The annual battle between Capetonians and winter is no joke. When Ned Stark announced that “winter is Coming” in that very dramatic manner, he was warning Capetonians to be prepared.
We know that winter in Cape Town consists of frosty cold winds, moody skies, shorter days and longer nights. The local Capetonian is led into a hibernation mode of sorts, which could last for up to three months. At the first sign of rain, forgetting how to drive, cancelling plans at the last minute, and not leaving home unless it is truly necessary (and with layers on layers of clothing) are all common behaviours.
We long for the hot summers, going to the beach and letting the sun kiss our skin, or exploring nature with the only whiff of winter being a gentle cool breeze. It’s because we have so much to do in our city that makes winter the enemy of true enjoyment.
What if we left our stubbornness behind us and tried to embrace the inevitable winter season? There are so many ways to enjoy and even thrive in winter in the Mother City.
Do some whale watching
Whale watching is truly amazing during the winter season. These magnificent creatures usually appear from July up until December. Our Cape coastline offers many fantastic land-based viewing opportunities. Every year, southern right whales take a vacation in Cape waters, treating Cape Town locals to a beautiful display of breaching, spouting and spy-hopping. False Bay is the best place close to town to see them. Opt for the higher vantage points along the False Bay coastline such as Boyes Drive between St James and Kalk Bay to see these wonderful sea creatures.
Adventure Sports Time
For activities like kite-surfing, May to August is the best time to give it a try. The airstreams are slightly more favourable for activities like paragliding, so you can soar for longer.
Hot Chocolate, but make it an adventure
Feast with a winter culinary experience
If we’re honest, aren’t winter foods the best kind of foods? Think of the warm curries, stews and soups for the soul – the types that warm you up from the inside. Winter is an excellent time to have a five-star meal as many local restaurants have winter menu specials going during this time.
Tobago’s at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, for example, has curry and wine pairing specials going at the moment. For R265/person, guests can indulge in a delectable curry (choice of chicken, lamb and vegan) that is perfectly paired with a glass of Waterford wine – a combination that is guaranteed to warm you up. To book or for more information please contact the hotel on 27 (0)21 441 3000 or
Do some tourist activities since it’s off-season, or explore the city
A lot of typically tourist-packed places are now in the off-season, making for fewer crowds and better prices. Visit the Cape Wheel for example, or use this time to explore some local neighbourhoods – there are so many different areas, neighbourhoods and hangouts to get to know!
Cape Town Tourism has a number of different video guides that give useful insights into what to do in various neighbourhoods that won’t break the bank. These pocket-friendly activities show you how to get the best out of an area for only R150 per person for the entire day!
How about some indoor activities?
Indoor activities don’t actually translate to be curled up on your couch watching Netflix. Don’t let the weather keep you from exploring your city.
The Two Oceans Aquarium, for example, is an excellent place that the whole family will enjoy, or take them to the Cape Town Science Centre for some learning and fun all at once. If you’d really rather stay indoors at home, bring the ocean experience right to your home! Justin Blake is a shark scientist with the #1 bestselling wildlife Online Experience on Airbnb.
In his famous Experience, guests learn how science and technology are used to uncover the secret lives of sharks, and Justin shares some of his favourite stories, images and videos were taken by himself and his team. Money from the bookings is directly donated to RockHopper and the conservation of sharks. If you’d like to learn more, you can book the experience here.
Bloom with the flowers
In the late winter to early Spring, travellers from all over the world come to see our flowers fields in bloom. An hour away from the city will take you to the West Coast National Park where you can see gorgeous flowers, alright, you really want to stay home?
If you’re really set on staying home
Well if you’ve explored all the attractions mentioned above, you’ll probably be tired and would want to head home for some downtime. If you’re going to be spending some time at your homestead, why not shake things up for your hibernation period?
With Teljoy, you can rent-to-own a brand new bedroom suite, a new TV set and a surround sound system. The best part about this is that you have the option to take ownership of all of the items after the predetermined rental period.