The best time to visit Cape Town is in the southern hemisphere summer months when there are glorious hours of sunshine and the best beach weather.
Cape Town and its surrounds are pleasant year-round if you are visiting out of season but you will get the most out of the outdoor lifestyle and the least chance of rain in the summer months November to March.
Here we highlight what to expect at different times of year in Cape Town.
Summer in Cape Town
As well as experiencing the best weather in December and January, it’s also the busiest time of year so hotel prices are likely to be higher. (See more of our tips on picking a family-friendly Cape Town hotel here). If you visit in February-March you can avoid local school holiday times, meaning good weather and fewer crowds.
Note that although it is warm in December to January, you may also be treated to the notorious south-easterly winds. When the winds are strong, the beaches can be unbearable and the Table Mountain cable car is closed. This weather clears from February through to April and you should get mild pleasant days.
The Atlantic Coast beaches are indeed beautiful, but make no mistake even for the hardiest they can still be on the cool side even in mid-summer! Families may prefer the Indian Ocean beaches in False Bay where waters are much warmer – sometimes by as much as 10c!.
For more on Cape Towns best beaches see our things to do in Cape Town guide.
Winter in Cape Town
Although the winter months bring with them more wind, rain and cooler temperatures, there are still some perks to visiting Cape Town and the Western Cape in the winter.
- Whales can be spotted in False Bay from late August to early September.
- Those looking to connect through to Kruger will find, although cool overnight, its an excellent time of year for game spotting after the dry winter.
- The later you come into the winter the better, from early September you will be treated to a wildflower spectacular throughout the Cape peninsular.
Daytime temperatures are usually between 10-20c, so you will need to come wrapped up warm. At this time of year there’s still a good chance you will get some great views and clear visibility at popular locations such as Table Mountain and Cape Point.
Cape Town is one of those cities though like Melbourne, Australia that can be known to experience 4 seasons in one day!
Be sure to pack all the right things you will need to cope with the Cape Town weather, see our Cape Town Packing List
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