Fifth of Britons think it never rains in Africa

23rd Sep 2010
Fifth of Britons think it never rains in Africa

Latest research by one of the UK’s leading online independent travel agents has revealed the common misconceptions some members of the British public have of the weather in destinations abroad. polled a sample of 1,726 people in the UK, and found that almost one in five, 18%, thought it ‘never’ rained in Africa. When respondents were questioned about the climate in the Sahara desert, 71% incorrectly stated it was ‘always hot’, when in fact, at night, the temperature can drop below freezing.

13% stated that rainforests could be found in Greenland, but the majority of the country (80%) is actually covered by the World’s second largest ice body, meaning glaciers, rather than greenery, are most likely to be spotted.

68% incorrectly stated there had ‘never’ been a tornado in the UK, whilst 17% said there were ‘no volcanoes’ on any of the Canary Islands; despite the fact that Tenerife is home to the third highest volcano in the word and the islands themselves are volcanic.

When asked to specify what the characteristics of a ‘monsoon season’ were, almost 1 in 10, 8%, said it was a time when ‘birds migrate south for winter’.


Almost half, 47%, said that it ‘rarely snows’ anywhere in France, despite the fact the country is home to part of the Alps mountain range, a popular ski resort, and various other parts of the country are often hit by snow in the Winter months.

Chris Brown, co-founder of, commented on the findings;

“Having carried out previous research into the geography misconceptions of people in the UK, we were keen to look into how knowledgeable people were of climates in other countries around the world.

“Whilst you can probable see why some people would get a bit confused over the weather in places with names like ‘Greenland’, we found that even when we questioned people on the climate here in the UK, people thought we couldn’t have tornados. Whilst the tornados we experience may be small, we actually get them quite frequently.”

He concluded, “People always assume that heading to destinations such as Spain and France for a holiday will mean they can experience warm weather and lots of sun, but we’d urge people to do a bit of research beforehand. With countries such as these being so vast, the weather can vary a lot depending on the location and, in the winter months, can even be as unpredictable as British weather!”


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