making the most of our blue skies and hot weather
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Cape Town summer is all about the warm, sun-filled days, blue skies and long balmy evenings. While the early summer months from October to December are already heating up, temperatures can hit way above the 30 degree Celsius mark from January to March. If you are visiting from the cooler northern hemisphere, surviving these steaming summery days can seem challenging, but as the locals know, there are many ways to stay cool in and around our city.
The Mother City is THE place to be in summer; you’ll find Capetonians lounging poolside and chilling at rooftop bars across the city, cocktails sweating in the sun, perfecting the art of looking very good while doing very little. Whether you're an outdoor fan, beach bum or just a sunseeker in general, here are a few tips to plan your scorching Cape summer stay - and while your tan may fade - make sure the memories will last for years to come.
Cape Town has a diverse and spectacular selection of beaches dotted along its coastline, each with their own distinct personalities; and most just a quick drive from the city, you'll soon find your favourite.
The blue flag beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay are a short scenic drive of around 5 kilometres away and a sure way to escape the city with a mini coastal joyride as you drive along Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard watching the waves crash against jagged shores. Sunbathing in style is a popular pastime on these 'people-watching' beaches as the freezing water is only for the brave. While pro surfers will tell you summer isn’t the best time for surfing in the Cape, the city has a few tricks up its sleeve with secluded coves located along the bay that's ideal for a 'board meeting' if you dare to ride some gnarly surf breaks...
Surfing is synonymous with South African culture, no surprise there when you consider that 2 000 kilometres worth of waves lap at this section of Africa's coastline. Colourful beachside cabanas add a splash of prime colour to the white sand beaches of Muizenberg. Add in good surf conditions almost year-round, and you have yourself a perfect playground for amateur and talented boardriders alike. It's also not just a summer season hot spot; shallow waters offer fun for the kids and smaller consistent waves make learning to surf the number one activity on this jam-packed beachfront. Even if you’re a complete newbie, there are plenty of surf schools to teach you how to feel the stoke in a few short lessons. Read more at this blog to find unique beaches to visit near Cape Town.
For many visitors to the Mother City, the Sea Point Pavilion IS summer. The recently renovated pavilion also offers the filtered seawater Sea Point Public Pools with four different swimming facilities. The absolute perfect chill spot for locals and visitors alike to cool down and gaze at tankers skimming the Atlantic horizon in the distance. At 50 metres long, the main pool is perfect for training professionals, while the kid's pool is great for safe splashing and the diving pool comes equipped with a 5m-high diving board. During the summer peak season, this is the place to be in Cape Town so ensure you go early to find chillax.
Now it's about time to quench your thirst too... For a minimal ±R150 order from the drinks menu, some hotels open their poolside rooftop bars to visitors. Now there's a neat trick to find a much-needed pool in Cape Town's summer. With incredible scenery stretching along the city's waterfront, it’s no surprise that there will be views for days; if not of the surrounding mountains then of the ocean or urban cityscapes: Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar serves up some great cocktails with a heavenly view to match, and the cherry on top is the crystal clear plunge pool perfect for hot summer afternoons. Located in the heart of Tamboerskloof, this boutique hotel and spa comes with a dual-level rooftop, comfy couches and uninterrupted 360-degree views of Table Mountain and the city below. Similarly, the Cape Milner hotel's splash pool is a welcome retreat from any hot summer’s day! Drink in gorgeous views of Table Mountain as you dangle your legs in the cool waters. While away the day on the pool deck, complemented by ice-cold drinks and poolside snacks served direct to your sun lounger. Check out this blog for more city pools to check out.
Taking a dip in Cape Town’s notoriously cold ocean is the perfect way to cool down and with so many tidal pools along the Cape's coast, you'll be spoilt for choice. Like sparkling jewels, hidden among clusters of rocks, the tidal pools along the Atlantic Seaboard offer jaw-dropping views of the mountains marine life like dolphins or even whales that pass within sight of the shoreline during the whale-watching season (June to December).
Maiden's Cove is just one of many hip tidal pool hangouts, known for its exquisite view of the Twelve Apostles mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean. This scenic lookout point along Victoria Road is a popular swimming spot with tidal pools located between Glen Beach and Camps Bay Beach. As well as boasting some of the best views you’re likely to find from any poolside, Maiden’s Cove has a grassy area that’s perfect for a braai or picnic. Flanked by mountain ranges, massive boulders and the azure blue seas - this is what true Cape summer memories are made of.
Nestled in the exclusive suburb of Bantry Bay, you’ll find Saunders Rock, an innercity tidal pool, enticingly located at the last beach in Sea Point. Its large granite rocks create a wind barrier, giving you shelter on those hot, but windy, summer days. It's super central and convenient for a sun-kissed lazy day without getting too far from the city centre. Enjoy a late afternoon dip, watch the sunset and then dine out at one of the time-tested eateries on the Sea Point strip.
St James which is a bit of a drive, but well worth it. Tucked neatly between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, it's one of Cape Town’s most popular tidal pools, but if you’re not into crowds you may want to skip this spot or get there bright and early for a quiet morning dip. Watch the skies for albatross, petrels, shearwaters or everyday seagulls and also keep an eye out for spiky sea urchins at the bottom of the pool. For more options of tidal pools around Cape Town check out this blog.
If you're adventurous and prefer to stay active, even in the heat, why not opt to dive into Cape Town's cool Atlantic ocean and snorkel with seals off Duiker Island, Hout Bay. Snorkelling with seals near Cape Town is the perfect way to experience a close encounter with the Cape fur seal in their natural habitat. With over 10 000 friendly seals, you are guaranteed to see these goofy swimmers. Take the plunge into the cool waters for an unforgettable experience and come face to whisker with hundreds of playful and curious Cape fur seals.
You just can't beat these unforgettable lazy summer days in Cape Town! Join one of our join group or private tours or let our expert travel advisors tailor make your dream Cape summer escape. Check out our tours on offer underneath: