Brace yourselves, winter is coming… and although we usually have a fairly warm climate in SA, the winters can get pretty chilly! Known for our spectacular wilderness areas and mountainous landscapes, South Africa is a country that can be enjoyed throughout the year – lucky us!
During the summer months, head down to the pristine, endless beaches and soak up the sunshine and great food.
In winter, head for the mountains! There’s nothing more relaxing than sipping hot chocolate or glühwein in front of a roaring fire while admiring snow-covered mountains and farmlands through a frosty window.
Snow can’t be guaranteed in South Africa, but there are certain parts where the likelihood of thick snowfalls is pretty high – particularly during mid-winter.
We’ve put together a list of the places where you’re most likely to be able to build a snowman in SA this winter:
The Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve is situated on the farm Erfdeel, which is a fully working farm just outside Ceres in the Western Cape. Bring your own snowboard during the winter months and enjoy the stunning ski slopes of Matroosberg. Members of the South Africa Ski-Club can use the ski lift.
Stay in the 100-year-old goatherd’s house which includes some modern-day comforts including a hot water shower and flush toilet, but no electricity. This house can sleep six people and is fully equipped with bedding, towels and crockery.
Just two hours from Cape Town, the Cederberg region still maintains its natural beauty and charm. Part of the Cape Floral Kingdom of South Africa, it is one of the few places in the country where rooibos tea is cultivated. The mountain range is named after the endangered Clanwilliam cedar which is endemic to the area.
Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is located in the peaceful Southern Cederberg Mountains.
The signature accommodation options offer unique ‘cave’ suites which are beautifully integrated with the sandstone rock formations, or spacious ‘hut’ suites that resemble the traditional dwellings inhabited by the clans of the area many years ago.
3. Sani Pass
The Sani Pass is a mountain pass located in the west of KwaZulu-Natal. You’ll find it on the road between Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal and Mokhotlong, Lesotho. The route up Sani Pass starts at 1 544m, and climbs 1 332 vertical metres to an altitude of 2 876m. The road is a steep gravel road with gradients up to 1:3, which can be difficult to drive in bad weather and may be covered with snow and ice in winter.
The Sani Valley lodge offers Sunset Lodges which are beautifully decorated semi-detached one bedroom units. Each en-suite unit has magnificent lake and Drakensberg mountain views from the lounge, bedroom and private deck.
Sutherland is the coldest town in South Africa, with an average yearly temperature of 11,3 °C and an average annual minimum temperature of 2,8 °C. The coldest temperature recorded in Sutherland was -16,4 °C on 12 July 2003. It’s safe to say that snow is very common here during winter.
The small town only has around 2 841 inhabitants but boasts the South African Astronomical Observatory which is a major tourist attraction.
The Little Shed is situated in Republiek street. The cosy cabin is fully equipped for self-catering – an ideal getaway from city life. It’s also pet-friendly!
Hogsback is a town in the Amathole Mountains in the Eastern Cape Province. The spectacular landscape is known to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien’s (who was born in South Africa) The Lord of the Rings.
There are numerous hiking routes and walking trails through the forests, up mountains, and past waterfalls taking you to spectacular viewing points.
The Edge Mountain Retreat in Hogsback is surrounded by cliffs, dramatic views and unspoilt indigenous Afromontane forests with fascinating swirling mists and cloud formations – all complementing the pristine, natural environment which Hogsback offers.
The Edge has a range of accommodation options for individuals, families and groups, including self-catering cottages (some perched on the edge of the cliff) and bed-and-breakfast rooms, all set in 15 acres of beautiful cool climate gardens.
6. Golden Gate Highlands National Park
The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is located in the Free State, near the Lesotho border. The park’s most notable features are its golden, ochre, and orange-hued, deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops. Many ancient San rock paintings have also been discovered in the area. There have also been hundreds of palaeontology finds such as dinosaur eggs and skeletons!
Castle in Clarens: Nestled in the heart of the Maluti Mountains, Rapunzel’s Tower lets everybody experience the grandeur of castle living. Experience the magic in this self-catering guesthouse – breakfast is available on request.
A4W News – All4Women
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