When is the best time to hike in

Cape Town

The weather in Cape Town is infamous for its unreliability. Technically the Peninsula has what meteorologists describe as a Mediterranean climate. That is hot dry summers and mild wet winters. However that is not to say that it does not rain in the summer or that we do not get beautiful days in the winter.

2 factors which have a profound influence upon the daily weather conditions are the “Cape Doctor” (South Easterly wind) and the cold fronts driven by fierce North Westerly winds that bring rain and cold weather to the area. Traditionally the South East wind dominates the climate in the summer and the cold fronts the winter. However life is never that simple. In fact the particular physical characteristics of the Cape Peninsula creates micro climates within the area that means you may experience totally different weather conditions in areas or suburbs only 10 minutes drive from eachother.

For example Newlands recieves 4 times the average rainfall as Cape Point, and at the same time as you are sun baking yourself on the beach in Clifton, clouds may be making conditions on the summit of Table Mountain extremely cold and wet. I have often left a beautiful day in the Southern suburbs only to be met by fierce clounds and rain pushing in over the Atlantic as I round the mountain heading to Camps Bay for a hike.

A beautiful day on Table Mountain but mist rolling in over False Bay and the Southern suburbs

So predicting the weather for a hike is a pretty difficult task.  According to locals one fairly sound method of predicting rain in the near future is the presence of clouds on Lions Head when the sky everywhere else is clear.

A local way of predicting rain is clouds on Lions Head

 Whatever the various weather forecasts predict you will be found to find contracictions among them. Therefore when planning a hike the easiest is expect all 4 seasons and to pack accordingly!