While the sea may be too cold for swimming, the region’s climate is very favourable. As you travel north from Cape Town the summer temperatures are higher, and the rainfall is less. The air is dry and, even in winter, providing the winds aren’t blowing, it can be very warm. Most of the rain falls between June and September. Whales start arriving along the West Coast around May and the mating pairs and family pods remain until December.
Driving out of Cape Town, follow the N1 through Durbanville and the northern suburbs for the West Coast. If time is not an issue, turn off the N1 at the Maitland junction, signposted Milnerton M5, and follow the signs for the R27. This is the old coast road which runs all the way north to Velddrif, north of the West Coast National Park. If you are pressed for time, take a left at Acacia Park and follow signs for the N7. This is the main highway from Cape Town to Namibia, which runs up the west coast through the Northern Cape Province.