Interpretations of fossil pollen data are often limited to broad, qualitative assessments of past climatic and environmental conditions (e.g. colder vs. warmer, wetter vs. drier, open vs. closed landscape). These assessments can be particularly imprecise in regions such as southern Africa, where botanical biodiversity is high, and there exists an associated uncertainty regarding the climatic/environmental sensitivities of the plants contributing to a given pollen type. This atlas addresses this limitation by characterising the climate sensitivities of the 140 pollen morphotypes most often recorded in Late Quaternary palaeoecology studies in southern Africa, relying on their parent plant distributions as one of the basic factors that determine their presence. The atlas is designed as a suite of graphical diagnostic tools and photographs together with analyses of the modern geographical distribution of more than 22,000 plant species to identify their primary climatic sensitivities across southern Africa. Together, the elements included span the complete workflow from pollen identification through interpretation and climate reconstruction. The atlas can be accessed from https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4013452.