Although rare, a number of high-altitude areas within the continent do experience some snowfall.
Considering how massive the continent is and the various climates that cover the different regions within it, there are only a few places where there is snow in Africa.
In fact, it snows in some countries and skiing lovers do enjoy skiing.
South Africa, which is close to the south pole, experiences snow and also the high mountains in the continent are covered with snow.
Did you know that one of the best ski resorts is in Africa?
This article will offer a complete guide into countries that you will visit and find snow in this marvelous continent.
Where Does it Snow in Africa?
Yes, it does snow in Africa for those who might be wondering.
Some parts of Lesotho and South Africa do experience snow during the winter as well as the high-altitude areas such as the high mountains in the continent.
You should add these places to your “list of places I must visit” if you want to have a lifetime skiing trip experience in Africa.
Some rare occurrences have been recorded in history like snow in the Sahara Desert.
In February 1979, a town within the Sahara Desert in Algeria experienced heavy snowfall.
Cairo, the capital city of Egypt also experienced snowfall in 2013.
Time of the Year When it Snows in Africa
Snowing in Africa does happen during the winter but the winter period comes at different times of the year compared to the rest of the world.
This does depend heavily on the geographical location.
South Africa, which has part of it located in the south pole, does experience winter from the months of June to August.
The conditions during this period are cool and dry and the high-altitude areas are the ones that receive snow.
Mount Kenya has a permanent snow cover on the high altitudes while Mt. Kilimanjaro experiences snow during the winter months of November and December.
Does it Snow in Africa? Overview of the African Climate
The African continent is the second largest continent in the world with an area of approximately 11.7 million square miles.
A small portion of the continent is in the Southern Hemisphere while the largest part is in the Northern Hemisphere.
Surrounded by the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, the continent is in the intertropical zone making it a hot place with high humidity levels.
On top of that, it experiences a range of climates that include the subtropical highland climate, the equatorial climate, the desert climate, the semi-arid climate, wet climate and the tropical dry climate.
During the winter months, the temperatures range between 21 and 27 degrees Celsius and it rains mostly during this period.
Snow rarely occurs apart from high altitude areas such as the mountains.
The mountains have their own climatic conditions and some like Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro has unique climatic conditions depending on the altitude.
Where Does it Snow in Africa? Areas in Africa that Experience Snow
Does it Snow in South Africa?
Located in the most southern part of the continent, South Africa rarely experiences snow apart from the high altitude that experiences a considerable amount of snow during the winter months every year.
Located on a plateau, the largest city in the country experiences snow during the winter months where temperatures fall below freezing points leading to frost.
It is good to note that it does not snow frequently in the city of Johannesburg and the last time the residents of the city experienced snow was in 2007 and in 2012 when it snowed lightly.
Located in the Eastern Cape of the nation, Drakensberg Park in the heart of the Drakensberg mountains has been listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
The park is shared between the nations of South Africa and Lesotho as it is located along the Great Escarpment around the central South African Plateau.
The highest point in the park is 11,424 feet and 6,562 feet and it experiences snow every year.
The park is located in the area known as Rhodes and it is famous for hosting an annual event known as the Rhodes Trail Run.
In this event, the participants run for up to nine hours in a steep area covered with snow.
In some instances, the temperatures fall way below -50 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you love such conditions, then this is the perfect time to take a trip down to South Africa and have fun.
Standing at 3,558 feet, the mountain that overlooks Cape Town experiences snowing at the Devil’s and the Front Table’s Peak once every few years.
2013 September was the last time snow was recorded on this mountain.
Cederberg is a small town located on the Western Cape and has a population of approximately 50,000 individuals.
It is among the few places in the country that experience snow almost on a yearly basis.
For those who love playing with snow, then the Cederberg Wilderness Center is the place to be.
Book your trip and go make some igloos, build snowmen and play in the snow.
The center has small cottages and a camp to cater for your needs.
Sutherland is a small town in the Northern Cape famous for sheep farming.
The town is on the western of Roggeveld Mountains and experiences regular snowfall during the winter months.belt
Due to the regular snowfall, the town has become a famous tourist attraction leading to the mushrooming of many bars and restaurants.
The area experiences snow on a yearly basis during the winter.
It is also famed for some of the most amazing night-time stargazing.
Hogsback is a town located in the Eastern Cape near the Amatola Mountains and due to its high altitude, it receives snow during the winter months.
The Amatola mountains have a forest that acted as an inspiration for the Mirkwood forest in the trilogy of the Lord of the Rings.
