Weather for Table Mountain

weather for table mountain

Picture this: You’re standing at the base of the majestic Table Mountain, ready to soak in the breathtaking views Cape Town has to offer.

But wait, what’s the one thing that could really mess up this perfect moment? Yup, you guessed it – the weather.

Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of sunny days turn into misty blankets or sudden rain showers up there. When you’re dealing with a place as unique as Table Mountain, getting a heads-up on what to expect from the sky is as important as wearing the right hiking shoes.

In this article, we’ll cover the climate, why checking the forecast is a must, safety tips for different weather conditions, how the weather can change your experience, and of course, what to pack to stay comfy no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

Stick with me, and I’ll make sure you’re all set for an awesome day out on one of the world’s most famous mountains.

Key Takeaways

  • Table Mountain’s weather can change quickly, making it important to be prepared.
  • Understand the seasonal weather patterns of the region for a better visit.
  • Checking the weather forecast regularly can save you from unexpected surprises.
  • Weather conditions have a big impact on safety and the types of activities you can enjoy.
  • Packing the right gear for the weather will enhance your Table Mountain experience.

Understanding Table Mountain’s Climate

If you’re planning a trip to Table Mountain, knowing what the weather is usually like can really help. The climate up there can be pretty different from the city of Cape Town just below.

The top of the mountain is higher and colder, and the weather can change super fast. It’s mostly because of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meeting nearby that the weather can be a bit tricky.

In summer, it’s usually warmer and drier, which means it’s great for hiking and picnicking.

But even then, the famous ‘tablecloth’ of clouds can cover the mountain without much warning. Winter brings its own game with more rain and sometimes even a light dusting of snow, making it important to dress warmly.

So, if you want to make the most of your day, checking out what the seasons bring to the mountain is key.

Live Cape Town Weather

Best Time To Visit

When planning your trip to Table Mountain, keep in mind that the best months to visit is from October to March. Cape Town’s rainy season is from April to September with sporadic showers and chilly winds. While it is cheaper to visit during the winter season, it is not the ideal conditions to head to Table Mountain.

Visibility will be low and Table Mountain will most likely be covered in a blanket of clouds.

cape town weather average rainfall

This graph highlights the average rainfall during a given month over the past 10 years. You can clearly see the spikes in rainfall during the months of June and July.

cape town weather average cloud cover

What we see here is the average cloud cover per given month over the past 10 years. I’ve highlighted February 2017 which had an average of 12% cloud cover during that month. The months of December, January and February have the lowest amount of cloud cover which is perfect for a visit to Table Mountain.

The Best Season To Visit

The summer season is more favourable. With very little rain fall and breathtaking sunsets, you have a good chance of seeing Table Mountain in all its glory. Take care though, the infamous south easter wind (often called “The Cape Doctor”) might ruin your trip if it’s on form.

If you’re visiting the Cableway, be sure to pick a day when the south easter wind is not blowing strong, or get there early in the morning when it is still lying dormant.

cape town weather average wind speed

The south easter wind is strongest during the months of December, January and February as shown in this graph. With these months being the most popular months to visit, it is crucial that you check the weather in advance to see how active the south easter wind will be.

The Best Time Of The Day To Visit

It is advisable to head to Table Mountain early in the morning during the summer season. Not only is it not that hot, but you will avoid the crowds. The average morning temperature is 17C, with the temperature hitting 25C at midday.

cape town weather average temperature

This graph shows the average minimum and maximum temperatures during a given month over the past 10 years. Temperatures usually spike during December, January and February.

The sun shines between 11 – 15 hours during summer, so if you can’t get there early in the morning, don’t worry, you have lots of time to experience all Table Mountain has to offer. During summer, the sun rises as early as 5:30 and sets as late as 20:00.

cape town weather average sun

This graph shows you the average amount of hours the sun shines during a given month. As you can clearly see, it peaks in December and I’ve highlighted December 2014. In that given month, the sun was shining for an average of 15 hours per day.

A Local’s Perspective

I’ve now shown you all these graphs and stats, and it is quite obvious that the best months to visit will be from October to March. With December, January and February being the most popular months.

As a local, I can tell you that December and January are the busiest months, not only at Table Mountain, but the rest of Cape Town as well.

If you want to stay clear of the crowds, then I recommend that you visit Table Mountain in late October, early November. It is also less busy in February, but the south easterly wind tends to be at its worst during that month.

The Importance of Checking the Forecast

Before you set out for your adventure on Table Mountain, it’s smart to take a quick look at the weather forecast.

You might be thinking, why bother if I’m going right now, right? But here’s the thing, the weather up there can be full of surprises.

A sunny morning can turn into a foggy afternoon in no time. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check the latest weather updates. There are plenty of websites and apps that can tell you if it’s going to be clear, cloudy, or if a storm’s on the way.

This info is like gold, especially if you’re planning to hike or take the cable car.

When the weather’s bad, the cable car might not run, and it’s not safe to hike. So, a quick weather check can save you from a wasted trip or getting stuck in bad weather. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for taking those couple of minutes to plan ahead.

Weather-Related Safety on Table Mountain

When it comes to having a good time on Table Mountain, staying safe is key, and the weather plays a big role in that.

