6 Best Places to watch Snowfall in SA

10 Best Places to watch Snowfall in SA
10 Best Places to watch Snowfall in SA

In South Africa, we boast about our summers – warm weather, long sunny days, and perfect beach conditions. Our winters on the other hand are a bit here and there, depending on where you stay, and any snowfall is welcomed with much excitement. Here you will get to know about the 6 best places to watch snowfall in SA.

There are only a handful of places in South Africa that get snow, so we have listed the best places to go and experience the phenomena if we are lucky enough to get it now that we are in winter.

Does it snow in South Africa?

Yes, it does snow in South Africa, but it is quite rare and only occurs in certain areas of the country. Most of South Africa has a warm, dry climate and does not receive much snowfall. However, the mountainous regions of the country, such as the Drakensberg Mountains and the Lesotho Highlands, can experience snowfall during the winter months (June to August in the Southern Hemisphere).

6 Best Places to watch Snowfall in SA

1. Matroosberg


35km from Ceres in the Western Cape, Matroosberg is one of the best places to view snowfall – and heavy snowfall at that. While only accessible by 4×4, the peaks in the Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve can be enjoyed either by a day pass or camping/chalets overnight.

Snow sports

Here you can find a high-altitude world boasting virgin runs, stacked couloirs and (believe it or not) a ski lift less than two hours’ drive from Cape Town. And if the ‘speedy’ snowboarding thing is not for you, bring your gear and get ice climbing! 

Ice climbing

If the weather allows, experienced climbers can have a go at tackling the icy mountain range. If you have the gear and know-how, you can challenge yourself with this extreme sport. 


The extreme kloofing trip starts in the heart of the Groothoek Kloof and ends, two days later, in De Doorns – 1.2 km lower than you started and 12 abseils later! This activity is only permitted during the summer months (December to February).

It is a must when searching for snow in South Africa.

2. Cathedral Peak

Cathedral Peak
Cathedral Peak

Situated in the famous Drakensberg mountains, Cathedral Peak is perfect for anyone looking to hike through snowfall. Stay at the Cathedral Peak hotel with full access to the mountain. For beginners, it is advisable to take along a guide when hiking in the winter, but conditions do tend to be stable after a snowfall and the sun usually shines all day long.

Indoor Activities

On days when outdoor adventures are not advisable, Cathedral Peak Hotel has more than enough to offer to keep any traveller busy. For energetic people, there is a games room, table tennis, and a fully equipped gym with a steam bath. When looking for some inner peace, the hotel’s wellness centre will pamper you with various treatments by a professional therapist.

To satiate your pallets, send your taste buds on a journey with extensive buffets both at breakfast and dinner, prepared by a team of top-class chefs. Even the little ones are taken care of with a separate children’s dining room with nutritious meals, toys and entertainment.

Finally, you can take in all of the day’s adventures as you reminisce at Albert’s Cocktail bar over a roaring log fire. Or you could spend the night at Harry’s Bar with a game of pool or darts, or take in some sports viewing on the big screen.

Outdoor Adventure

You can come and find your adventure in the heart of the Drakensberg, and all around Cathedral Peak Hotel awaits plenty to explore. Guests can choose from 18 different walks and hikes that range from gentle strolls down the riverside to scaling the summit of Cathedral peak itself. Every single one of these wondrous journeys is complementary to the guests of the hotel.

For those looking for a bit more speed in their trips outside there are various mountain bike trails, a jogging route, horse rides, quad biking, and helicopter sightseeing flights nearby.

Sport in the sun can be found in ample variety at the hotel with tennis, squash, bowls, outdoor chess, beach volleyball, badminton, a climbing tower, and both heated and cold swimming pools right outside your doorstep.

The crowning jewel is the resort’s very own 9-hole golf course that also has alternate tees for an 18-hole game. Your round will range a glorious 5542m all across the valley with an ending at a beautiful clubhouse terrace that boasts a panoramic view of the mountains, a lounge area and a pub.

3. Golden Gate National Park

 Golden Gate National Park
Golden Gate National Park

Decide between the Golden Gate Hotel or camping in the Glen Reenen Rest camp and enjoy the snowfall in winter if you are lucky to get some. Other than snow-chasing, Golden Gate offers beautiful natural scenery and wildlife viewing year-round, and is often packed with visitors in the warmer months.

As the guests can visit nearby attractions that include the Van Reenen family graveyard and the impressive Brandwag buttress rock formation. Watch out for rare birds at the Vulture restaurant and enjoy a guided walk to the Cathedral Cave on your South Africa vacation.

Tryst with Dinosaur

Ancient Cathedral Cave is one of the most spectacular examples of sandstone weathering in South Africa, carved over millennia by water, wind and temperature variation. Golden Gate Highland National Park also has a range of fossilized dinosaur bones, roots, ferns and footprints in the park. The first ever fossilized Triassic dinosaur eggs were found at Rooi Draai in 1973.

