A Cape Town holiday is best during peak summer from December to February. These hot summer months also coincide with local school holidays, so book your accommodation early if you want to visit over Christmas or New Year.
Late April to early June has crisp and clear days, perfect for a hiking trip. A food and wine holiday is best from late June to August – dine at world-class eateries and go wine tasting in the gorgeous Cape Winelands. The best time for a whale watching holiday is from July to September when migratory whales arrive along the coastline.
Month by Month Guide for Travelling to Cape Town:
Visiting Cape Town from January to March
January is the best time to visit Cape Town for any outdoor activity – Hout Bay, Muizenberg and the powder-soft sand beaches of Clifton and Camp’s Bay are jam packed during this time. It’s the perfect month for balmy beach weather on the southern tip of Africa. What makes Cape Town a unique holiday destination is that you could spend the morning on Boulders Beach with endangered penguins, stop off at a wine farm in the afternoon, and revel in the nightlife of the city – all in one day.
By February, the peak holiday season in Cape Town is coming to an end and popular destinations are less crowded. This is when to go to take advantage of great weather on Cape Town beaches, in the absence of tourist crowds.
March is not too hot, not too windy, and not too wet. It’s a busy month in the Mother City for activities and outdoor events such as the Argus Cycle Tour and Two Oceans Marathon. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is where to go in Cape Town to enjoy a series of summer festivals until the end of this month - with a lineup of local and international artists gracing the stages at the foot of Table Mountain.
Travelling to Cape Town from April to June
The best time for a hiking holiday in Cape Town is from late April to early June. Lions Head, Constantia Nek and Table Mountain are all very popular hiking trails on weekends and early mornings.
Autumn arrives in the city in April & May, and this is when to go to Cape Town to explore the many indoor markets, live music venues and restaurants. A highlight on the calendar for April is the Cape Town Jazz Festival, showcasing artists from all over the globe.
The best time for a Cape Town foodie safari is from late June to August. The fireside-friendly, rainy days of winter allows you to make the most of indoor venues and regular crisp, clear days for wine tasting, cycling and hiking. June is the first month of winter, but you may be surprised by how much sunshine you can enjoy during these months. This is the best time to go to Cape Town for surfing as surf conditions are just right.
Visiting Cape Town from July to August
The best time for a whale watching holiday is from July to September when migratory southern right whales arrive along the coastline. The small seaside town of Hermanus, just outside the Mother City, is a very popular whale watching destination (known as the best land-based whale watching in the world). July may be peak winter but that doesn’t stop the city from remaining a top tourist destination – Robben Island, the Artscape Theatre, and Zeitz MOCCA (the Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) beckon with cultural and historical promise.
August sees the last of the winter rains as the temperatures slowly start to rise and things begin to heat up for spring. The first wildflowers start to bloom on the West Coast, and whale season is at its peak, with southern right and humpback whales seen calving in the shallow waters just offshore.
Travelling to Cape Town from September to December
Spring officially starts in the Mother City in September. You can expect mild days, but evenings can still be cool. Springtime brings a burst of blooming flowers in the greener areas around the city, up the mountain ranges and along the coast, which turn the landscape into a majestic array of vibrant colours.
October offers mild weather. The warm, sunny climate is good for visiting the beaches (which are still uncrowded) and enjoying outdoor activities. Rates on accommodation also tend to be lower at this time of year, so this is one of the best times to visit Cape Town before the peak season.
In November things start to heat up. This is when to go to Cape Town for a peaceful beach getaway, skipping the crowds, and maybe even combining Cape Town with the celebrated Garden Route. Cape Town experiences it’s hottest weather in December and you can expect clear skies, long days and perfect beach holiday weather. This is the best time to visit Cape Town for scuba diving and snorkelling (if you can handle the cold water), and outdoor activities including a cable car ride up to the top of Table Mountain, wine tasting in Constantia, or marvelling at the dramatic cliffs of Cape Point.
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