  • If it’s a hot, sunny day, you need to slap on lots of sunscreen and bring enough water so you don’t get dehydrated.
  • When it’s windy, which happens quite a bit, be careful on the edges because those gusts can be strong.
  • On foggy days, it’s easy to lose your way, so it’s best to stick to the paths and maybe even turn back if it gets too thick.
  • And when it’s rainy, the paths can get slippery, so wearing good grip shoes is super important.
  • It’s also smart to have layers of clothes that you can take off or put on because the temperature can change a lot. I always tell my friends to pack a warm jacket even on sunny days because you never know.

Being prepared means you can relax and enjoy the mountain without worrying.

How Weather Affects the Table Mountain Experience

The weather is like a big boss when it comes to what you’ll see and do on Table Mountain.

On a clear day, you’ll get those amazing views over Cape Town and the ocean that Table Mountain is famous for. You might even see all the way to Robben Island.

But, if the mountain is wearing its ‘tablecloth’ – that’s our local way of talking about the clouds that sometimes sit on top – the views can be hidden.

And if it’s really cloudy, you can’t see much at all, kind of like being inside a giant cotton ball.

The weather also decides what activities are good to do.

On warm, sunny days, it’s perfect for long hikes or just chilling at the top.

But if it’s rainy or super windy, some paths might be closed, and you won’t see those beautiful panoramas.

It makes a huge difference if you’re going up the mountain to chill, take photos, or do some serious hiking. So, always think about what the sky is doing when making your plans for the day. It makes a big difference.

Preparation And What To Pack

When you’re getting ready to visit Table Mountain, packing smart is the way to go. The key is to be ready for anything the weather might throw at you. So here’s what I make sure is in my bag:

  • warm jacket for when it gets chilly, especially since it can be cooler at the top than in the city.
  • Sun protection, like sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, because when the sun’s out, it can be pretty strong.
  • Comfortable shoes with good grip, so I can handle both rocky paths and slippery trails if it rains.
  • Plenty of water to drink, because staying hydrated is super important with all that walking and climbing.
  • Some snacks to keep my energy up, like nuts or a sandwich, because hiking can work up a big appetite.
  • And I don’t forget a raincoat or a poncho, just in case those clouds decide to open up.

If you have these things with you, you’ll be all set no matter if it’s hot, cold, wet, or breezy. And most of all, you’ll be comfortable, which means you can enjoy your time on the mountain to the fullest.


In summary, Table Mountain is not just a stunning landmark; it’s a place where the weather holds the power to shape your experience.

Remembering to check the forecast, being mindful of seasonal changes, and staying prepared can make the difference between an okay time and an unforgettable adventure.

Whether you’re up for a relaxing day or an action-packed hike, knowing what’s happening with the weather is your secret weapon. Pack wisely, respect nature’s moods, and Table Mountain will reward you with memories that last a lifetime.

Stay safe and enjoy one of Cape Town’s true treasures with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to visit Table Mountain?

The best time to visit Table Mountain is typically during the summer months, from October to March, when the weather is warmer and drier. However, it is always important to check the weather forecast before you go, as conditions can change quickly.

Can I visit Table Mountain when it’s cloudy or foggy?

Yes, you can still visit Table Mountain when it’s cloudy or foggy, but your views will be limited, and it’s essential to be extra careful as visibility can be low. Also, remember that the cableway might not operate if the weather is too bad, so it’s best to check before you make the trip.

What should I do if the weather changes suddenly while I’m on Table Mountain?

If the weather takes a sudden turn for the worse while you’re on Table Mountain, it’s important to stay calm. If you’re near the top and the cableway is still operating, you might want to take it down. If you’re hiking, consider turning back or finding shelter if it’s safe to do so, and always stay on marked paths.

Do I need a guide to hike Table Mountain?

Having a guide is not necessary if you’re sticking to the main routes and have some hiking experience, but it can be a good idea, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area or the weather is unpredictable. Guides can offer a lot of information about the mountain and will know the best actions to take if the weather turns bad.

Data provided by

Jan Pretorius

About the Author

Jan Pretorius is a seasoned writer and an avid explorer with a deep passion for Table Mountain, Cape Town, and its surrounding areas. Having resided in Cape Town since 1995, Jan has dedicated over two decades to hiking and understanding the nuances of Table Mountain. As the author behind, he shares his expert knowledge and insights, offering visitors a comprehensive guide to one of South Africa’s most iconic landmarks. Jan’s writing not only reflects his intimate familiarity with the region but also his commitment to showcasing its beauty and allure to the world.


Live Weather
Live Webcam
Table Mountain Activities


Recent Stories
Is Table Mountain Free On Your Birthday? Is Table Mountain Free On Your Birthday? - Have you heard about the Birthday Month at Table Mountain? It's the cool new thing for people living in South…
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden - When you're thinking about relaxing spots in Cape Town, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden might just pop up in your mind. This garden…
How Table Mountain Got Its Cloth How Table Mountain Got Its Cloth - Imagine sitting at home and looking out the window to see a big mountain that looks like it has a…
Hop On Hop Off Cape Town Blue Route Hop On Hop Off Cape Town Blue Route - Have you ever imagined touring the beautiful city of Cape Town in a fun and flexible way? Hop on a…
Hop On Hop Off Cape Town Purple Route Hop On Hop Off Cape Town Purple Route - Imagine you're visiting Cape Town and you've heard all about the famous Hop On Hop Off buses that take you…