These are the best spots to experience snow in Africa

Snow-covered slopes and cabins perfect for a winter escape. Picture: Unsplash

Snow-covered slopes and cabins perfect for a winter escape. Picture: Unsplash

Published May 22, 2024


While Africa, with its diverse landscapes, is known for its abundant in sunshine, there are places that experience icy temperatures and snow during winter.

For instance, as the Southern Hemisphere gears up for winter, the mountainous regions of Lesotho and South Africa transform into snow-covered destinations.

With Africa Month drawing to a close, highlighting the diversity in the continent’s tourism offerings is important.

If you’re looking for places to experience snow, consider these options:

Maluti Mountains, Lesotho

Cabins at Afriskii Resort in Lesotho. Picture: Instagram

The Kingdom of Lesotho is also known as the Mountain Kingdom and Kingdom in the Sky because of its elevation marked by rocky rolling mountains.

The Maloti Mountains in Lesotho remain largely untouched by development, making it a prime location for hiking, camping, cave exploration, horseback riding and even snow sports during winter.

Lesotho’s climate is generally classified as temperate, with alpine characteristics, and the country experiences hot summers and very cold winters.

If you want to see snow, the best time to visit is the midwinter months of June to August. During this time, it can get very cold, especially at higher altitudes, which receives regular snowfall.

When visiting the kingdom, consider a stay at Afriski Mountain Resort. The resort is the only skiing resort in Lesotho.

A stay at Afriski starts from R1 684 a night for a two-sleeper flat.

Matroosberg, Western Cape, South Africa

Accommodation facilities at Matroosberg Nature Reserve in the Western Cape. Picture: Instagram

For those looking for snowcapped landscapes closer to home, Matroosberg in the Western Cape is your destination.

The Matroosberg Nature Reserve is about 200km from Cape Town, near the town of Ceres. It is the highest peak in the Boland Mountains, reaching 2 249m, and is known for its winter snowfall.

After a good snowfall, the southern slopes remain snow-clad for some time and you can drive to the snow.

The area is also well known for its private ski-slope and the reserve is a popular destination for winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding. The nature reserve has several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

There are also hot springs where you can warm up after a long day. With winter around the corner, consider a stay at 50 Shades of Green.

This is a romantic cabin that has a fireplace and no electricity. A stay at the cabin starts from R3 348 a night per unit.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda

Climbers making their way up to Margherita Peak, the highest peak in the Rwenzori mountains. Picture: Instagram

This snow adventure is not for the faint-hearted but is perfect for seasoned explorers.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park, aka Mountains of the Moon, is an interesting safari destination in Uganda famous for mountaineering safaris.

It is one of the most pristine and unspoilt mountains on the planet. Trips to the Margherita Peak (5 401m) on the snowy summit of Mt Stanley will take trekkers through tropical jungle, sci-fi landscapes dotted with giant lobelia, alpine savannah and glacial fields.

Mt Rwenzori is endowed with diversity of fauna and flora and boasts distinct vegetation variation, ranging from African savannah and tropical forest to Alpine meadows.

Since hiking is a big activity at the park, a hike will take you though all the vegetation zones and it leads to the glacial peaks.

The best time for hiking at Rwenzori Mountains is from December to February and from June to August. The park has a variety of accommodation options, ranging from budget, mid-range to luxury.

Consider a stay at Fairway Boutique Hotel starting from R2 304 a night for two.

Oukaïmeden Mountain, Morocco

Sunshine and snow in Oukaïmeden, Marrakech, Morocco. Picture: Instagram

Oukaïmeden is a ski resort in the Atlas Mountains near the Toubkal mountain in Morocco. The resort is about 80km south-east of Marrakesh or an hour’s drive from the city.

The high altitude region is the snowiest part of Morocco which is known for its desert landscapes.

There are hotels and ski-rental facilities nearby. Oukaimeden has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, with short but warm summers and long, chilly winters during which there is a lot of snowfall.

The best time to visit this region is from December to April during winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Consider a stay at the three-star Aurocher Marrakech Ourika Oukaimeden, starting from R2 362 a night for two.

Views of the snow covered Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu Natal. Picture: Unsplash

Drakensberg, South Africa

The best snow destination in South Africa is definitely the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal.

Since the region is expansive and the mountain range is in the escarpment covering parts of the Eastern Cape, Lesotho, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, areas like Giants Castle, Highmoor, Underberg or Sani Pass and Golden Gate National Park or Cathedral Peak in KZN are the best places to go for the ultimate snow adventure.

The best time to visit South Africa’s majestic Drakensberg for snow is between July to early August, though there have been years that it has snowed as early as April and carried on until September.

Depending on where you’ve visited, there could be enough snow to build a snow man or enjoy a day out skiing.

Travellers can also brave the cold and hike and enjoy views of snow covered peaks. Consider a stay at Antbear Lodge Eco Lodge overlooking the Bushman’s River and Giants Castle mountain peak for the best views in the region.

A stay at the lodge starts from R3 700 a night for 2.