Winter – if you can really call it winter – begins in Cape Town as soon as the first cold front from the Atlantic ocean rolls in. Also known as the green season when it is rainier (although in recent years the rainfall has been disappointingly rare), is a nice distraction from the long season of beach weather. Capetonians, not ones for the cold, tend to disappear and cocoon for a while, usually only re-emerging when it is 22 degrees again.
The wind starts turning from the legendary South Easter (or Cape Doctor) to the infamous North West winds.The winter season runs from the end of May through to August. Wind and rain do sweep the streets of Cape Town on occasion, but on other days the temperature can rise up to 25 degrees and have you wondering if summer ever left.
So if you’re visiting Cape Town during this season and are wondering what on earth to pack, the best idea is to take something for every season. Winter in Cape Town is all about layering your clothing – both thin and thick layers that you can peel off or put on. Sunshine, rain, overcast, wind: you’ll experience it all during a typical Capetonian winter.
This is what the facts say: The average high temperature during winter is 17 degrees with a minimum temperature of 8 degrees in June, July and August. Rainfall in Cape Town (when it decides to grace the region with its presence) is between 82mm in August and 105 mm in June.
However, and this is what Capetonians know: facts don’t really say anything. You’ll wake up every morning, take a peek outside, and never really know exactly what to wear or what not to wear. Capetonians have named winter the ‘secret season’ because of the unexpected delights you can experience during this time of year.
For those of you looking forward to wearing that pretty skirt outside during this time, be sure to hold on to it – the winter weather in Cape Town can consist of strong gusts of wind that might expose more than you wish.
Winter is actually a wonderful time to visit Cape Town if you love the great outdoors and don’t need 30 degree weather to go exploring. The weather is perfect for hiking (it being a little cooler) and you often won’t see the Cape Peninsula any greener. Climb Table Mountain and witness the small waterfalls splashing from the mountainside.
What else is there to do in Cape Town during the winter? Cape Town has a broad selection of restaurants and cafes where you can warm up with a glass of wine and some comfort food. Should a cold front or a storm hit like the monster #capestorm on 7 June, 2017, you definitely want to stay safe and sheltered. Huddling inside one of Cape Town’s finest restaurants with fireplaces sounds good to us!