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 welcomed with much excitement.
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 now that we are in winter.
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.
It is definitely a must when searching for snow in South Africa.
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 snowfall and the sun usually shines all day long.
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.
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.
Long Tom Pass
Like Sani Pass, you are not guaranteed snow at this Mpumalanga destination, but being one of the highest tarred roads in South Africa makes it 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.
Tiffendell and Afriski
These two ski resorts will make you feel as though you have been transported off to 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 service visitors with the option of snowboarding and skiing.