Whilst Cape Town has a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cold, wet winters, its locals will tell you that you can experience all four seasons in one day. So even if you’re visiting in summer, you need to ensure that you are covered for a range of different activities and conditions.

Cape Town N2
Cape TownAndresdewet / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Here are some tips on what to pack when flying to the tip of Africa.

  1. Sun hat and sun screen

Depending on where you are from, you may not have had any experience with the African sun.  Do not be fooled, more than 20 minutes or less in the sun could leave you very red and burnt.  If you are pasty and coming from an icy winter climate, your skin is likely to burn quite easily so reapply after swimming and use a strong SPF.  Even if it is cloudy, you need to wear a hat and sun screen to avoid burning.  There is nothing more common than a lobster red Brit burning on the beach.

  1. Rain mac

It could be summer, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t rain.  You’re most likely to be doing a lot of sightseeing and if it begins to downpour, you’ll want to be prepared and waterproof.  If you’re a lover of hikes and walking trails, bring the rain jacket with in case it takes a while for you to get back down.

  1. Wind breaker

The summer months in Cape Town are notorious for the South Easter also known as the Cape Doctor to blow.  On certain days, the wind is something to behold and seek refuge from.  If you’re planning to visit the coast or picnic beside the sea, be sure to have a wind breaker with you to keep warm.

  1. Binoculars

If you’re a bird and nature lover, these will prove invaluable when visiting reserves such as the Cape Point Nature Reserve, Table Mountain National Park and West Coast National Park just 2 hours outside of Cape Town.  Home to one of the richest bio diverse landscapes, you can get a closer look at fynbos which only grows here and animals that roam within the reserves such as eland, bontebok and springbok.  Aquila Game Park is also two hours away from the city and will afford you the opportunity to spot lions, giraffe, elephants and many other wild beasts.

  1. Good walking shoes

The trails up the mountains and throughout the city are too good to miss, so make sure you pack your trainers.  Some of my favourite hikes include going up Lion’s Head and Table Mountain for sunset.  Believe me when I say that you will have so much to see in this incredible city that you do not want to be caught in uncomfortable shoes.

  1. Money Pouch

In the centre of the city you want to avoid looking like a tourist.  Sure you may have to a backpack and camera, but place your money and cards (perhaps passport) close to your body in a money pouch.  If you are pickpocketed or your bag is nicked, you will still be able to get around and pay for accommodation in Cape Town.  South Africa is a country with a really uneven distribution of wealth and therefore many inhabitants live in extreme poverty which leads to crime.  So just be mindful of it, try not walk around alone and do not flash your expensive jewellery or equipment around in public.