The city sits on the one of the higher parts of the Highveld plateau of Zimbabwe at an elevation of 1483 metres (4865 feet). The original landscape could be described as a "parkland." 
Harare has a pleasant Subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb). The average annual temperature is 17.95 °C, rather low for the tropics, and this is due to its high altitude position and the prevalence of a cool south-easterly airflow.
There are three main seasons: a warm, wet season from November to March/April; a cool, dry season from May to August (corresponding to winter in the Southern Hemisphere); and a hot, dry season in September/October. Daily temperature ranges are about 7 °C (44.6 °F) to 20 °C (68.0 °F) in July (the coldest month), about 13 °C (55.4 °F) to 28 °C (82.4 °F) in October (the hottest month) and about 15.5 °C (59.9 °F) to 25 °C (77.0 °F) in January (midsummer). The hottest year on record was 1914 19.73 °C (67.5 °F) and the coldest year was 1965 17.13 °C (62.8 °F).
The average annual rainfall is about 825 mm in the southwest, rising to 855 mm on the higher land of the northeast (from around Borrowdale to Glen Lorne). Very little rain typically falls during the period May to September, although sporadic showers occur most years. Rainfall varies a great deal from year to year and follows cycles of wet and dry periods from 7 to 10 years long. Records begin in October 1890 but all three Harare stations stopped reporting in early 2004.
The climate supports a natural vegetation of open woodland. The most common tree of the local region is the Msasa Brachystegia spiciformis that colours the landscape wine red with its new leaves in late August. Two South American species of trees, the Jacaranda and the Flamboyant, which were introduced during the colonial era, contribute to the city's colour palette with streets lined with either the lilac blossoms of the Jacaranda or the flame red blooms from the Flamboyant. They flower in October/November and are planted on alternative streets in the capital. Also prevalent is Bougainvillea.