Clear, blue skies and long, warm evenings is a standard feature of Cape Town’s long summer that stretches from as early as October and into March. It’s the sort of summer that you’d think wouldn’t require much preparation at all, save an extra pair of flip flops and perhaps, a fancy swimsuit. But, there’s plenty more to know about summer in the Mother City. Such as that the average daytime spans a glorious 15 hours and that the South Easter – the prevailing summer wind – can sometimes gust at 60 kilometres per hour at its strongest. Here are a few ways you can truly prepare for your visit:

Your checklist

The temperature

Cape Town’s summer is something akin to Mediterranean, meaning it’s dry and often fairly windy with breathtakingly blue skies to admire and which lasts from November through to March. The average day temperature during summer is a balmy 23 degrees Celsius, but it can often get as high as 35 degrees Celsius and if a Berg wind blows (from the inland Karoo desert), you’ll see temperatures soar closer to 40 degrees Celsius.

On your checklist: Pack summer clothes and that swimsuit

The wind

Wind is certainly a feature of summer in Cape Town. The prevailing wind direction comes from the the south east, blowing off the cool ocean and making the hotter days in Cape Town more bearable. Known as the Cape Doctor, it blows most during January and February and is well-loved by wind sports enthusiasts, such as kite surfers. The Cape Doctor can have you reaching for a cardigan or light jacket, even when temperatures are on the hot side, so be sure to keep one handy when you head out. If you’re looking to spend time outdoors out of the wind, then head over to Hout Bay beach, or one of the Clifton beaches.

On your checklist: Pack a light jacket or two

summer in cape town

The sun

It’s no secret that the African sun can be harsh, so don’t forget to apply a layer of sun block before spending any amount of time outdoors and be sure to reapply half way through the day. A hat and of course, keeping well hydrated, will also help those unaccustomed to the persistent heat to cope more effectively.

On your checklist: Buy sun block, a hat and some water

Water scarce

Cape Town is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent history. The city is open for business and welcoming visitors, and this year’s winter rains brought much-needed relief, but the region is still water-stressed. We need everyone to help by being water-wise when visiting Cape Town. We need you to save like a local, and keep your usage to under 70 litres per day.

On your checklist: Stay waterwise.

The outdoors

One of the best things about Cape Town is its range of amazing natural spots in which to picnic, enjoy the glorious views and explore. Whether it be on one of the many pristine beaches in Cape Town or at a mountainside stop, be aware that the consumption of alcohol is prohibited.

On your checklist: Always keep your belongings safe when visiting the beach

Boyes Drive hiker

Giving tips

Every city has its own rules. Luckily in Cape Town, these are straightforward. When tipping your waiter at a restaurant, a tip of about 10% of the bill is considered fair. Official car guards in the CBD will charge R3.40 for the first 15 minutes, and a flat hourly rate thereafter. Tipping car guards outside of the city centre is also acceptable, and usually at your discretion.

On your checklist: Carry loose change and smaller notes

Getting from A to B

If you’re moving around in the CBD, take in the sights and vibe of Cape Town’s city bowl by setting out on foot. This will mean a fair amount of walking, so make sure you have a comfortable pair of shoes packed. And when it comes to longer distances, there are several transport options including  Uber, MyCiti Bus, railway services and bus systems.

On your checklist: A pair of comfortable walking shoes

Safety first

We know that Table Mountain looks easy to scale and who could resist taking advantage of an easy hike on a beautiful day? However, it’s important to take heed that the climb up – and down – calls for proper planning especially as the temperature is always a few degrees colder and that weather is prone to sudden changes at the top.

On your checklist: Good hiking shoes, plenty of water and a jacket.

 

Source Credit: www.capetown.travel

12 Des 2017

It’s natural to want to get out in the sun during warm summer days. It should also be second nature to take steps to protect your skin from the sun when you go outside.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays – from the sun and other sources like tanning beds – are the #1 cause of skin cancer. Too much exposure can also cause sunburn, eye damage, and premature wrinkles. But shielding your skin with clothing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, and staying in the shade can help lower your risk.

Take these steps to stay sun-safe:

  • Cover up: When you are out in the sun, wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher: Reapply at least every 2 hours, as well as after swimming or sweating.
  • Seek shade: Limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps: Both can cause serious long-term skin damage and contribute to skin cancer.

Choosing the right sunscreen

While you should use sunscreen every day of the year, it’s even more important during the summer, when the days are longer, the sun is stronger, and it’s easier to spend more time outdoors. When choosing sunscreen, read the label before you buy. US Food and Drug Administration regulations require the labels to follow certain guidelines:

  • Choose a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection. Sunscreens with this label protect against both UVA and UVB rays. All sunscreen products protect against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. But UVA rays also contribute to skin cancer and premature aging. Only products that pass a test can be labeled “broad spectrum.” Products that aren’t broad spectrum must carry a warning that they only protect against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.
  • Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. Higher SPF numbers do mean more protection, but the higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%; SPF 50 sunscreens filter about 98%, and SPF 100 filter about 99%. No sunscreen protects you completely. The FDA requires any sunscreen with an SPF below 15 to carry a warning that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.
  • “Water resistant” does not mean “waterproof.” No sunscreens are waterproof or “sweatproof,” and manufacturers are not allowed to claim that they are. If a product’s front label makes claims of being water resistant, it must specify whether it lasts for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. For best results, reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and even more often if you are swimming or sweating. Sunscreen usually rubs off when you towel yourself dry, so you will need to put more on.

source: cancer.org