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Swellendam enjoys a similar climate to the rest of the coastal Western Cape in that it has a Mediterranean climate with predominantly winter rainfall. Located at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains which are a noted barrier to the incoming coastal weather, the town can be very misty in the mornings up until midday when it starts to clear.
Average rainfall is about 462mm per year with rainfall occurring throughout the year. The average daily maximum temperatures range from 17 degrees in July to about 28 degrees in January. During winter the surrounding mountain peaks can often be seen covered in snow.
As in other parts of the Western Cape certain outdoor activities might be prevented by rain during the winter months and strong southeasterly winds in the summer can also affect outdoor activities. However, water activities on the Breede River still take place during winter, but with higher rainfall and stronger rapids, these are limited to experienced canoeists. Overall, even in cold and wet weather there are many things to do and places to visit in the town and surrounding area.