Discover Cape Town in May (Weather & Things To Do)

Cape Town is an excellent destination to visit. It is one of the most popular and captivating cities in South Africa, attracting millions of tourists from around the world each year.

If you are looking forward to visiting Cape Town in May, you can unravel important pieces of information that will help your trip in this article.

Weather In Cape Town In May

In May, Cape Town experiences the autumn season, and the weather begins to cool down as winter approaches. The weather in Cape Town during May is generally mild and pleasant, but it can vary somewhat throughout the month. Here are the weather factors which you can expect in Cape Town in May:

  • Temperature

The average daytime temperatures in Cape Town in May range from around 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). It’s generally cooler in the mornings and evenings, and you might need a light jacket or sweater during these times.

  • Rainfall

May is one of the drier months in Cape Town, but occasional showers can still occur. Rainfall is relatively low compared to the winter months of June to August. You might experience some light rain, so it is a good idea to pack an umbrella or rain jacket just in case.

  • Sunshine

Cape Town still enjoys a fair amount of sunshine in May, with an average of about 7 to 8 hours of sunlight per day.

  • Wind

Cape Town is known for its winds, and this can be more noticeable during autumn and winter. In Cape Town in May, there might be windy days, so it is advisable to be prepared with appropriate clothing.

May is a pleasant time to visit Cape Town as the weather is relatively mild, and the crowds are smaller compared to the peak tourist season. It’s a great time to explore the city, enjoy outdoor activities, and experience some of the natural beauty the region has to offer.

Best Places To Visit In Cape Town In May

The various places that you would love to visit in Cape Town in May will be provided below;

  • Kalk Bay Caves

One of the best places to visit in Cape Town in May is the Kalk Bay Caves. If you are into spelunking, head to Kalk Bay to explore the Kalk Bay Caves. These caves offer an exciting underground experience with stunning rock formations and tunnels to navigate through. Moreover, be sure to go with a guide or someone experienced in caving.

  • Cape Point Nature Reserve

You can also embark on an exploration of the Cape Point Nature Reserve, located at the southernmost tip of the Cape Peninsula. This rugged and beautiful reserve offers stunning coastal vistas, diverse flora and fauna, and various hiking trails. Take a hike to the Cape Point lighthouse and enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

  • Groot Constantia Wine Estate

As a new person in Cape Town, you can also venture into the lush Constantia Valley and visit Groot Constantia, the oldest wine estate in South Africa. Take a walk through the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and sample some of the finest wines the region has to offer.

  • Table Mountain National Park

For adventurous visitors, hiking up Table Mountain is a must-do activity. There are various challenging trails to choose from, each rewarding you with remarkable views of the city and surrounding landscapes. If you are up for a unique experience, you can also try abseiling down the mountain’s cliffs.

  • Chapman’s Peak Drive

Furthermore, you can rent a car and take a scenic drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive, a picturesque coastal road that winds along the cliffs between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. The dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean and mountains can make this an unforgettable adventure.

  • Shark Cage Diving

As an ultimate new thrill-seeker in Cape Town, you can consider going shark cage diving in Gansbaai. It is just a couple of hours from Cape Town. This adrenaline-pumping activity allows you to get up close and personal with great white sharks in their natural habitat.

Best Outdoor Activities To Do In Cape Town In May

Cape Town is an amazing city that is packed with exciting activities that will get your adrenaline pumping. Here are the best outdoor activities to do in Cape Town in May:

  • Wine Tasting in the Cape Winelands

May is a great time to explore the Cape Winelands, located just a short drive from Cape Town. Enjoy the crisp autumn air as you visit world-class vineyards and indulge in some wine tasting. The picturesque landscapes adorned with vibrant autumn colours create the perfect backdrop for a relaxed and memorable experience.

  • Whale Watching in Hermanus

May marks the beginning of the whale-watching season in Hermanus, a charming coastal town just a couple of hours from Cape Town. You can grab your binoculars and witness the magnificent Southern Right Whales as they migrate along the shores. It is a breathtaking sight that you won’t want to miss

  • Hiking in Table Mountain National Park

Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails in Table Mountain National Park. The cooler temperatures in May make it an ideal time for hiking. You should take your pick from various trails catering to different fitness levels and be rewarded with stunning views of the city, coastline, and surrounding nature.

