Best time to visit Cape Town
The beautiful city of Cape Town is a favourite destination among tourists and most visited city in the entire African continent. With a multitude of activities available in this popular and highly-rated tourist destination, it is recommended to well plan your trip to the Mother City of South Africa so that you make the most of it.
“The best time to visit Cape Town” may vary and depend on many things such as your interests, what exactly you want to visit and which activities you want to go for. To help you make your choice, here is a broad guide so that you enjoy your holidays to Cape Town.
Best period to visit Cape Town
While Cape Town can be visited at any time of the year, the summer months from December to February seem to be the favourite by many. Indeed, it is during the summer season that most tourists flock to the city for a beach holiday.
As such, you can expect a festive atmosphere and crowded beaches during the sunny season. Even during the late hours in summer, you can always find something to do as Cape Town has a lively and exciting night-life. It is also during this period that the Cape's fierce south-easter winds blow hard. Then the clouds blanket Table Mountain, creating the illusion of a table cloth over the mountain-from which the mountain's name has been derived.
By February, the wind calms down. The temperature is then mild and the sun rays are less strong. Now that the howling winds are dormant, you can enjoy spectacular sunsets. It is at this point that most tourists leave Cape Town. So you can expect less crowded beaches, less wind...and better rates!
Autumn, from March to May is the time for wine lovers! The drop in the temperature signifies the annual vine harvest season. Many of the wineries in and around Cape Town allow visitors to participate in the gathering and juicing of grapes.
Even if you are not into wines, the fall is a great season where you can enjoy other activities like hiking, mountain biking and the like in a cool atmosphere.
Winter in Cape Town starts in May, but the chill can more often be felt in June/July. From late April to early June, the days are crisp and clear and provide the perfect weather for hiking. In fact, this is the ideal season to explore the slopes of Table Mountain on foot because the rains come soon after.
Rainfall peaks around June-July but the Cape's weather is notoriously changeable; locals say that you can have 'four seasons in one day'. Despite this, the Cape is still pleasant to visit, just as long as you are not expecting to sunbathe all day.
Sunny days alternate with downpours and thus, the place is green all over. Also, the mountain streams gushing into rocky gullies and watering the fynbos such as proteas, lilies and aloes provide refreshment for the eyes.
Cape Town is relatively free of tourists during the winter months, meaning that you can save big on lodging. Despite that showers and chilly winds are common during this season, the day-time temperature is average and winter can still be a delightful time to visit Cape Town.
Moreover, the best time for a Cape Town “food safari” is from June to August. During the fireside-friendly and rainy days of winter in Cape Town, you can make the most of vibrant indoor markets and the city’s famous eateries. Furthermore, the clear days are apt for wine-tasting, cycling and hiking.
The best time for a whale-watching holiday is from July to September when migratory southern right whales arrive along the coastline. The southern right whales migrate to calve and nurse their little ones, providing the best land-based whale-watching in the world.
Wild flower bloom on the West Coast when the weather warms up in September. Indeed spring time in Cape Town bursts with colours. It is the time when the Cape floral kingdom again seduces the visitors with a new cycle of flowering species.
Head to the top of Table Mountain to see thousands of plants in full bloom! The weather is quite pleasant during the day-there is no reason not to enjoy the great outdoors activities!
At the same time, the beaches, still relatively empty, sparkle in the temperate sun. This season is also a golden opportunity for budget-minded travellers although hotel rates will have slightly increased in preparation for the high season. Do not forget that nabbing a deal is still pretty easy if you book a month or two in advance.