Snow in Kokstad. Picture: Lisa Raleigh/Twitter

Durban -

KwaZulu-Natal’s winter wonderland is to disappear with temperatures expected to climb to 31°C in Durban today.

Most of the high-lying areas in the province were snow-bound this week and national roads were closed as winter tightened its grip on most of the country, accompanied by heavy rain.

Meanwhile, Cape Town is bracing for a weekend of bitter conditions, with the weather office issuing several warnings urging Capetonians to be on the alert for heavy rains and gale-force winds.

This past week, areas such as Kokstad, most of the Midlands down to Howick and the whole of the Drakensberg, were blanketed in snow and drew thousands of people.

Roads had to be closed, motorists were trapped by the snow and dozens had to be rescued by helicopter.

The cold front across the country brought snow to many areas, including Joburg, and left thousands without electricity.

Durban weather forecaster Wiseman Dlamini yesterday said the mercury would climb today but a cold front would move across the province from the south tomorrow.

“The temperatures will cool a bit on Sunday but it doesn’t look cold enough for snow,” said Dlamini.

Transport department spokesman Kwanele Ncalane, said the roads leading up to the Midlands and beyond were all open.

Hotels in the area have been revelling in the number of visitors coming to see the snow.

The Nest Drakensberg Resort Hotel’s general manager John Turner said guests had arrived at the hotel in a relaxed, holiday mood as they had a memorable drive in the snow.

“The mountains were beautiful with the snow, and people were enjoying themselves,” said Turner, whose hotel had already been booked out for the long weekend.

Cathedral Peak Hotel’s assistant manager Bruce Botes said although they were booked out for the long weekend, many day visitors were coming in.

Clive Foss of the Nottingham Road Hotel said: “The whole of Durban was in the Midlands, it was like mining gold up here.”

Independent on Saturday