to city hall, Braamfontein & Constitution Hill, and Maboneng. There are plenty of restaurants, galleries, museums, and cafes to enjoy in these areas. The restaurant at the hotel is acclaimed for their fresh international & African dishes.
The View Boutique Hotel
The View is the true definition of "boutique hotel", offering five-star service in its six available rooms. This hotel is situated in a large historic villa outside of central Johannesburg. The building is surrounded by lush manicured gardens and it gets its namesake from the superb views of Johannesburg offered at the property. Each suite is styled slightly different in warm, modern décor. The on-site restaurant offers alfresco dining when weather allows, both for breakfast and dinner. The View also has the Tranquility Spa that offers Swedish massages, manicures, and pedicures. The View is located in Auckland Park.
Protea Fire & Ice
The Melrose Arch development is home to many amazing hotels and restaurants, including the Protea Fire & Ice. This four-star, 197-room edgy hotel is conveniently located near a number of popular Johannesburg activities and the O.R. Tambo International Airport. Shuttle transfer is available to the nearest Gautrain station. The chic rooms at the Protea Fire & Ice are available in both standard and suites, featuring large, open bathrooms. The entire hotel, rooms included, is decorated to give you a feel of old-time Hollywood. Protea Fire & Ice serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in their fun diner and specialize in gourmet burgers. Many other dining options are available within a very short distance.
Bars and Restaurants
Plaka Restaurant Cresta
The top-rated Plaka Restaurant Cresta is one of Johannesburg's best restaurants, specializing in Mediterranean fare. The food and service is of classy caliber but the comfortable atmosphere is casual and laid-back. The moderately-priced menu features contemporary Greek dishes of steaks, lamb, and a wide array of seafood and salads. Order your meals a la carte or use their set menus to make it easy. Be sure to save room at the end for their amazing baklava and tiramisu. Plaka is located in the Cresta shopping center. They open at noon and close at 9PM Sunday & Monday, otherwise at 10PM. Plaka accepts reservations.
Pigalle Melrose Arch
For fine dining in Melrose Arch, you won't be disappointed by Pigalle Portuguese restaurant. This elegant, modern restaurant overlooks Melrose Arch and is decorated with beautiful fine art. The staff is very friendly and attentive but not overbearing. Pigalle serves up the most tender beef fillets basted in house seasonings, free-range peri peri chicken, sizeable lobster and prawns, and a flavorful sesame tuna nicoise. Pigalle is open daily from noon until 10:30PM, accepts reservations, and regrets to inform customers of a policy of no children under 12.
Stop in for lunch or dinner at Urbanologi if you find yourself in the Central Business District, or better yet, make a special trip just to dine at this contemporary restaurant. The head chef takes pride in using only the finest ingredients in his international creations with Asian influences. You'll find unique, flavorful dishes like herb-seared venison in sriracha emulsion, spider steak with passion fruit, and chokka with a mango puree. Urbanologi shares a space with the Mad Giant Brewery and the two entities often work together to give you a top-notch experience. Urbanologi is open daily from noon until 10PM but closes at 4:45PM on Sundays.
Mo-Zam-Bik in Linksfield is a wonderful family restaurant, part of a chain of restaurants serving what they call "Afro-Porto" cuisine. Their dishes reflect Mozambique's history of once being a Portuguese colony, and the resulting marriage of cuisines is amazing. Adults will enjoy the extensive wine & cocktail list and the kids will enjoy the outdoor play area. The menu is heavy on seafood, serving prawns, hake, kingklip, and calamari in appetizers, main courses, and combination meals. The chicken dishes and steaks get rave reviews also, perfectly complimented by Mo-Zam-Bik's great sauces. The restaurant opens at noon every day, closes at 10PM Monday thru Thursday, 11PM Friday & Saturday, and 5PM on Sunday.
Things to do in Johannesburg in May
The Braamfontein neighborhood, north of Johannesburg's Central Business District, has been enjoying a lively renaissance recently. Braamfontein is home to Wits University and as such keeps a very lively, youthful vibe thanks to the students. Walk through the streets stopping to admire works in many art galleries, sip on a cappuccino at one of the many hip cafes, and grab a bite to eat in the new trendy restaurants. History lovers will want to visit the Origins Centre and Constitution Hill. Braamfontein also has a hot music scene and is considered the home of Jazz in Johannesburg.
Visit the Winter Sculpture Fair
Get away from the city for a couple of days during the Franschoek Winter Sculpture Fair. This fun event, held at the Cradle of Humankind heritage site an hour outside of Johannesburg, is a celebration of beautiful art, great food, and fine wine. The NIROX Foundation Sculpture Park is normally closed to the public but opens up for this special occasion. The 15 hectares of beautiful rolling hills host this event in May; check the website for the upcoming year's dates. You and your family will be able to roam the grounds and sample numerous delicious plates from outstanding chefs and great wines from the region's best wineries. Tickets are only available online.
Whether you're looking to browse the latest fashions, sample exotic foods, or sip craft beers, Johannesburg has your markets. Most of these markets take place on the weekends, and Johannesburg's mild weather facilitates them year-round. Market venues can be found all over Johannesburg, but there are some favorites. On Saturday Parkhurst has a food-only market, selling everything from farm-fresh food to elaborate prepared meals. Another Saturday market is the Neighborgoods Market in Braamfontein, specializing in craft cocktails, artisanal food, and handmade souvenirs. Rosebank has a fun rooftop market on Sunday, similar to Braamfontein's market and with the addition of the latest fashion trends.
South Africa has a fascinating international history. One of the most prominent and darker periods of this history is apartheid. The Apartheid Museum was opened in 2001 to tell the story of the origins of apartheid and how the power of people against government was able to put an end to it. Visitors to the museum will walk through immersive exhibits from start to finish. The architecture of this immense museum is another feature that draws visitors here. The Apartheid Museum is open daily from 9AM-5PM and is collocated with the Gold Reef City Casino.