Sunny South Africa has many perks, but a “white Christmas” is not one of them. Even in the middle of our winters, one has to know where to go to see some snow. There are a few places where you can see snow during the winter months (June to August including these on our list:
- Drakensberg Mountains: The Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape are the most reliable areas for snow in South Africa. This mountain range reaches over 3000m in height and is the highest peak in Southern Africa. In winter, snowfall is a common occurrence on the peaks, and you can go skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing. Apart from the promise of snow, the Drakensberg Mountains are also a popular winter destination because of their stunning natural beauty. The snow-covered peaks provide a picturesque backdrop to the surrounding valleys, rivers, and forests. The mountains are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are home to a variety of flora and fauna, including rare and endemic species. Additionally, the Drakensberg Mountains offer a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury lodges to camping sites. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, and fishing. The mountains are also home to several cultural and historical sites, such as the ancient rock art sites of the San people, which can be visited on guided tours. The Drakensberg Mountains cover a large area, so there are several towns and villages that are popular in winter for their proximity to snow activities, natural beauty, and accommodation options. Some of the most popular towns in the Drakensberg during winter include:
- Champagne Valley is located in the Central Drakensberg and is home to several resorts and lodges that offer access to skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. The valley is also known for its stunning views of the Drakensberg Mountains and is popular among hikers and nature lovers.
- Underberg is a town situated in the Southern Drakensberg and is a popular winter destination for its proximity to Sani Pass, a mountain pass that links South Africa and Lesotho. The pass is often covered in snow during the winter months, and visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other snow activities. Underberg is also a gateway to several hiking trails and is home to several guesthouses and lodges.
- Winterton is a town located in the Central Drakensberg and is a popular winter destination for its proximity to the Royal Natal National Park. The park is home to several hiking trails, including the famous Amphitheatre hike, which offers stunning views of the Drakensberg Mountains. Winterton is also home to several resorts and lodges that offer access to skiing and other winter sports.
- Bergville is a town situated in the Northern Drakensberg and is a popular winter destination for its proximity to the Okhahlamba Drakensberg Park. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to several hiking trails, rock art sites, and waterfalls. Bergville is also a gateway to several resorts and lodges that offer access to skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.
- The Matroosberg Nature Reserve is situated about 200km from Cape Town, near the town of Ceres. It is the highest peak in the Boland Mountains, reaching 2249m, and is known for its winter snowfall. The Reserve is a popular destination for winter activities such as:
- Visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other snow activities on the snow-covered slopes.
- The Nature Reserve has several hiking trails that offer stunning winter views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
- After a day of “snow appreciation”, you can relax and warm up in the hot springs located in the Nature Reserve. These hot springs offer a natural and soothing way to relieve sore muscles and relax after a long day in the cold.
- The clear and crisp winter nights in Matroosberg Nature Reserve offer ideal conditions for stargazing, with spectacular views of the Milky Way.
- The area offers various types of accommodation, including chalets, self-catering cottages, and campsites.
- Tiffindell Ski Resort is South Africa’s only ski resort, situated in the Southern Drakensberg Mountains. Apart from snow/sightseeing, othe happenings at Tiffindell include:
- Tiffindell has a ski slope that is 800 meters long and offers skiing and snowboarding for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced. The resort has ski lifts, rental equipment, and instructors available to help visitors make the most of their skiing or snowboarding experience.
- Tiffindell has a tubing slope where visitors can slide down the slope on inflatable tubes, providing a fun and exciting experience for all ages.
- Tiffindell offers various types of accommodation, from cozy chalets to self-catering apartments, allowing visitors to stay overnight and enjoy multiple days of skiing and snowboarding.
- Dining and entertainment: Tiffindell has a restaurant and bar on-site, offering a variety of food and drinks. There are also live music and entertainment events that take place during the winter season.
- Sani Pass is a well known and much loved 4X4 destination in the Southern Drakensberg Mountains. The pass reaches an altitude of 2874m and is famous for its steep and winding gravel road, which requires a 4×4 vehicle to traverse (for us this is Good News of course).
Building snowmen and having snowball fights can be a fun and memorable winter experience, but there are several hiking trails that offer stunning winter views of the Drakensberg Mountains, such as Hodgson’s Peaks. The area is home to a variety of bird species, including the rare and endemic Drakensberg Rockjumper. Winter is actually an ideal time for bird watching, as the birds are more visible against the snow-covered landscape!
Please note that snowfall in South Africa can be unpredictable, and it’s important to check weather reports before planning a trip to the mountains. Pack extra clothing and blankets, and stash some emergency supplies in case you get stranded for a day or two. Before your trip, bring your 4×4 to us for a service or repairs. N1 4X4 is one of South Africa’s biggest suppliers of new, used & reconditioned parts for Cruisers and Toyota 4WD’S.
Visit our website: https://n14x4.co.za/category/rmi-certified-workshop/