Planning a trip to any destination can be very exciting, but there are some big decisions you will have to make regarding your total budget, where to sleep, what activities to do and attractions to see, etc. when you arrive at your destination but the biggest question you should always ask yourself is “What is the best time of the year to visit your chosen destination”. If you are planning to visit Cape Town and not sure when is the best time to do so, continue reading to find out the best time to visit Mother City.
Believe it or not, Cape Town is an all-year-round destination because of its moderate climate and growing selection of year-round indoor and outdoor events and activities.
SUMMER IN CAPE TOWN (NOVEMBER – FEBRUARY)
This period is peak tourism season in Cape Town! Cape Town is a summer paradise, with balmy temperatures and sunny days so expect warm and cloudless days. It’s hot, and it’s common to have heatwaves of several consecutive days with temperatures above the 30°C mark. Though many locals head out of town around this time, tourists make their way to Cape Town in their thousands, filling up beaches, tourist attractions, bars, and restaurants.
When November hits, the city is almost ready to launch into the high season with full force. Being the most popular time to fly to Cape Town, flight costs are at their peak. Be prepared to pay between 30% – 50% more for flying to Mother City from mid-November to January. Make sure to book your flights and accommodation at least three months before your visit.
Temperatures: 17°C – 20°C Rainfall: Average of 3 days per month Hours of daylight: 13 – 14
AUTUMN IN CAPE TOWN (MARCH – APRIL)
Cape Town Autumn brings a slight chill, but nothing a light jacket can’t take care of. The wind usually drops compared to summer. It’s a great time of year because it’s not too hot, not too windy, and there is no too much rain. Expect pretty sunsets, mild days, and walks on the beach.
March is a great time to visit Cape Town. Most of the seasonal tourists have started to leave, and the wind, for the most part, is starting to die down, but the weather, in general, is still not bad. April on the other side offers slightly more temperate weather, and usually signals the start of the first seasonal showers in the city, but it’s still an ideal time if you’re looking to avoid the crowds. You’ll find considerably shorter lines at popular attractions, and this is usually the start of amazing off-peak offers.
Be aware that the Easter holidays fall within these months and this means popular winter attractions such as Cape Point National Park and Boulders Beach swell with locals and visitors from other provinces, and overseas.
Temperatures: 15°C – 27°C Rainfall: 2 – 4 days per month Hours of daylight: 11 – 13
WINTER IN CAPE TOWN (MAY – AUGUST)
Cape Town’s winter is mild compared to our other provinces. It’s our rainy season here, which means that the lush natural surroundings are in their prime. There are green forests, trickling streams, and waterfalls. Even though these are colder and rainier months, don’t let that fool you – when those clouds clear for a day or two, you’ll be left with idyllic hiking days.
May is the entry point into the main rainy season, which means that most outdoor activities will be closed on some days due to bad weather while July and August are peak whale season when southern right and humpback whales visit our shores. Local attractions and establishments also work hard to keep visitors and residents entertained, and you will benefit from massively discounted rates.
Temperatures: 11°C – 22°C Rainfall: 9 – 10 days per month Hours of daylight: 10
SPRING IN CAPE TOWN (SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER)
It’s spring time and this season sends the wildflowers into bloom, brushing the landscape with colour. The rainy days are fewer, and while it can still be a little chilly, the average temperatures start to rise. September is also the mid-whale season in the Cape, and there are few better places in which to view these gentle sea giants if you don’t want to drive to Hermanus. Tsaarbank picnic and braai area inside West Coast National Park, on the Atlantic Ocean side, Hout Bay and Simon’s Town are some of those places.
But if you drive to Hermanus you might catch the popular Hermanus Whale Festival that takes place towards the end of September. The weather slowly starts to warm up in the city of Cape Town, and there will be fewer rainy days.
Temperatures: 17°C – 29°C Rainfall: 5 – 8 days per month Hours of daylight: 12 – 13
1. PACK FOR THE CAPE WEATHER
No matter the season, Cape Town weather is always unpredictable – it could be sunny in the morning, windy during the day, cloudy in the afternoon, and pouring with rain in the evening, so be prepared. This is another reason why Capetonians keep a jacket in their car. So, to live like a local during your stay in Cape Town and without any wardrobe regrets, make sure you carry a jacket in your car.
2. ENGAGE WITH THE LOCALS
Cape Town is a very friendly city. Wherever you go, you are likely to be welcomed with broad smiles. Engage with the locals – you might make some new friends who could tell you about the next exciting thing happening around the city you didn’t know about.
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