Cape Town’s hot, dry summer months run from late October to March/April. Temperatures reach their peak between December and February, and this is generally seen as when to go to Cape Town for the best beach weather. However, it’s also South Africa’s main holiday period and South African families descend on the city where they’re joined by many visitors from around the world – be prepared for crowds, especially during the Festive Season.
Note that the notorious summer south-easterly wind can blow hard at this time of year, blanketing Table Mountain with the famous ‘Table Cloth’ and clearing visit Cape Town is probably late January to April – the Easter period is particularly nice. There’s still plenty of blue sky and sunshine and at this time the south-easterly wind dies down as do the summer crowds, which means more space to spread your towel on popular Cape Town beaches like Camps Bay and Clifton.
The autumn months of April and May have crisp, clear days (perfect weather for hiking on Table Mountain) while the winter months of June to August get the most rain – if you go on a Cape Town holiday at this time, you may get several days of heavy rain and strong winds although when it clears it’s really beautiful.
From September onwards the weather begins to improve and warm up; migrating whales arrive just off the Whale Coast and fields of flowers brighten up the West Coast.
For more information on when to go to Cape Town, use our detailed climate guide below.