Best Place to Travel to in February for a Summer Getaway

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Cape Town, the best place to travel to in February.
Author Name: Mia Barnes
Date: Thursday January 4, 2024

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February is a month of transition, where winter bids farewell to the Northern Hemisphere, and the Southern Hemisphere enjoys the warmth of summer. While winter may be cozy, you may find yourself Googling the best place to travel to in February in an attempt to escape the icy days. For those looking for some sunshine, look no further than Cape Town, South Africa, one of the top tourist destinations, and for good reason. 

The Best Place to Travel in February

Recently voted as the best travel city in the world by The Telegraph for the eighth consecutive year, Cape Town is an idyllic destination for those seeking to escape to warmer weather. This vibrant city promises a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness and lively experiences. Here are some reasons Cape Town stands out as a world-class travel destination, making it the best place to travel to in February.

Perfect Weather

One of the main reasons Cape Town shines in February is its superb weather. February falls near the end of South Africa’s summer, with temperatures averaging around 80℉ or 26 C, making it the city’s hottest month. 

Although most days can be mild, temperatures may push 100℉ on scorching days. Make sure you arrive prepared with hats, sunblock, sunglasses, and water and watch out for signs of heat sickness. The weather tends to cool down in the evenings, creating an ideal climate for exploring the city’s various attractions.

Breathtaking Scenery

Cape Town is renowned for its stunning landscapes, with high-rise buildings situated against the backdrop of serene mountains and overlooking the ocean. The iconic Table Mountain, often shrouded in a blanket of clouds, invites hikers and enthusiasts to explore its trails. The Cape of Good Hope, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, offers dramatic coastal views that are nothing short of spectacular. 

Diverse Outdoor Activities

Being in the sunshine and fresh air offers numerous benefits and February is an excellent time to spend outdoors in Cape Town. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a leisure seeker, the city has something for everyone. From sunbathing on the pristine beaches of Camps Bay to hiking the picturesque trails of Table Mountain National Park, adventure awaits around every corner. Here are some outdoor activities to add to your list:

  • Hike up Table Mountain or take the cable car
  • Sunset picnic on Signal Hill
  • Paraglide off Lion’s Head
  • Kayak in the Atlantic

Cultural Delights

Cape Town is a melting pot of cultures, and February is no exception. The city hosts various cultural events and festivals during this time, providing visitors with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich heritage of South Africa. South Africans pride themselves on their diversity, so don’t miss out on the unique flavors they have to offer, including:

  • Bunny chow: A hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry, often made with chicken, lamb or vegetables.
  • Bobotie: A spiced and baked minced meat dish topped with an egg-based topping and served with a sweet chutney.
  • Biltong: Dried and cured meat, often beef or game.
  • Sosaties: South Africa’s version of a kebab, typically made with marinated and skewered lamb or chicken.
  • Boerewors: A South African sausage made with a blend of beef and pork, seasoned with a mixture of spices.
  • Malva pudding: A classic sticky, sweet sponge pudding served with a warm caramelized sauce.
  • Cape Malay curry: A fragrant and flavorful curry with aromatic spices, served with rice.
  • Samosa: An Indian-influenced snack. Samosas are pastry pockets filled with psyched potatoes, peas and sometimes meat.
  • Koeksisters: A sweet treat of Cape Dutch origin, Koeksisters are twisted pastries deep-fried and then soaked in a sugary syrup. 
  • Cape Malay Koesisters: Not to be confused with Koeksisters, these are spiced and fried donuts, often flavored with cinnamon and cardamom, dunked in sweet syrup. 
  • Umngqusho: A dish with roots in Xhosa cuisine, consisting of samp (crushed maize) and sugar beans. It’s a hearty and nutritious dish that reflects the diverse culinary landscape of South Africa. 

Winelands Adventures

The Cape boasts 2,693 wine farmers and February marks the beginning of the grape harvest season in the Cape Winelands, just a short drive from Cape Town. Wine enthusiasts can savor the exquisite flavors of South African wines while surrounded by serene vineyards and charming estates. Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are renowned wine regions that beckon travelers seeking a taste of sophistication. 

Wildlife Encounters

While you won’t see lions and elephants roaming the streets, February offers the chance to witness the incredible marine life around Cape Town. Take a boat trip to see seals, dolphins and even the majestic southern right whales that migrate to the nearby Hermanus region during this time. The city’s biodiversity and commitment to conservation make it a haven for nature lovers.

Home to the Big Five — elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros and African buffalo — be sure to stop at a local game reserve, or travel up north for a safari.

Relaxation by the Seaside

Cape Town offers some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and this time of year provides the perfect opportunity to relax by the ocean. Whether you prefer the trendy vibes of Clifton Beach or the tranquility of Noordhoek, the city’s diverse offerings cater to every taste. 

Things to Note Before Traveling to Cape Town

Cape Town is often a lot different from what tourists expect. So, keep these things in mind when planning your trip:

  • Bring a jacket: Capetonians are fond of saying the city experiences four seasons in one day, and they’re not wrong. It can get windy and the evenings may get chilly, so always leave the house prepared. 
  • Avoid certain areas: Some parts of the city are unsafe, like the Cape Flats, however, you can wander around the tourist attractions during the day carefree. But locals will advise you not to walk around after dark or have any valuables visible. 
  • The ocean is cold: A common misconception is that the sea is warm, however the water temperature is only around 55℉ — perfect for a cold plunge.
  • They speak English: South Africa has 12 official languages, but in the city, most people speak English fluently, so there’s no need to stress about communicating during your travels. However, use it as an opportunity to learn some Afrikaans or isiXhosa — the other two most spoken languages in the region — as they often mix phrases.
  • Remember to tip: Tipping at least 10% is acceptable in most restaurants and bars, but 12%-15% is appreciated more. South Africans also tip informal car guards and petrol attendants at least R5 — less than 50c if you’re working in U.S. Dollars. 
  • You can drink the tap water: Cape Town has some of the safest drinking water, so don’t worry about buying bottled water each time you go exploring.
  • Be aware of load shedding: South Africa has experienced regular power outages since 2008, so they don’t even bat an eye. However, arrive prepared and book accommodation with a generator as these power outages can last for several hours each day. Bring portable chargers to be extra prepared.

Escape the Winter Blues 

As the best place to travel to in February, Cape Town is a popular tourist destination due to its diversity and outdoor activities. Whether you seek adventure, cultural immersion, unique experiences or simply relaxation by the sea, Cape Town emerges as a perfect destination to escape the winter blues and embrace the warmth of a Southern Hemisphere summer. Pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey. 

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