Discover Cape Town in December
December is party time in Cape Town. Visit the beaches, eat out, do day trips, go wine tasting, hike in the mountains, attend festivals, and shop at markets. The entertainment is non-stop!
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Visiting Cape Town in December is always fun because summer is sunny and the days are long.
Here we reveal some of the most exciting things you can expect when spending your December holidays in Cape Town – the official month of festivity and celebration in South Africa.
December is silly season, so there is lots of entertainment happening everywhere. Bring lots of patience and a sense of fun to participate in everything on offer.
Make your December holiday happen
Schools break up early in December, which is South Africa’s summer holiday period. Visitors from upcountry and abroad come down to Cape Town to enjoy the magical scenery and seaside.
A successful December holiday in Cape Town depends a lot on your planning skills. The flights to Cape Town in December can get booked up. Therefore, one should book flights early to secure your seat to this prime holiday destination. Browse flight sites such as travelstart.co.za to find the best deals.
As soon as your flights are confirmed, it is time to book your accommodation. Browse the options on Cape Town Villas to find the perfect home for your holiday. We have a large selection of luxury villas and apartments and stand ready to help you find the best place to stay.
Plan an itinerary early. Research the many activities on offer and book the ones you don’t want to miss before you leave home. That will give you time to secure spots at award-winning restaurants that may be booked up months in advance. A well-planned trip is stress-free and more satisfying.
Fun things to do in December
During December, you will find all the usual stuff on offer, such as going to the beaches and indulging in luxury experiences.
Water sports are popular. You can go swimming, surfing, kayaking, kite surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. Sunbathe to your heart’s content, visit vibey restaurants and bars and party the night away at Cape Town’s clubs.
The great outdoors is also a drawcard in the warm summer months. Hiking, running and mountain biking are favourite sports to enjoy in and around Cape Town and its mountains.
There are plenty of fun things to do in Cape Town in December. However, here are some of the extraordinary things that make it worth your while to visit during December.
Watch the switching on of the festive lights in Adderley Street, Cape Town, on 1 December. This annual event is presided by the executive mayor of Cape Town, and the festivities kick off with a music concert in the late afternoon.
Make the most of hot summer nights and watch a movie under the stars with The Galileo Open Air Cinema. Venues include Kirstenbosch Gardens in Newlands, Central Park in Century City, Battery Park at the V&A Waterfront and various other Cape Town and Winelands venues.
The Summer Sunset Concerts at Kirstenbosch brings musical delights and a delicious picnic together to be enjoyed in the gardens of Cape Town’s botanical park. Also, watch out or the annual Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.
Picnic in the Winelands
Head out to the Winelands for a full moon or star gazing picnic at Die Afrikaanse Taalmuseum in Paarl.
Check out the bright and colourful Cape Minstrels. Many of the minstrel groups practice throughout December for the piece de resistance performance in the streets of Cape Town on 2 January.
Don’t miss these popular markets in Cape Town:
- Bay Harbour Market (Hout Bay)
- Made in the Cape Festive Fair (Claremont)
- Simply South Craft & Gift Fair (Bergvliet)
- Pinelands Craft & Gift Fair
- Edgemead Christmas Market
- Kirstenbosch Craft Market
- Neighbourgoods Holiday Market (Old Biscuit Mill)
South Africans can make use of the Sunset Special at the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway during the first half of December. Half-price tickets are available to take the cableway up Table Mountain after 18:00. (Terms and conditions apply.)
Summer is a great time to catch a Yellowfin tuna. Book with a deep-sea fishing charter company like Hooked on Africa that offers offshore tuna fishing trips.
Don’t miss the beach scene
Camps Bay beach in the summer is one of the best places to be. Sunbathing, walking along the beach, swimming in the sea or playing a game of touch rugby or volleyball are all on the cards.
Many visitors bring portable barbecues and cook picnics on the lawn section before the beach. Others head over the road to hang out at one of the many restaurants and bars on the Camps Bay strip.
Brace yourself for the traffic on the roads because December is a busy month. Embrace the holiday spirit, take it easy and do not rush around during your December holidays – it will only frustrate you.
Stay in Camps Bay during December
Weather in December
The weather in Cape Town in December can be hot and windy. The South Easter wind is usually active during the summer months. The “Cape Doctor” is the nickname of this notorious wind. It has an important job! The presence of the Cape Doctor ensures that smog is blown away to ensure magnificent clear skies around the Cape Peninsula.
Do not be put off by the potential presence of this wind. It is still worth your while to come to Cape Town in December. The wind also plays a role in cooling things down in Cape Town, which can be very welcome on a hot summer’s day. There are enough wind-free beaches around Cape Town where one can escape the South Easter.
