When to go to Cape Town

Cape Town's weather, climate, festivals, events and public holidays

By Annette Klinger

Weather & climate

Cape Town’s climate is Mediterranean, with warm, dry summers and mild, moist winters. During summer (November to February) the temperature on the coast generally ranges between 15°C and 35°C (while inland it increases by approximately 3-5°C), although recent summers have seen temperatures in the City Bowl soaring to over 40°C. In winter (May to August) it ranges between 7°C and 18°C.

The summer sun is no laughing matter, however, so make sure that you slap on plenty of strong sunscreen. The south-easterly wind known as the Cape Doctor also makes its appearance in summer, wreaking havoc on hairstyles and beach parties, but performing a vital service to the city by clearing it of smog.

The season starts getting slightly chillier around April. The lovely autumn colours draw people out of town to forests in Newlands and Constantia, as well as the Winelands, while winter is synonymous with rain showers and the odd thunderstorm.

Temperature

Average temperatures and monthly rainfall in Cape Town.
         
Jan     16-26˚C / 61-79˚F – 15mm / 0.6in
Feb     16-27˚C / 61-81˚F – 17mm / 0.7in
Mar     14-25˚C / 57-77˚F – 20mm / 0.8in
Apr     12-23 ˚C / 54˚-73˚F – 41mm / 1.6in
May     9-20˚C / 48-68˚F – 68mm / 2.7in
June    8-18˚C / 46-64˚F – 93mm / 3.7in
July     7-18˚C / 45-64˚F – 82mm / 3.2in
Aug     8-18˚C / 46-64˚F – 77mm / 3.0in
Sept    9-19˚C / 48-66˚F – 40mm / 1.6in
Oct     11-21˚C / 52-70˚F – 0mm / 1.2in
Nov    13-24˚C / 55-75˚F – 14mm / 0.5in
Dec    15-25˚C / 59-77˚F – 17mm / 0.7in

Festivals & events

Cape Town’s summer months are crammed with festivals, fun runs, concerts and carnivals, with the weeks around Christmas and New Year being especially hectic.

See all festivals & events in Cape Town

Public holidays

New Year’s Day (1 Jan)
Human Rights Day (21 Mar)
Good Friday (varies)
Easter Monday and Family Day (Monday after Easter Sunday)
Freedom Day (27 Apr)
Workers Day (1 May)
Youth Day (16 June)
National Women’s Day (9 Aug)
Heritage Day (24 Sept)
Day of Reconciliation (16 Dec)
Christmas Day (25 Dec)
Day of Goodwill (26 Dec)

More travel information

Getting to Cape Town
Getting around Cape Town
Fast facts A-Z