Cape Town

When to Go?

Best Time To Travel To Cape Town

Cape Town has a very different climate to the rest of South Africa. With 70% of its rain falling in winter (May – August) the city and its surroundings otherwise enjoy a largely sunny and warm climate all year round. The winters are mild by northern hemisphere standards (rarely falling below freezing), and summer temperatures are tempered by ocean winds to remain in the late 20s and early 30s degrees centigrade.

Most activities and experiences are naturally year-round such as hiking, biking, sight-seeing, wine-tasting and Winelands touring. Some are seasonal however: whale watching is best from August through November, and False Bay shark-watching in July and August. If you want the beach life, visit during the peak summer months of December to February but be prepared for queues and crowds at the most popular places such as Camps Bay, the Table Mountain cable car and Cape Point.

Dec / Jan / Feb
Peak summer – generally hot, dry & often windy; best beach season
Mar / Apr / May
Cooler temperatures & less wind, generally dry
Jun / Jul / Aug
Winter – the wettest & coolest months of the year; best for sharks in False Bay
Sept / Oct / Nov
Best whale-watching & peak flowering season
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TOP EXPERIENCES

THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE CITY

1. Catch the Red Bus

Sightseeing made simple! The hop-on hop-off bus stops at all the city’s central attractions: the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Gardens, colourful Bo Kaap, Constantia Winelands, Table Mountain & trendy Camps Bay beach.

2. Tour the Peninsular

Hire a car & take a slow drive around the Cape Peninsula, taking in Cape Point’s beautiful scenery, the penguins at Boulders Beach & a stroll around the quirky fishing village of Kalk Bay. Impossibly scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive makes the ideal return drive.

3. Find the Perfect Beach

City-based Camps Bay & Clifton are the best-known beaches & are popular in summer but Cape Town has many sandy shores: learn to surf at Muizenberg, go horse riding on Noordhoek or watch the sunset from Llandudno.

4. Hit the Hiking Trails

Hike the well-trodden route straight to the top of Table Mountain or hire a local professional guide & get to know the mountain’s secrets: the unique vegetation, forested ravines & phenomenal views. You can hike Cape Point too, as well as trails in the Winelands.

5. Visit Robben Island

Don’t miss the ferry trip to Robben Island, where former inmates lead tours of the maximum security prison that held Nelson Mandela for 18 years of his life. (Book well in advance.)

6. Toast the Winelands

Surrounded by alpine mountains, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek lie an easy hour’s drive out of town. Sip & swirl wines on vine-covered patios & treat yourself to an extravagant meal at one of the country’s top restaurants.

7. Drop In at the Markets

Cape Town loves its markets! Saturdays buzz with energy at the Old Biscuit Mill; the Hout Bay weekend market has live music, & Thursday evenings at Cape Point Vineyards is a midweek market treat.

8. See another Side

Uthando, an award-winning NGO, leads tours to grassroots township projects. Visit urban farms, dance schools & education centres; meet inspiring people & hear their remarkable stories

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