å Cape Town Travel Calendar
A guide to the best time to visit Cape Town, laid out in a calendar format with seasonal descriptions.
January to March
Height of summer. Hot, dry and sunny weather. It can be windy, but it seldom rains. Average day time temperature is between 25-30 °C, on some days even higher. It's the low season for whale watching and shark cage diving, but arguably the best time for visiting Cape Town because of the clear skies and long, sunny days. Keep in mind that even in the middle of summer, the ocean waters around Cape Town are still very cold.
April and May
Cooler weather, end of the dry season, and May is considered the start of the rainy season. Average daytime temperatures between 20-25 °C. Shark viewing season picks up. Good time for visiting Cape Town. The first of the winter fronts might bring some cloudy weather, but most days are still sunny.
June and July
Winter time, often cold, rainy and windy. You may get some sunny days but it is not beach weather. Whale watching season picks up. Average day time temperature between 14-19 °C. This is low season for Cape Town, which means hotel rates are at their cheapest. The Table Mountain Cableway usually closes for annual maintenance in the second half of July. We advise using the first available clear day to go up Table Mountain.
August and September
End of winter, early spring. It can still be cold with plenty of rain, but you can expect more sunny days. Peak season for whale watching and shark viewing, as well as the spectacular flower season along the West coast. Average daytime temperatures range between 16-20 °C. This is a popular time for Cape Town because it overlaps with the most popular safari season, and you still pay low season rates.
October and November
Beginning of summer and end of the rainy season. This is a popular time to visit, and with good reason. The weather can vary but usually it is pleasant and warm, with more sunny days than cloudy days. Whale watching is still good. End of the shark season and flower season. Average daytime temperatures between 20-25 °C but the wind can make it chilly. The south-easterly wind that is common during summer picks up.
Peak season in Cape Town. Book far in advance if you plan to visit in December. The South African summer school holidays bring thousands of people to Cape Town. The weather is usually sunny and windy (the strong south-east wind is called The Cape Doctor). Temperatures are up to 30 °C, on some days even hotter. The beaches are packed and the city comes alive with festivity, events, live music and parties, ending with the annual Cape Minstrel Carnival (also called the Kaapse Klopse Festival) on 2 January. From around 16 December to early January, expect long lines at key tourist attractions like Cape Point and Table Mountain.
Read more about Cape Town in our Cape Town Travel Guide