In the past, I’ve discussed Canadians’ fascination with the weather and how international travelers can use that information to their advantage. During my time in South Africa, I was pleasantly surprised to discover an equal amount of weather, but disappointed most people weren’t interested in talking about it.

When I was on the Eastern side of the country, it was often grey and cool, but by the time I hit the Western Cape, we were well on our way to summer in November. Cape Town, by far, had the best weather of my trip and I did my best to take full advantage of it, wandering along Long Street or the V&A Waterfront until sundown (and then taking a taxi back to my hostel – safety first!).

One night, my exploration got cut short by rapidly darkening skies and increasing winds foretelling a strong storm on the horizon. I made it back to the Ashanti Lodge Green Point just as heavy rain started. Since the hostel has a nice second-floor covered deck, I pulled up a chair and watched the storm roll by. Grabbing little bits of video here and there, in the vain hope I could catch one of the dramatic lightning strikes, I gave up after 30 minutes or so and retreated to the delights of SABC evening television programming.

Fast forward a few months. While doing a hard drive back up and cleanup, I found some of the videos from that evening and watched through them. To my surprise, I did actually capture a lightning strike, and a fairly dramatic one at that. A valuable lesson was learned: go through images and videos more often, you never know what you may find lurking in the frames.

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I also made this handy animated GIF for a slower-motion version about about 1/4 of second of video [Edit: you may have to click on the GIF to open it in another window.]

Cape Town lightning storm animated gif