Cape Town Weather and What to Wear

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Cape Town, South Africa, is in the southern hemisphere with seasons that are the opposite of those in North America and Europe. When you plan a visit to Cape Town, South Africa, you may want to know what the Cape Town weather is like throughout the year, and also how it compares to Johannesburg’s weather if you are planning a stop there. Let’s consider the average temperatures per month before we look at the monthly weather for Cape Town.

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Cape Town Weather: Averages by Month

Cape Town’s weather is more unpredictable than Johannesburg’s. You may experience four seasons in one day while visiting Cape Town. The following table is the monthly breakdown of Johannesburg’s weather:

MonthLow (℉)High (℉)Low (℃)High (℃)
Cape Town Weather: Average temperature by month

What to Wear in Cape Town: By Season and Month

What you wear when visiting Cape Town is important to make your visit pleasant despite the volatile weather. I will give you tips to help you pack appropriately for your trip to Cape Town. Cape Town’s coldest temperatures are not as low as Johannesburg but Cape Town becomes cold when rainy and windy in Winter. The best approach to cater for Cape Town’s volatile weather is to wear different layers of clothing to let you add or remove clothing items as the weather changes. 

Cape Town is not a formal city unless you are there for business reasons. Therefore, you can easily wear casual or smart casual outfits to most outings, events or restaurants. 

If you plan on visiting higher-end restaurants, you may need to pack more formal outfits to meet the dress code requirements. 

Cape Town Weather: Seasonal and Monthly Averages

Let’s now look at Cape Town’s weather on a seasonal and monthly basis to help you plan what to wear and what activities to consider for your visit to Cape Town. 

Cape Town Weather in Winter: May, June, July and August 

Cape Town’s weather runs from May to August. During Cape Town’s Winter, the temperature in the day may still be quite pleasant. The Winter in Cape Town brings the North-Western Winds. Winter is the rainy season in Cape Town and you will find Cape Town green and beautiful. It does not rain every day, just occasionally. The rain, coupled with the wind, may make it unpleasant and cold to spend time outdoors. 

Capetonians call Winter the Secret Season since you never know how the weather will surprise you. 

Cape Town Weather and What to Wear
Photo by Captureson Photography on Unsplash

The average daily highs for Cape Town’s weather during Winter will start at a high of 70 ℉ (21 ℃) in May and decreases to 64 ℉ (18 ℃) in August. July is the coldest month in terms of night temperatures, but day temperatures from June to July are fairly stable at 64 ℉ (18 ℃). 

During Cape Town’s Winter season, I usually layer my clothing by wearing a short-sleeved shirt and long pants. I may have a light sweater or jacket with me at all times in case the weather worsens or it becomes rainy and windy. You will need closed shoes to keep your feet warm, especially when the sun sets. For men, the same types of clothing (short-sleeved shirt, long pants, light sweater and closed-toed shoes) will be useful for Winter’s visit to Cape Town.

Wearing a dress or skirt in Winter can work when there is no wind, but remember, the weather can change suddenly and then you will regret not wearing pants!

Cape Town Weather in the Spring months: September and October

The temperatures in Cape Town rises in September with the start of Spring. This is a beautiful time to visit Cape Town as the Mother City is green and filled with blooming flowers. Many visitors love visiting the West Coast for the famous flower season – highly recommended. Cape Town’s weather in Spring is mild with sporadic bursts of rain. The average daily highs range from 66 ℉ (19 ℃) in September to 73 ℉ (22 ℃) in October.

In terms of what to wear in Cape Town in Spring, it remains the same as for the rest of the year. You can wear short-sleeved shirts during the warmer Spring days and only use a medium-weight sweater and jacket useful for the Cape Town Spring. As always, wearing layers will help as you can remove what you don’t need if the weather warms up during the day. Here are examples of men’s winter clothing for visiting Cape Town in Spring: a lightweight jacket and a short-sleeved shirt.

Cape Town Weather in Summer: November, December, January and February

Summer is when you will find the most visitors to Cape Town. Cape Town has a long Summer lasting four months from November to February. The days are warm and the nights could be slightly cold. The average daily temperatures for Cape Town increases from 75 ℉ (24 ℃) in November to 81 ℉ (27 ℃) in February. The Summer in Cape Town is balmy and the days can be pleasantly warm to sweltering. As Cape Town’s main rain season is Winter, you will experience rainfall during Summer only on the odd occasion.

Cape Town Weather and What to Wear - Summer in Cape Town
Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

The Summer days in Cape Town are long with over 10 hours of sunshine. Many people spend their days at Cape Town’s beautiful beaches – just remember to wear sunscreen to protect you against the hot African sun!

What to wear during Summer in Cape Town? Although you will mostly wear short-sleeved shirts, have a light sweater or jacket on hand for a sudden change in weather. You will be most comfortable wearing sandals (men: short-sleeved shirts, sandals) during Summer. 

Johannesburg Weather in the Autumn Months: March and April

Cape Town’s autumn is short as it only spans from March to April. Autumn in Cape Town is beautiful and you will red, browns, oranges and yellow trees around you. The daily temperatures are warm, and you will find it a pleasure to be outdoors. The daily highs decrease from 79 ℉ (26 ℃) to 75 ℉ (24 ℃) from March to April. Visiting Cape Town in Autumn is a good idea as the weather is good with little rain and the Autumn colours add to Cape Town’s beauty.

You will need short pants, short-sleeved shirts and sandals to be comfortable during the Autumn months. Here are some good clothing options for men to wear in Johannesburg during Summer: short-sleeved shirts, sandals, umbrella or rain jacket. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

How to get an accurate Cape Town weather forecast?

To get the most accurate Cape Town weather forecast, use the postal codes of the area you plan to say in: 8000/8001 (Cape Town city centre), 7995 (Simon’s Town), 7441 (Bloubergstrand) or 7525 (Cape Town Airport).

Cape Town Weather and What to Wear
Cape Town Weather and What to Wear
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Sabs | South Africa Travel Blog

By Sabs

Editor of the South Africa Travel Blog that focuses on travel to South Africa, including destinations, attractions, accommodation, food & drink.

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