Environmental Education Courses

During your South Africa safari vacation, prime game viewing can be enjoyed from the comfort of vehicles and visitors can participate in environmental education courses to learn more about the surrounding areas. Interesting places to visit include Zuluhoek lookout point, Generaalskop viewpoint – the third highest point in the park, Oribi basin and Drakensberg view.

Outdoor activities

There are various nature trails of between 1 to 5 hours in duration. You can explore the caves, swim in the clear mountain pool at Glen Reenen or go horse riding during peak periods. Various other activities such as video shows and guided excursions are on offer during school holidays.

Tradition Cuisine

There is a Living Museum known as the Basotho Cultural Village situated in the park. Museum tours include sampling traditional cuisine and finding out about the culture, historic weapons and equipment of the Basotho people. There is also a guided herbal trail where visitors learn about plants used by African Traditional Healers.

Outdoor sports at Golden Gate Highlands Park include tennis, bowls, horse riding, swimming in a crisp mountain pool with a natural waterslide and visiting Bushman paintings.

4. Sani Pass

Sani Pass
Sani Pass

While you are not guaranteed snowfall when the heavens do open it makes for a fun and challenging trip up the 4×4 route to Sani Pass. Once you reach the top of the pass and are near the Lesotho border, enjoy a warm drink and sit around the fire at the Sani Pass Hotel. Situated between Underberg and Lesotho, this snowy peak is very accessible from both Durban and Johannesburg.

Here you can explore the downtown area in search of museums and boutiques…or that next delicious meal. You can also have a delectable five-course supper at the restaurant. Or perhaps you’d rather read the paper while sipping hot coffee at one of the cafes scattered throughout the town. Take in a show at the theatre, or just walk along down the main thoroughfare, watching people wander past.

Move out on foot and get to know the area on a more personal level. Find that perfect souvenir at one of the smaller shops, or reinvent your entire artistic aesthetic at your new favourite gallery.

Rent a car and take it out beyond city limits and into the wild blue yonder. Explore the smaller cities and towns past the border, and get to know the stories behind them. Visit a county fair and let childhood memories wash over you as cotton candy melts in your mouth. Sample hand-made jam at a stop on a forgotten highway, or let the hustle and bustle of modern life sweep you away as you lose yourself in the organized chaos of a modern metropolis.

5. Long Tom Pass

 Long Tom Pass
Long Tom Pass

Like Sani Pass, you are not guaranteed snow at this Mpumalanga destination, it is an accessible and safe place to view the snow when it does arrive. To top it off, the top of the pass offers the homely Hops Hollow Country House as well as a microbrewery to try some local craft beers – making it a great day out.

At 2150 metres, this Mpumalanga pass is one of the highest tarred roads in South Africa. Although snow isn’t constant and is often relatively light, the easy access makes this a great place to see snow when conditions are favourable. There are also plenty of accommodation options in nearby Lydenburg and Sabie. 

Enjoy the ultimate ride of your life and ‘excite your soul’ on Misty Mountain’s Long Tom Toboggan.

Feel the wind in your hair and the thrill in your belly when you wind and whoosh around Mpumalanga’s Long Tom Pass mountains on the Long Tom Toboggan, the longest toboggan run in Africa with an impressive 1.7-kilometre track.

Simply hop on board your Long Tom Toboggan cart and prepare to take a deep breath when you reach a speed of 45 kilometres an hour during your three-minute ride, as you twist and turn through wildflowers and beautiful forest.

6. Tiffendell and Afriski

Tiffendell and Afriski
Tiffendell and Afriski

These two ski resorts will make you feel as though you have been transported off on a European Skiing holiday. Located in Lesotho (Afriski) and the Eastern Cape (Tiffendell), both use snowmaking and grooming machines to maintain ski areas that will serve visitors with the option of snowboarding and skiing.

Located in Southern Drakensberg, Tiffindell Ski Resort is one of the best places for skiing in Africa. Open since 1993, this is the only place to go snowboarding and skiing in South Africa. The resort offers three months of skiing and snowboarding from June to August.

Tiffindell has an altitude of 2720m, nestling snugly on the slope of Ben McDhui (3001m), the highest peak in the whole Cape Province.

During the warmer months, Tiffindell Ski Resort becomes one of the best off-the-beaten-track adventure lands in South Africa. Activities include high-altitude hiking, mountain biking, grass skiing, mountain boarding, photography, rock art, birding, some of SA’s best fly fishing, quad biking, and the famous “8 Passes” route for motorcyclists and 4×4’s.


Above-listed is the 6 Best Places to watch Snowfall in SA if you happen to visit this amazing country on this vacation. Try these places out and have a great time with loads of fun and entertainment.

About the author

Rebecca Brown