  • Cape Peninsula Road Trip

Another great outdoor activity to try out in Cape Town in May is to embark on a scenic road trip around the Cape Peninsula. Drive along the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive, stop at Boulders Beach to meet the adorable penguins, and make your way to the Cape of Good Hope, where you can take in the rugged coastal beauty and spot wildlife like baboons and antelope.

  • Paragliding in Signal Hill or Lion’s Head

You can also try to experience the thrill of paragliding over Cape Town’s breathtaking landscapes. May offers clear skies and moderate winds, creating perfect conditions for paragliding. Soar like a bird and enjoy the panoramic views of the city, ocean, and mountains below.

Is May A Good Time To Visit Cape Town?

These are the various reasons why May is a great time to visit Cape Town:

  • Mild Weather

May falls during the autumn season in Cape Town, bringing mild temperatures and less rain compared to the winter months. Average daytime temperatures range from around 15°C to 22°C (59°F to 72°F), making it comfortable for outdoor activities and exploring the city.

  • Fewer Tourists

May is considered the shoulder season, meaning there are fewer tourists compared to the peak summer months. This allows you to explore popular attractions without the long lines and crowded spots, and you might even find better deals on accommodation and tours.

  • Wineries and Harvest Season

Furthermore, if you are a wine enthusiast, May is an excellent time to visit the surrounding wineries. It is during the harvest season, and you can participate in various wine-related events and tastings. The vineyards are also beautiful with autumn colours, creating a picturesque setting for wine tours.

  • Whale Watching

May is when the Southern Right Whales start to arrive along the Cape Coast as part of their annual migration. You can catch glimpses of these magnificent creatures from various viewpoints along the coastline, such as Hermanus or False Bay.

  • Cultural and Arts Events

Cape Town has a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and May hosts various festivals and events, such as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Constantia Food and Wine Festival. These events add an extra layer of excitement to your visit and give you a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Important Items To Pack When Visiting Cape Town In May

If you are planning a trip to Cape Town in May, you should know the right things to pack for the trip. Here is a list of essential items that you should consider packing for your visit to Cape Town In May:

  • Layered Clothing

The month of May in Cape Town can bring a mix of weather, so it is essential to pack clothes that can be layered. Bring some light and breathable clothing for the warmer days, but also include a few warmer layers like a light jacket or a sweater for the cooler evenings.

  • Comfortable Shoes

Cape Town is a city made for walking and exploring, so pack comfortable shoes that will keep your feet happy during all your adventures. Whether you are hiking Table Mountain, strolling through the city streets, or exploring the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, comfortable shoes are a must.

  • Rain Gear

May is part of Cape Town’s winter season, and while it is not the wettest month, there might be occasional showers. Be prepared with a lightweight rain jacket or a travel-sized umbrella to stay dry during those brief rain spells.

  • Travel Insurance

Also, do not forget to purchase travel insurance before your trip. It is always better to have peace of mind in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

  • Camera and Binoculars

Cape Town is a photographer’s paradise, so make sure to pack your camera to capture all the breathtaking scenery. Additionally, if you are going whale watching or exploring nature reserves, a pair of binoculars will come in handy for spotting wildlife.

Helpful Tips For Visiting Cape Town In May

These are a few helpful tips that will assist greatly as you visit Cape Town In May:

  • Indoor Activities

Be prepared for occasional rainy days in May. You should plan for indoor activities like visiting museums, and art galleries or enjoying delicious cuisine at local restaurants.

  • Water Activities

While the water temperature might be cooler, some water activities like kayaking and boat tours are still possible in May. Bring a wetsuit if you plan to take part in water-based adventures.

  • Safety Precautions

Just as with any travel destination, exercise general safety precautions. Avoid displaying valuable items in public and be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded areas.

  • Book in Advance

While May is less crowded than the peak season, it is still advisable to book accommodations and activities in advance to secure your preferred options.

  • Respect Local Culture

Cape Town is a city with diverse cultures and traditions. Respect the local customs and be mindful of the cultural sensitivities during your visit.



May is a good time to visit Cape Town. Besides, by keeping the helpful tips in mind, you can make the most of your trip to Cape Town in May and have a memorable and enjoyable experience in the beautiful city.

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