Weather in Cape Town in December

Is December a good time to visit Cape Town?

Cape Town’s weather in December is famous for a number of reasons. First it resembles a perfect Mediterranean summer with a hot, dry climate and beautiful long summer evenings. Cape Town is also renowned for its strong summer wind: the prevailing southeaster, also known as ‘the Cape Doctor’ because it blows smog and bad weather away. This, often gale-force, wind can be particularly hazardous as summer is also fire season in Cape Town. However, the summer weather in Cape Town during December is perfect for visitors wishing to enjoy the beaches, winelands and beautiful mountains and hiking scenery.


Climate in Cape Town in December

Cape Town’s climate in December is typical of a Mediterranean summer. December is one of the hottest and driest months, with temperatures averaging between 15 and 25°C (60 to 77°F). However, the peak hours during the day tend to be hotter than this average and visitors should expect temperatures in the 30s (90°F). The high temperatures in December are made bearable by the relatively low humidity. Summer is the dry season in Cape Town, so December experiences very little rain – generally less than six days rain throughout the month.

As it is in the southern hemisphere, Cape Town experiences long summer days during December as the summer equinox approaches. Visitors to the mother city can expect the sun to rise at 5.30am and it only sets at 8.00 in the evenings during summer. Water temperatures along Cape Town’s coast tend to vary quite considerably depending upon which side of the peninsula is chosen. The Atlantic seaboard – Camps Bay and Clifton Beaches – is much colder than the False Bay (Indian Ocean) side – Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Fishhoek, Simons Town and Boulders Beaches.


What's on in Cape Town during December?

December is peak holiday season in Cape Town. There are lots of events in Cape Town in December, including parties, concerts, festivals and markets. For visitors spending Christmas in Cape Town, the Adderley Street Night Christmas Market is a must. Market stalls offering food and various holiday souvenirs and gifts line Adderley Street in central Cape Town, the city’s Christmas lights are also a major draw-card for this great market. Visitors travelling to Cape Town with children should take time out to go strawberry or cherry picking in the winelands. While those travelling without children may enjoy the annual SEXPO, which, as its name suggests, is an expo all about sex!

The Franschoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival is perfect for a day-trip into the winelands and the picturesque Franschoek region of the Western Cape. Every Sunday evening visitors and Cape Town residents flock to picnic at the renowned Kirstenbosch Sunday Summer Sunset Concerts – fun for the whole family and the perfect way to end the week. Finally, the two biggest party events in Cape Town over the December period are the annual MCQP Party and New Year’s Eve celebrations. MCQP (or the Mother City Queer Project), a themed party, is the perfect excuse to dress up and go wild – it is the party of the year on the gay (and straight) social event calendar for Cape Town.


What to pack for a holiday in Cape Town in December

Summer in Cape Town is the season for relaxation, beaches and parties. The best items to pack for a summer in Cape Town include beachwear, sunscreen, sunglasses and some cool evening wear for evenings of sundowners and nights of partying. Many nightclubs in Cape Town don’t require a dress code, particularly during summer, but there are one or two that advise smart-casual evening wear. December’s weather in Cape Town is generally warm, evening in the evenings, but a light jersey is sometimes necessary for the odd cool evening. Those who wish to enjoy more active pursuits than lying on Cape Town’s beaches all day should pack hiking clothes for Table Mountain. Cape Town is a great place to shop and has all the normal necessities and holiday luxuries that one would expect of a first class holiday destination. Be sure to leave room in your bag for all the items you wish to bring back home!