Growing understanding of the need to adapt to the impacts of climate change has led to a significant rise in ongoing and planned adaptation action in the developing regions of the world, including southern Africa. This upsurge in climate change adaptation action is a welcome occurrence, but enhanced coordination among expanding networks of adaptation actors is needed to ensure resources are deployed quickly and effectively. Responding to this concern, a review of current and planned adaptation action in southern Africa was undertaken by the Adaptation Partnership between October 2010 and April 2011. Covering the countries of Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the rapid review examined: priority adaptation needs; efforts by governments to support adaptation though policy and planning; the scope of international support for adaptation efforts in different countries and sectors; and potential gaps in adaptation efforts at the country and regional level. This review of adaptation action in southern Africa is one of 12 profiles covering regions of Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean completed by the Adaptation Partnership.