The Best Time to Visit Cape Town

Choose the Best Time to Visit Cape Town

When is the best time to visit Cape Town? Truthfully, the Mother City is a great destination all year-round, you just need to choose your ideal experience. This guide is here to help you do just that!

Cape Town is a multi-faceted destination that just begs to be explored. This coastal gem lies in the shadow of Table Mountain (one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World) and is a region where wine flows, penguins waddle, and majestic beasts roam.

It’s no surprise that over 39 000 travellers voted it not just the best city in Africa but also the best city on earth for the 7th year running (Telegraph Travel Awards 2019).

This is because the Mother City can truly fit any mood, from romantic honeymooners to affluent travellers who require the most exquisite accommodation possible. Not to mention it serves up an abundance of those ever-popular million-dollar views!

When is the best time of the year to visit Cape Town? Well, we believe every season has something to offer and you will soon see why we feel that way. Particularly when you’re enjoying one of the many gorgeous beach villas and luxury apartments available along the Atlantic Seaboard.

Aerial view of Cape Town at sunset
Aerial view of Cape Town at sunset

Key facts about Cape Town

South Africa is a large country and depending on where you are it can have a lot of different things to offer holidaymakers. Being based in Cape Town is a convenient way to enjoy cosmopolitan urban attractions and adventures in the Winelands, while also being just a short flight or luxurious overland away from safari attractions like the Karoo Desert and even the Kruger National Park.

When it comes to places to visit in Cape Town, this is a city of mind-boggling cultural diversity, complexity, and intense natural beauty. Fast facts about Cape Town include:

When to visit? The ideal time to visit South Africa depends on what you want to do. Summer (November to March) and Autumn (March to May) are particularly popular periods for national and international visitors.

Where is it? Cape Town is on the southern tip of Africa. It’s a 19-hour flight from New York, 14-hour flight from Perth and only 12 hours from London.

Who visits? There are many types of travellers who choose Cape Town as their destination of choice. From family vacationers to sports enthusiasts and even newlyweds or retirees, the city can cater to almost anyone’s interests and needs. Several celebrities also frequent Cape Town for work, events and holidays. These personalities include Miley Cyrus, Katie Holmes, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Sean Penn, and Oprah. This is because the caliber of accommodation and services is incredibly high here!

Cape Town’s tourism seasons

Peak (or high) season coincides with summer when temperatures tend to climb and there are plenty of outdoor things to do in Cape Town. This is between December and February. These hot summer months also happen to coincide with local school holidays. This is why it’s always a good idea to book your accommodation early if you want to secure the most prime properties for a Christmas or New Year’s visit.

Shoulder seasons tend to be from March to May and September to November. This is when most of the summer holiday crowds have either left or haven’t arrived yet in the Mother City. That being said, the Easter period around April can still get busy for short bursts with local tourism.

Off-peak (or low) season is from around June to August, this is when the Western Cape experiences its winter rainfall. Nevertheless, the city offers a number of stunning attractions and activities for these cosier months too.

Cape Town’s climate & weather

If you ask locals this question, you will probably receive a snide reply about the Mother City serving up four seasons in a day. Even in summer, it’s always a good idea to take a jumper or cardigan out with you for when the sun dips below the horizon and the icy Atlantic Ocean freshens the air.

In general, Cape Town enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate featuring warm, dry conditions from October to April with temperatures peaking between December and February. For those who enjoy sports that require strong winds, the renowned south-easterly (nicknamed the Cape Doctor) blows from December to February but calms down again from March. From June to August, you can expect fireside-friendly activities with the rainy days of winter being dominant.

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Camps Bay beach in summer
Camps Bay beach in summer

Summer in Cape Town

December to February in Cape Town offers up exquisite conditions with both locals and visitors flocking to the city’s Blue Flag beaches. This is also when stronger winds attract kite surfing enthusiasts from around the world. However, you will spot holidaymakers enjoying vibrant nightlife and basking in sunny festive cheer almost anywhere you go during summer. This is also a wonderful time to visit the many Wine Estates sprinkled around Cape Town.

Packing for a summer visit to Cape Town still means preparing for unpredictable weather. We recommend swimming gear, hiking gear, sun hats, sunglasses and, of course, plenty of sunblock. Ensure that you have both light and warm clothes. Even on the balmiest summer days, temperatures can drop when you’re having sundowners next to the ocean.

Sunrise in the Franschhoek Valley during autumn
Sunrise in the Franschhoek Valley during autumn

Autumn in Cape Town

March to May in Cape Town is a magical time where the slopes of the mountain and countryside transform into gold and scarlet. Some people maintain that the start of Autumn is the best time of the year to visit Cape Town. The temperatures are pleasant and there isn’t much rainfall yet. That’s why some locals even refer to fall as the “secret” season in the Cape.

Autumn is also an important time for the Cape Winelands. After all, harvest time means one thing in this part of South Africa, an abundance of perfectly ripe grapes in the vineyards!

You should pack warmly for Cape Town Autumn months. On cooler days, fireplaces will add cosy warmth. On warmer days, you can picnic and look out over the landscapes under the shade of ancient oaks. Good food, good wine, good vibes!

View of Camps Bay during sunset in winter
View of Camps Bay during sunset in winter

Winter in Cape Town

June to August in Cape Town delivers an entirely different side to the Mother City and the surrounding region. The weather in Cape Town turns cool and crisp, the scenery also becomes luscious with intense greenery, all thanks to the winter rainfall. The cost of accommodation and tours tends to also be lower while the hustle and bustle of crowds almost non-existent.

Packing for a winter adventure to Cape Town means fortifying against cold and also rain. However, you should prepare to dress in layers as Capetonians love entertaining by the cosy fireplace or next to heaters during these colder months. While it is nowhere near as cold as a Canadian or European winter, you’ll find it just as snug and warm inside – with truly wonderful culinary delights around every corner.

Spring flowers in West Coast National Park
Spring flowers in West Coast National Park

Spring in Cape Town

September to November months in Cape Town provide visitors with some of the rarest most colourful flora in the whole world. The Cape wildflowers bloom all over the countryside in magnificent shades during Spring here. Even from the city bowl, locals and visitors can gaze upon Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head or Signal Hill to see the brilliant petals carpeting the slopes.

Packing for a Spring visit to Cape Town still means preparing for chilly weather. We recommend both light and warm clothes to accommodate for varying temperatures in Cape Town and also possible rainfall.

Royal Cape Golf Club (courtesy of royalcapegolf.co.za)

The ideal time for special activities

Cape Town is wildly popular for a number of special activities and events, depending on the time of year and weather.

Weddings and honeymoons

The best time for a wedding or honeymoon in Cape Town can vary to meet a wide variety of personalities. Those who would like long misty walks on the beach and candle-lit evenings in front of a fireplace with a glass of fine wine will love July to August. On the other hand, those who want to bask in landscapes bursting with wildflowers will prefer August to October. While newlyweds looking for lazy days spent on the beach will love the sunshine from November to January.

Playing golf

Golf courses in Cape Town are best explored during April’s Autumn harvest season when tourism slows down and you can rub shoulders with the locals. The springtime in September and October is also a  lovely time to enjoy Cape Town’s top golf courses. There is little wind during this time of the year, and you will find bookings less competitive before the high is in full swing.

ocean-villa-197646041
Ocean Villa in Camps Bay

Luxurious accommodation in Cape Town

Well, there you have it. The best time to visit Cape Town is anytime you wish to visit!

However, if you remain undecided, feel free to contact us so we can help you choose the best month to visit Cape Town considering the weather conditions you like and the attractions you wish to experience.

Our support team stands ready 24/7/365 to serve all of our guests and will ensure a care-free holiday by helping you plan your itinerary. You can also rest assured that all of our accommodation options are in a safe area to stay. Be in touch with our knowledgeable team and we’ll take care of the rest.

Find luxury accommodation in Cape Town for your family today! If you are travelling with friends, we have a vast selection of villas for large groups.

Families love staying in Camps Bay

Staying near Camps Bay beach is one of the best places to be in the summer
Phone us on +27 21 201 1495 and ask to speak to one of our friendly experts.