Weather

The climate of the South-Western Cape is described in the geography books as ‘Mediterranean’. By definition this describes long, warm summers and short, mild winters with rainfall occuring mainly in winter.

Four seasons in a day
However, the South-Western Cape and in particular the Cape Peninsula differ markedly from the other regions in that our weather is notoriously unpredictable: being a weatherman in Cape Town must be the most frustrating profession. There is only one fool-proof weathervane in the Cape Peninsula: when there is a cloud on Lion’s Head and nowhere else, rain is guaranteed within the next 12 hours.

I have often started up the mountains under clear blue skies and balmy weather, only to come down a few hours later in pouring rain accompanied by a chilling wind. Visitors to the Cape, in particular, should be warned never to underestimate the weather, as it can change dramatically in just half an hour. Locals should know better, but I have often found inexperienced hikers adrift in the cold wind and rain, dressed only in T-shirts and shorts.

Regardless of the weather when you start, always take rain gear and warm clothes. In addition to a hat, sun block and plenty of water and food. In summer there is often no drinking water to be found on large parts of the mountain.

Weather on the web: Weather prediction is getting better but is till far from perfect, always go prepared for all kinds of weather.

>> Latest weather for Cape Town from The Wind Guru

>> Latest weather for Western Cape from SA Weather Bureau

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