Home to the iconic Table Mountain and the surrounding beauty of some of the most majestic scenery you’ll see anywhere in the world, Cape Town is naturally one of the most popular destinations on the radar of international tourists flying into South Africa. There is so much to see and do in Cape Town, including taking a ferry to Robben Island, where Apartheid struggle icon Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
So, with all that Cape Town has to offer, when is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit the ‘Mother City’ of Cape Town really depends on what you want to do as part of your itinerary while you’re in that part of the world.
You might be disappointed to find that beachside activity is not really a major draw in the traditional sense, because the Atlantic Ocean water is pretty cold. Locals themselves don’t really go down to the beach to spend their days swimming in the sea, but you will find bikini-clad ladies and topless lads sunbathing or enjoying a lekker (nice) braai (barbeque), picnic, or just enjoying the beautiful beachside scenery.
That said though, if it’s sunshine and summer heat you value as part of the quintessential exotic retreat, summertime is indeed the best time to visit, but over specific months of the summer. While the South African summer runs from October to the end of March, in the context of the Mother City you’d want to visit from January until March and perhaps into April as well, which is when the transition into autumn takes place.
November comes with quite an interesting weather phenomenon, which is the extremely windy experience of the Cape Doctor, which in truth can hit at any time during the summer months.
Winter is definitely not the time to visit Cape Town if you want to come away from this historic city with the full experience of what it has to offer. In contrast to the rest of the country, Cape Town’s reference of being ‘in Europe,’ in jest of course, is mirrored by its weather. Cape Town has winter rains, which makes it a pretty cold and miserable place to be in, but you can still enjoy it if you visit before winter gets into full swing.
So towards the end of April and throughout the month of May can be a great time to visit, if your idea of a good time is to explore some of the many sights to see, historical sites, and immerse yourself in some of the local activities such as hiking. This is when the skies are clear and there’s a refreshing crispy coolness lingering in the air, while flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town experience the least number of delays on account of the weather.
Cape Town otherwise has a very rich history in a culture that was established as far back as the official founding of South Africa as the country we know it to be today, so depending on what you want to make up your experience with, any time is a good time to visit Cape Town. The beautiful scenery doesn’t disappear in winter – well, not completely…