When is the best season for a

Table Mountain walk?

Unlike many mountains and hiking areas the weather on Table Mountain in Cape Town does not have a huge difference between seasons. This is not to say that the weather is exactly the same throughout the year. It is just that we do not have the extremes of season as for example the Alps or the Pyrenees. So walking up Table Mountain is never replaced by skiing or snowboarding!

The window on the India Venster route up Table Mountain

Having said that there are differences that you should take into account when planning to go on a hike on Table Mountain.

The Southern hemisphere summer is between the months of November and March. Cape Town enjoys a Mediterranean climate and thus has “warm dry summers”  The average day time temperatures during the summer months are around 27 degrees C. We do get days, especially towards the end of summer when temperatures can reach the mid 30’s. Therefore in the summer it is best to begin hiking as early as possible so as to avoid the afternoon sun as much as possible. It is also important to take plenty of drinking water throughout the summer.

Cape Town winters are relatively mild. The average day time temperature is around 17 degrees C. The months with the most average rainfall are June, July and August. However walking is certainly not impossible during these times. Between the cold fronts which bring the rain Cape Town experiences some wonderfully bright and sunny days. During this time of year the mountain streams and waterfalls are all flowing with clean drinkable water and the hiking is superb especially on the East side of the mountain (above Kirstenbosch gardens) .

Wind is the weather phenomenon that occurs throughout the year in Cape Town. The strong South East wind which dominates the wind direction especially during the summer months is called the “Cape Doctor” as it blows any pollution away and ensures the air in Cape Town is some of the cleanest in the world. Although wind in itself should not effect your walking, if you are planning to take the cable car you should be aware that this closes when the wind reaches over +/- 35 km per hour. You would also want to steer clear the cliff path or India Venster type routes when the wind is too strong. 

To summarise. Any time of year is a good time of year for a Table Mountain walk. In the summer take a hat and plenty of water. In the winter check the forecast and plan a walk for one of the many dry days.

A view from Smuts Track