Many times a travel specialist is guilty of discouraging clients from visiting Cape Town during winter, declaring it wet, cold and windy. However, despite the less than perfect weather conditions, we still think the winter months are a great time to visit the “Mother City”. For one, it is relatively free of tourists at this time, which means that you can enjoy some big savings on accommodation, as hotels drop their prices to attract guests. There are also a wide variety of activities to enjoy in Cape Town during these months and some that you can only experience or are at their best at this particular time of year. With that in mind, we have decided to put together a list of what we think are some of the best things to do in Cape Town and its surrounding area during the winter.
1.Go whale watching
July to September is the peak season for whale watching in South Africa, which means you are guaranteed plenty of opportunities to spot the worlds’ biggest mammal. We recommend taking a drive along the False Bay Coast or visiting Hermanus – the whale capital of the world for your best chance of spotting these awe-inspiring animals from the shore or on a boat or kayak. The annual Hermanus Whale Festival in September, which celebrates the migration of the Southern Right Whales is also worth the hour and a half drive from Cape Town, with performances, markets and the legendary whale crier of Hermanus “calling” the whales with his trumpet as visitors sit in crowds watching whales breach in the bay.
2. Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium
The Two Oceans Aquarium opened in November 1995 and is recognised as one of the top tourist attractions in Cape Town displaying in excess of 3000 marine life forms from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Since opening, it has established itself as a key player in raising environmental awareness through its high-quality exhibits, conservation and education programmes. The Aquarium is rapidly gaining recognition as a leading environmental education centre in South Africa. It is also respected internationally for its high standards of animal husbandry and the expertise of its staff in collecting and transporting live animals. A great day out for all ages, but particularly for families with children.
3. Witness the beautiful wildflowers blooming
Travellers come from all over the world to the Cape in August and September to witness a natural spectacle when millions of beautiful wildflowers start blooming for Spring. Driving a mere hour north out of the Cape Town, you enter the South African floral region, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the start of hectares of pink, white, orange and yellow flowers – sure to take your breath away.
4. Give kiteboarding a try
Cape Town is a hotspot for watersport and it’s no different in winter. Take advantage of the fantastic conditions – the waves are bigger and the water is clearer in the Mother City’s winter. We recommend heading down to Table View for the best kiteboarding conditions you will ever experience.
5. Swim with sharks if you're brave enough
The absolute best time to do shark cage diving is in winter, with a high success rate due to the fact that sharks are particularly active during this season. The visibility in the ocean is also at its best, helping you to see these spectacular creatures up close and personal without any interferences.
6. Enjoy a spot of retail therapy
Shopping enthusiasts are well catered for in Cape Town. The premier V&A Waterfront, Cavendish Square and Canal Walk are just some the shopping areas offering unrivalled adventures to shopping connoisseurs of local and international fashion. The V&A Waterfront draws in huge numbers and is celebrated as an ultimate entertainment venue housing theatres, craft markets, speciality shops and pubs.
7. Visit a museum or art gallery
Cape Town is a cultural hub and where the history of the country really began, so you can bet they have plenty of both to offer visitors. The Mother City’s history is rich – and at times tragic – and museums like the District Six Museum, The South African Jewish Museum, the Castle of Good Hope and more illustrate this past quite beautifully. For art lovers, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, a modern art museum to rival the likes of the Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York and Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid is due to open its doors to the public in September.
If you are interested in visiting Cape Town during its winter then call 020 7843 3500 and speak to one of our travel experts today. They’ll be happy to tailor-make a holiday to suit your exact requirements.
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