The temperature in Cape Town during December months varies between a low of 17ᵒ C and a high of 27ᵒ C. There is very little rain in December. December visitors to Cape Town may only experience drizzle or overcast conditions for a maximum of four days during the entire month.
If you are not sure about the best time to visit Cape Town, decide what your ideal holiday looks like, then you can match your goals with the right season.
Packing for your trip in December
Cape Town is a relaxed city. Your holiday packing should focus on fun, easy-wearing clothes. You can, of course, pack a few items that are more glamorous if you have secured bookings at upmarket restaurants.
However, you can generally relax, dress down and enjoy your summer holiday in shorts and T-shirts.
As hot as it gets during the day, Cape Town evenings can cool down significantly. Always take a warm top or pashmina to wrap yourself up against the breeze. When planning a night outdoors, such as a picnic or show, take warm layers along.
Throw a picnic blanket in your luggage. Mosquito spray may be necessary when you spend the evening outdoors. Sun hats, sunglasses, beach wraps and bags come in handy when spending leisurely days on the beach.
Most importantly, do not stress too much about packing for your trip in December. Cape Town has everything you need. You will be able to buy any item(s) you may have forgotten to pack for your trip. You may even enjoy having a good excuse to spend the day in one of Cape Town’s magnificent shopping malls.
Finding accommodation for December
Accommodation in Cape Town during December may be hard to come by, especially a villa in Camps Bay. Cape Town is a top-rated tourist destination and can get booked up early in the year for the December school holidays. Therefore, early planning of your holiday to Cape Town is crucial.
Many hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs may be full for December from early on in the year. But, self-catering rentals may become available later during the year when homeowners finalise their travel plans and decide to make their properties available for December holiday accommodation.
Luxury self-catering rentals
Cape Town Villas will help you find luxury self-catering villas and apartments for your stay during December. We also have majestic holiday rentals for large groups. You can rest assured that we will only recommend a safe area to stay. For us, you must enjoy your time in Cape Town.
There are so many places to visit in and around Cape Town, that we recommend booking your accommodation in a central location. From here, you can take day trips to explore the various places of interest. Many of the attractions are within an easy hour’s drive from the city centre.
Location, location, location
The Atlantic Seaboard gets very busy during December. Visitors who prefer a quieter location may do well to find accommodation on the Southern Peninsula. Seaside suburbs such as Noordhoek, Scarborough and Simon’s Town may be good options. Bear in mind; you will be around 45 km from the city when booking here.
If the jury was out whether you will come to Cape Town in December, hopefully, you can make up your mind now. Contact us to secure a luxury self-catering rental that suits you and your holiday needs. Then, get ready to experience many amazing things when you travel to Cape Town.
Stay at the V&A Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront Marina is secure and puts everything within easy reach
Frequently asked questions and answers
Why visit Cape Town in December?
We highly recommend that visitors come to Cape Town in December because it’s summer with sunny weather and long days. It is the silly season too, so there are plenty of fun things to do and see. Bring lots of patience and a sense of fun to participate in everything on offer.
What's the weather like in Cape Town during December?
Beach weather prevails, and many visitors dip into the icy Atlantic Ocean to cool down. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen.
How hot is Cape Town in December?
Expect daytime temperatures of around 27ᵒC. Temperatures can drop to around 17ᵒC at night.
What's there to do in Cape Town during December?
December is party time in Cape Town. Visit the beaches, eat at restaurants, go wine tasting, run or cycle in the mountains, attend outdoor festivals and shop at Christmas markets.
How should I dress in Cape Town in December?
Light, easy-wearing casual cotton clothing works best for the Cape summers. Be aware that a breeze can catch and blow up dresses. If you like to keep things under wraps, shorts and pants are better options. Always bring a warm top along should the weather cool down.
What should I pack for my trip to Cape Town in December?
Your trip to Cape Town does not have to result in any anxiety about packing. Casual clothes, swimwear, sun wear, something warm and you are good to go. Cape Town has plenty of shops and malls where you can buy everything under the sun.
Is Cape Town busy in December?
This festive month is the busiest in Cape Town. Expect traffic, delays and booked up restaurants. If you take it all in your stride, you will enjoy the holiday flow.
What season is it in Cape Town in December?
December is at the height of summer in Cape Town. However, this does not mean warm weather all around. The wind can cool things down significantly.
What time is sunset in Cape Town in December?
The sun only sets at around 8 PM, so expect long, sunny days.
Is Cape Town nice in December?
Cape Town is incredible in December. However, no amount of reading can explain the experience adequately. You’ll have to come to Cape Town in December and see for yourself!