BEST TIME TO VISIT CAPE TOWN
When is the best time to visit Cape Town? For a photographer this is almost an impossible question to answer as each season has something special about it to photograph and in this regard Cape Town is a year round photographic destination.
So instead we have an overview of what you can expect to experience per season and what the photographic highlights are over those times.
CAPE TOWN SEASONS IN PHOTOGRAPHY
Summer lasts roughly from MID NOVEMBER TO MARCH with warm sunny days that range from 20 °C to over 30 °C (68-86F). It is the driest time of the year with infrequent rain (February is the driest month) but it is also the windiest time when the prevailing south easterly winds can be very intense.
These south easterly winds are known as the ‘CAPE DOCTOR’ because they blow away the pollution and clean the air. They also produce the famous ‘tablecloth’ or cloud over Table Mountain.
During the summer month’s photographers can expect lots of sunshine (and wind), colourful people and a lively Cape Town atmosphere but it is also peak tourist season and the sun is harsh for photography between the hours of 9-3pm.
Autumn lasts roughly from APRIL TO MID JUNE with lovely beautiful days. It is still warm early April 26 °C (79F) cooling by June 18 °C (64F). This is a spectacular time to be in the Cape as the winds calm down, the days are balmy and the rains infrequent.
During the early autumn months photographers can expect some of the best weather of the Cape with pleasant warm wind-free days. The landscape is in a process of transformation with rich autumn colours. The sun because of its lower angle is not so harsh and one can photograph for longer in the mid morning and earlier afternoon.
Winter lasts roughly from MID JUNE TO SEPTEMBER. This is the time when large cold fronts sweep in from the Atlantic Ocean and the city receives most of its annual rainfall but due to the mountainous topography the rainfall does vary significantly from place to place.
The valleys and coastal plains receive an average 515 millimetres (20 in) of rain per annum while the mountain areas can average as much as 1,500 millimetres or more (60 in).
But it doesn’t rain all the time as the cold fronts are interspersed with cool clear days that can only be described as magical. The average winter minimum temperature is approximately 7 °C (45 °F) and an average maximum around 17 °C (63 °F).
Despite this being the wet season this is an amazing time for photography. The dramatic Cape of Storms is a sight to behold and the countryside is a lush verdant green.
For more details please see: ADVANTAGES OF THE RAINFALL SEASON
Spring lasts roughly from SEPTEMBER TO NOVEMBER and is a period of transition from wet winter to dry summer so the weather is changeable and difficult to predict accurately, but it generally starts to warm up nicely from October.
Though photographers can expect unpredictable weather during the spring months this is a magnificent season to be in the Cap,e as it’s the best time to view the world famous Cape Flowers (most spectacular in September) and the migrant Southern Right whales which are at their peak after the females have calved in September/October.
IMPORTANT NOTE: With Global Climate Change weather patterns have become less predictable, meaning we can have any weather in any season though the trends below are accurate as generalisations.
DOWNLOAD FREE PHOTOGRAPHERS GUIDE TO TABLE MOUNTAIN
No photo trip to Cape Town would be complete without an beautiful image of Table Mountain which was inaugurated in 2012 as one of the Worlds 7 New Wonders. This FREE 16 page PDF document is an indispensable guide to helping you photographing this true wonder of the world!