Cape Town Weather and What to Wear

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Cape Town, South Africa, is in the Southern Hemisphere, with seasons opposite 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 how it compares to Johannesburg’s weather if you are going there. Let’s consider the average temperatures per month before we look at the monthly weather for Cape Town.

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 (℃)
January63811727
February63811727
March59791526
April54751224
May41701021
June4664818
July4564718
August4664818
September41661019
October54731222
November57751424
December61791626
Cape Town Weather: Average temperature by month

What to Wear in Cape Town: By Season and Month

Cape Town Weather and What to Wear

What you wear when visiting Cape Town is essential to make your visit pleasant despite the volatile weather. I will give 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 formal 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 pretty stable at 64 ℉ (18 ℃). 

Regarding what to wear in Cape Town in winter, you can wear long-sleeved shirts, a medium-weight sweater, or a jacket. 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 medium-weight jacket and a long-sleeved shirt.

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

Cape Town Weather in the Spring months: September and October

The temperatures in Cape Town rise in September with the start of Spring. This is a beautiful time to visit Cape Town, as the Mother City is green and blooming. 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.

I usually layer my clothing during Cape Town’s spring by wearing a short-sleeved shirt and long pants. I may always have a light sweater or jacket for when the weather worsens or 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 helpful for a spring visit to Cape Town.

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 primary rainy 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 primarily wear short-sleeved shirts and short pants, have a light sweater or jacket on hand for a sudden change in weather. You will be the most comfortable wearing sandals (men: short-sleeved shirts, shorts and 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 see red, brown, orange 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.

Cape Town Weather and What to Wear

It’s best to layer your clothing during Cape Town’s autumn. Wear a short-sleeved shirt and long pants. Keep a light sweater or jacket with you for when the weather worsens. Wear 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 helpful during autumn in Cape Town.

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 stay in, which will most likely be 8000/8001 (Cape Town city centre), 7995 (Simon’s Town), 7441 (Bloubergstrand) or 7525 (Cape Town Airport).

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By Sunelle

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