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10 Tips for Visiting Cape Town in Summer

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and if it’s not on your bucket list it should be! The most popular time of year to visit the Mother City is of course in Summer so that full advantage can be taking of the incredible beaches and stunning mountain ranges. Here are some tips to get your through peak season in Cape Town!

Check the weather

Like constantly…. Cape Town is known for having 4 season in one day and being prepared will make your holiday way less stressful. Cape Town is known for the South Easter wind that blows mostly in Summer. Sometimes it can even blow for a few days at a time making things like going up Table Mountain impossible. Don’t worry though as there are plenty of other things to do ( and wind free places to visit ) Checking the weather and planning accordingly will just save you from the disappointment of getting to Table Mountain and seeing it’s closed. It can also be dangerous to be hiking when the wind picks up or even when the low clouds roll in from the Atlantic ocean.

Always pack something warm

This actually goes hand in hand with the weather. You might think Summer in Africa will leave you sweltering hot all the time and even though this is mostly true you will still need a warm jacket here and there.

Hike safely

Cape Town might be a hikers paradise but with the hot Summer sun and the influx of people you might run into some problems if you aren’t prepared.  Don’t forget hiking essentials:

  • A warm top
  • A sufficient amount of water
  • Something to eat
  • Sunscreen
  • A cap

It’s also advisable to hike in big groups especially if you are going for a sunrise or sunset hike. Plan your hike in advance if you don’t know the route or get a local guide to take you instead! If hiking Lion’s Head is on your list then read this post for everything you need to know!

Leave early to beat the traffic

Cape Town traffic in Summer can get a bit much even for the most patient people. Don’t let your holiday turn into a stress fest and leave earlier. Whether you are heading to the beach in the morning or wanting to go for cocktails in Camps Bay for sunset it’s always better to get there early. Kloofnek ( the road that get’s you from the city to Camps Bay ) can turn into a uphill gridlock with the smell of clutch hanging in the air by as early as 4pm in Summer so be prepared.

Beach it up at lesser known areas in Cape Town

If you are visiting Cape Town for the first time Clifton 4th beach and Camps Bay beach are probably on your radar. These are great off season but if you don’t like crowds its maybe better to find some more secluded spots to get your tan on. If you still want the Clifton vibe then try out Clifton 1st beach, its the last one and its usually the least crowded as it’s more difficult to get to. Llandudno beach is also a great option and it has an awesome vibe ( take an uber as the parking lot is tiny! )

A few more include:

  • Scarborough
  • Sandy Bay
  • Queens Beach
  • Diaz Beach ( Cape Point )
  • Bikini beach
  • All the beaches up the West Coast

Book in advance

Most places allow you to book online these days. This means less time spent waiting in lines and more time actually doing epic things. You also sometimes get some cool discounts when booking online.

Be water wise

We might have had a god Winter but Cape Town still has water restrictions so please be water wise! Keep your showers quick and avoid baths ( who needs them in Summer anyway! ) Here are some tips on saving water.

Don’t fall for tourist traps

Every big city has it’s tourist traps and you can either avoid them ( like I do ) or embrace them for what they are ( usually restaurants with great views and bad food ) Someone once told me that they don’t mind being trapped especially if the view is great or it’s something convenient. I can’t say I feel the same way. If you want to do some authentic awesome activities, see some beautiful sights and eat great food it’s always best to ask the locals where to go. Join a few facebook groups or read blog posts to know what to avoid and what to not miss out on!

Get out of the city

There are loads to do just outside Cape Town so if you want to have a few slower days while visiting then head out for a day or to. The west coast has a lot of gems and a much slower pace. Visit places like the West Coast National park, Langebaan and Paternoster all within a 1-3 hour drive from the city. If you are in the mood for wine and food head to Franschhoek, Robertson or Elgin. See some more epic day trip places here.

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