A giraffe between snow-covered trees in the Eastern Cape. Image: Twitter

They are normally pictured strolling across the sun-baked savannah, so these giraffes seemed bemused to find themselves trudging through several inches of snow after freak blizzards struck their game reserve.

The sudden cold snap also caught out elephants and antelope at the Asante Sana reserve in the Eastern Cape

The reserve is in the Sneeuberg mountain range and it is the middle of winter, but the amount that fell at the weekend is still a rare sight.

Kitty Viljoen, who took the photographs, said the last heavy snowfall was in 2010. The 54-year-old game reserve manager said: ‘We woke up to the snow, and it was a real treat to see the animals in these conditions – I am more used to seeing our elephants swim.

‘The animals know the snow is coming and move to warm areas, so we do see a behaviour change.

‘They try to find warm pockets and stay out of the wind, with smaller animals hiding under shrubs and down holes. I was lucky to spot the elephant and giraffe, as they were near the road.’