Capetown

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Mar 20th, 2004, 10:39 AM
  #1
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Capetown

We are planning a trip to South Africa for the middle of August. Is this a good time and how many days should we plan to stay in Capetown? We are then on safari.
All advice gratefully accepted.
Thanks. Sandy
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Mar 20th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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August is in the southern hemisphere's winter, and is a good time of year to see the game reserves of Mpumalanga (the Kruger National Park and the private reserves close to it) as well as the game reserves of KwaZulu-Natal.

In those parts of the country, winter weather is likely to be warm during the day and cool at night. Since those areas tend to get summer rainfall, winter most likely will be dry. There will be less foliage in August, which means you'll get a better view of animals in the bush.

The southwestern corner of South Africa, in which Cape Town is situated, has a Mediterranean climate. That means warm to hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. One also can encounter windy weather during Cape Town's winter.

Cape Town is a beautiful city. Winter is not the best time to be there, in my opinion. On the other hand, it depends what your expectations are. A visitor coming from Durban's subtropical climate might find Cape Town cold, whereas a visitor from the UK might find it mild.

Cape Town's weather isn't ugly all winter. In fact one can encounter pleasant weather there in winter. If only one knew when the wet, windy patches were going to be, one could plan around them.

If you don't want to go to Cape Town because of the risk of encountering poor weather, consider going to KwaZulu-Natal's coastal city of Durban instead.

Cape Town's average low temperature in August is 46 deg F, and its average high for the month is 64 deg F. Durban's average low is 51 deg F , and its average high is 73 deg F.

While I'm on a roll, I may as well give you Johnannesburg's figures for August too. The average low is 42 deg F and the average high is 66 deg F.

How long should a person spend in Cape Town? My advice is a week. A couple of days of that week could be devoted to the wine growing region around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. While it's possible to visit the winelands as a day trip from Cape Town, it's rather pleasant to actually stay in them.

Four days is what I would consider to be the bare bones minimum for the area (three days for Cape Town and the Peninsula, one day for the wine growing region).

Hope this helps.
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 12:17 PM
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Wonderful all round advice Judy. You should come to Cape Town and become a tourguide.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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