Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Spring is slow in coming to Toronto this year. The leaves are just starting to poke out on the trees and I’m still wearing layers of sweaters and scarfs. With only 10 days left before I leave for my big site visit trip to Uganda, Kenya, and Malawi, I’ll be in some warmer weather soon! But how much warmer?
Wearing my down jacket in Nairobi in July, visiting with Small Business Fund local team Josephine (Left) and Wambui (Right). (2014)
In spite of the stereotype of Africa (the whole continent!) as HOT, there is actually a ton of variety in temperatures across countries and within each country. Temperatures not only vary throughout the course of the year, but also are highly dependent on elevation.
Eldoret, for example, is about 7,000 ft above sea level. It’s very close to the equator and the seasons are mostly defined by “dry” and “rainy.” When I’m there in June, the high temperatures are only 75F. (I say “only” but today when it’s 55F in Toronto, that sounds glorious!) It gets pretty cool at night, around 46F.
A muddy walk in Eldoret in June 2011. The road was too muddy for the car to drive the last stretch. (Jack from DRC, and Canaan from Malawi)
What about the solstice?
I’ll be in Northern Malawi for the solstice, and since it’s sightly south of the equator, it’ll be their “winter” solstice. However, the number of daylight hours doesn’t change very much over the course of the year.
On June 21st in Manyamula, the sun will rise at 6:02am and set at 5:29pm. On their summer solstice, on December 21st, the daylight is from 5:17am-6:05pm. Not much difference!
Beautiful evening light at the end of the pig blessing ceremony in Manyamula, Malawi. 5pm, May 2017.
From my past trips to Malawi, I know this ~12 hours of daylight and cooler “winter” weather makes for chilly, early morning site visits, full days in bright sun, and late afternoon meetings in the dying twilight.
Wish me luck in my packing!
Our car racing home at the end of a long day of site visits near Mzimba, Malawi, 5:30pm, May 2017.