Weather in Cape Town in January

Is January a good time to visit Cape Town?

The weather in Cape Town in January is perfect for those wishing to enjoy the very best of this African city and its Mediterranean climate. January is mid summer in Cape Town and average temperatures often soar between 33 and 39°C (90 and 100°F). The days are long with early sunrises and evenings that stretch late into the night with the sun only setting after 8pm each night. The wind in Cape Town during summer can be an annoyance and the cable car at Table Mountain often has to close due to gale force winds. Summer is a time for beaches and long evenings spent sipping cocktails at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront or watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean from one of the many cocktail bars along Camps Bay beach. January is peak holiday season in South Africa and many hotels and guesthouses in Cape Town are booked well in advance for this time of year. Cape Town’s restaurants serve up some great summer fare and the beach is never too far for those wanting a day in the sun.


Climate in Cape Town in January

Cape Town’s Mediterranean climate makes January the perfect month to visit South Africa’s ‘mother city’. The weather in Cape Town during January is warm and dry. Unfortunately the city’s most frequent and notorious summer visitor is the ‘Cape Doctor’ – a southeasterly wind known as such because it blows away smog and pollution. While the general average temperature in Cape Town in January is a mild 26°C (79°F), the temperature is in fact a lot higher than this most of the time -particularly in the city bowl or on the beach during the midday heat. January is Cape Town’s driest month with only 15mm of rain on average. Water temperatures along Cape Town’s coast differ greatly from one side of the peninsula to the other. The Atlantic Ocean (Camps Bay, Clifton, Llundudno and Milnerton Beaches) is significantly colder than beaches on the Indian Ocean side (False Bay beaches from Simonstown through to Gordon’s Bay).


What’s on in Cape Town in January

Visitors to Cape Town during summer are spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor activities on offer. The warm days are perfect for wine tasting in Stellenbosch or lounging on the pristine white sands of Clifton Beach. The long evenings lend themselves to fine dining extravaganzas followed by clubs and cocktails well into the night. Apart from the many adventure sports on offer, such as scuba diving, kite surfing, paragliding or shark cage diving, Cape Town also has a number of special events that take place in January. Visitors to the mother city can enjoy one of the weekly Sunday picnic one of the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts, or Shakespeare in the Park at Maynardville Open Air Theatre. The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival at the beginning of January is not to be missed, as is the annual J & B Met at Kenilworth Racecourse.


What to pack for a holiday in South Africa in January

Capetonians pride themselves on looking casually cool. January is the perfect time of year to show off healthy sea-bleached hair and sun kissed skin. On the beaches, less is best. Nightclubs, restaurants and some cocktail venues do require patrons to don a shirt, casual trousers and shoes, but others are less fussy. Visitors to Cape Town in January should pack a selection of beachwear; a light jersey for the occasional chilly evening and some smart casuals for those nights on the town or evenings spent sipping cocktails at Camps Bay or the V&A Waterfront. More active visitors may want to pack some light hiking clothes for a foray up Table Mountain.