10 Things that are better during winter in Cape Town
Cape Town is beautiful in winter, and did you know that the Mother City offers a range of activities that are best experienced between May to August each year? Yup!
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 reasons to visit Cape Town specifically during this time to make your winter an unforgettable experience:
No Crowds at Iconic Attractions
Cape Town is renowned for its prominent attractions like the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, V&A Waterfront, Cape Point and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens to name but a few. The great news is, however, that because this specific time is regarded as low season, it means fewer tourists, less traffic, no long queues and little chance of someone photo-bombing your selfie. And we don’t want that.
Off-Season Special Deals and Offers
In winter you get way more bang for your buck as many hotels, restaurants, tour operators and attractions discount their rates heavily during the off-season.
For South Africans and Namibians, Cape Town Tourism has also partnered with both Kulula and Flight Centre to offer some ridiculously affordable two-night package deals including flights, accommodation and a rental car. For more info on the Love Cape Town City Breaks deals click here.
Milder, cool weather
Don’t be worried about the weather during this time! The fact is that the city enjoys a mild Mediterranean-type climate with daytime temperatures averaging a maximum of 18 – 20 degrees Celsius during winter and spring compared to 5 degrees in London and – 2 degrees in New York.
The absence of the scorching Africa sun also allows for outdoor activities like hiking, trail running and mountain biking and when it does rain, well, what better excuse to go to some of the City’s amazing restaurants surrounded by beautiful and spectacular views of Table mountain.
It’s the Green Season
You don’t need to put on your Polaroid sunglasses to see the mountains, grass and fields transform to bright green during winter seasons. World-renowned for its splendour, Cape Town’s nature scene truly comes alive after the first rainfall with Table Mountain and surrounding Cape mountain ranges at its spectacular best. It is the ideal time to grab your camera, put on your hiking boots and go view the many waterfalls and streams visible on the mountain slopes, natural forests, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and parks in and around the city.
Adventure Sport Heaven
Ask any surfer and they will tell you that the bigger waves, wind conditions and warmer sea temperatures are the perfect combinations for all sorts of surfing along the coast in winter. Don’t wait till summer to take up kite-surfing, May to August is the best time to give it a try.
The airstreams can also be more favourable for paragliding, and you might just get to stay up there for longer.
Shark Cage Diving Prime Time
The absolute best time to do shark cage diving is in winter, with a 99% success rate due to the fact that sharks are particularly active in their feeding behaviour. The visibility in the ocean is also at its best, helping you to see these spectacular creatures up close and personal without any interferences.
Cosy Feasting Experiences
During winter locals just love crawling out of their homes to go to their favourite eatery or trying out new spots over weekends. You can choose from hundreds of restaurants offering comforting eating experiences, many with cosy fireplaces, atmospheric views and special winter deals. A perfect way to spend a cooler winter’s day is to explore the variety of bustling indoor markets in and around the city, like the City Bowl Market or the Bay Harbour Market, or do a food and wine pairing at one of the world-class wine estates in the area that is also a very popular choice to go for while visiting Cape Town in winter seasons.
July to September is the peak calving season for whales, which means you are guaranteed many opportunities to spot the worlds’ biggest mammal, either from up close in a boat or from the coastline. Take a drive along the False Bay Coast with Simon’s Town being a whale watching hub, or visit Hermanus, the whale capital of the world for your best chance of spotting them.
Time to Relax and Rejuvenate
One of Cape Town’s best affordable luxury experiences is visiting one of the first-class spa’s and winter is the ideal season to take a day off from the rush to refresh and renew your body and mind in an indulgent environment. Spoil yourself to some proper R&R to ensure you feel and look revived, just in time for the new season.
Flower Season Beauty
Travellers from around the world annually come to the Cape in August and September to witness a natural spectacle when millions of beautiful wildflowers start blooming for spring. A mere hour’s drive from the city will place you in the middle of the West Coast National Park, boasting a colourful carpet of white, orange and yellow.
For events happening during this time, check out our Events Calendar.