Cape Town in winter and the first snow has arrived on the higher mountain ranges near Cape Town.
Ever considered travelling to Cape Town during the winter months?
That is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, which is officially from the months of June to August.
Cape Town is a beautiful city in any weather but in winter with mostly clear skies or special cloud formations it is simply stunning.
So when planning to come to Cape Town in winter, there will be many questions in your mind:
How cold does it get in Cape Town in winter? Is it grey and miserable most of the days? Which clothes do I need to pack?And many of you might wonder: Does it snow in Cape Town in winter?
The average temperatures for daytime are between 10 and 18 degrees Celsius, with occasionally warm days in the twenties.
On record the highest day temperatures in winter were above 30 degrees Celsius. The night time temperatures in winter are usually in the lower tens, rarely the temperatures drop below 10 degrees Celsius, however there are temperatures on the record which go down to even -1 degrees Celsius.
The winter month take most of the annual rainfall and on average 13 days during the month receive some rain, hopefully only at night time;)
Cape Town in winter means that Capetonians will their winter dress out of the cupboard usually at the end of May, that is fury boots, woollen jackets, hats – well, many locals wear beanies and hats even in summer – and gloves and so on.
Tourists are spotted quickly as when the locals feel cold with less than 17 degrees Celsius, many of us Europeans or Americans start to shed the clothes, especially when there is a mild breeze and the sun is out. So you might get strange looks when you decide it is warm enough for shorts or a short sleeved top;), but hey, do as you like.
My advice would be take a lightweight wind breaker and dress in layers, a fleecy coat always will come in handy, as will a light scarf or bandana for the windy walk along the coast. Rain showers often only last a couple of hours, but be warned there are some rainy cold fronts which could last for a couple of days with cold North-Westerly winds which can feel quite cold.
And another word of advice: A warm sweater and pyjamas will come in handy, as the houses here get cold in winter. There is no central heating system like you would have overseas. Most of the guest houses and bigger hotels however have got combined air-con and heating systems, occasionally you will find under-floor heating, but many houses still rely on gas or electric heaters put into your rooms during the colder season. So be prepared to stay warm indoors in Cape Town in winter.
Most of Cape Town’s attractions are great to visit in winter too and this includes not only the many excellent museums and galleries, but also the National Botanical Gardens in Kirstenbosch.
Kirstenbosch Gardens in winter? Yes, as the rain allows for new growth, there are still stunning flower displays to be admired.
Table Mountain is worth a visit during the winter month too. Also the weather might change quickly you should take a chance when there is blue sky as the winter light is so clear you can soak up stunning views over Cape Town and the surrounding region for miles and miles.
Wonderful winter memories can be seized also in the wineries around Cape Town. The Cape Town Wineries usually have got splendid parks to take a stroll in and then you will be able to warm up in front of a crackling fire in one of the cosy vineyard restaurants or maybe even catch the sunshine in the outside cafes.
Ever wanted to celebrate Christmas in July or June? You could visit a winter festival in the many attractive villages around Cape Town. Like the popular Tulbagh "Christmas in Winter" festival with fairy lights and all winter warmers you can think of. And maybe there will even be some snow;)
The Christmas in Winter Festival in Tulbagh will take place this year on the 25 and 26 June 2014.
Not really in Cape Town, but there is snow in the Western Cape not to far from Cape Town.
This year the winter snow has come early last night i.e. the 27th of May and the Langeberg Mountains near Swellendam are sprinkled over with snow. There is snow on the high peaks near Ceres and DuTooitskloof too.
At the beginning of June usually there is the first winter snow on the Matroosberg, which lays 35km outside of Ceres. And the area around Worcester has usually got its fair share of the white wonder too.
The Western Cape region around the town of Ceres, a mere 160km from Cape Town, had its first snow in July and is expecting more snow during the winter months for high lying areas.
Many South Africans use the winter weekends for a little getaway. The area around Ceres is often referred to as Little Switzerland. Ceres itself is well known for its delicious fruits especially cherries.
With more snow on the way this winter, the Matroosberg Nature Reserve, 35km from Ceres, is expecting visitors from all over the region to come and see the white wonder. The Matroosberg area is usually getting its fair amount of snow in winter.
The southern slopes of the Matroosberg can be driven on a 4x4 track and there is also a private ski slope. Some winter weekends the Ceres region can expect up to 6000 vehicles, especially 4x4s, to come to the Matroosberg. Farmers in the area however appeal every year to the visitors to respect private property and not to trample their land in search for of a snowfield. They warn the snow-seekers not to park their cars on the fields and damage their crops.