The small town has a couple of nice camps, guest gouses and hotels to cater for your travelling needs.
Tiffindell Ski Resort
Located at one of the highest elevations in the country, Tiffindell Ski Resort is among the best rated in South Africa and the continent at large.
The resort is located at Mt. Ben Macdhui that is 9,846 feet above sea level.
The area receives snow every year during the winter months.
For skiing and snowboarding lovers, the resort utilizes snow-making machines to ensure that there is enough snow for those events.
The resort is open from the months of June to August.
Additionally, the resort has a restaurant, a ski school, a ski shop and ski lifts.
Among the services it offers include family chalets, private chalets, self-catering accommodation of up to 10 individuals and ensuite luxury suites.
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island covers an area of approximately 17 square miles and is among the two islands located in the subantarctic Indian Ocean.
Only conservation and research individuals are allowed to inhabit this island as they have been declared as Special Nature Reserves.
Visitors and tourists are prohibited from accessing these two islands.
Due to their location, the temperatures are often low and they receive snow any time of the year.
Does it Snow in Tanzania?
Standing at 19340 feet above sea level, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa.
The temperatures on this mountain range from -15 degrees Celsius to -29 degrees Celsius with the coldest months averaging -27 degrees Celsius.
The peak of this tallest mountain is covered by snow permanently.
It experiences snow throughout the year but most commonly during the rainy season between November and December and March to May.
The mountain is a popular tourist attraction where thousands of hikers flock every year to attempt to climb to its peaks.
While some prefer the dry months, others prefer to hike during the rainy season as it also snows during this time.
The town of Moshi is located adjacent to the mountain and has a wide array of accommodation cottages and restaurants.
Check them out before booking your trip.
Does it Snow in Morocco?
Most parts of this country are located in a desert climate but it usually experiences snow in the Atlas Mountains.
These mountains are a host to two ski resorts namely Michlifen near Ifrane and Oukaimeden near Marrakech.
The months of January and February, the mountains experience snow.
The mountain has two ski resorts located at the heart of the mountain making them some of the best ski resorts in the continent.
The two are Michlifen near Ifrane and Oukaimeden near Marrakech.
There two resorts receive regular snow every year between the months of January and February.
Located in the middle Atlas Mountains, the area receives snow due to its high altitude of 5500 ft above sea level.
The area receives a considerable amount of snow during the winter while summers are often dry, warm and short.
The temperatures range between 32 degrees Celsius and -3 degrees Celsius.
Additionally, the location near the town of Fez makes it an amazing attraction as the town of Fez is surrounded by sand dunes and the locals’ rear camels making it even more attractive.
Therefore, you can have fun at the ski resort and later rest while enjoying what the desert has to offer.
Michlefen Ski Resort has a Spa hotel and luxury suites with a five-star rating.
The ski resort has approximately a mile of skiing slopes and only two chair lifts.
The area is also perfect for visitors as it has a lake and forest surrounding it creating a magnificent scenery perfect for strolls on snow covered ways under the moon and stars.
Located near Jebel Toubkal, Oukaimeden is one of the most popular ski resorts in the area surrounding the Atlas Mountains.
Though located approximately 50 miles from Marrakesh, the resort offers amazing skiing facilities at a high altitude of between 8500 feet and 10500 feet.
In terms of resources, it has seven ski lifts and a skiing slope of approximately six miles.
It is the best rated ski resort in the continent and among the top in the world.
To make arrangements for a trip, please visit their website here.
Does it Snow in Lesotho?
Lesotho is one of the smallest nations in Africa located in the south at the border of South Africa.
The country has a mountainous topography making it the only nation that entirely stands 1000 meters above sea level.
This high altitude means that the country experiences low temperatures which sometimes range from -18 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius.
During the summer months of April to October, the country receives a considerable amount of rainfall.
On the other hand, in the winter months of June to August, the temperatures may fall to below 0 degrees Celsius.
Snowing is rare but during the winter months, some areas including the capital city, Maseru, receive a considerable amount of snow that may accumulate up to 13mm.
The coldest month of the year is June.
The Highmoor Nature Reserve in Maloti-Drakensberg Park is among the most amazing places to tour in the country if you would like to see snow.
This is the only ski resort in Lesotho and is located in the Maluti Mountains that are 10,571 feet above sea level.
The base is 9570 feet high while the slopes are situated 1000 feet above sea level.
The resort’s longest skiing slope is about a half a mile long.
In addition to the skiing thrill, the resort offers accommodation of about 350 individuals, a number of ski lifts, a ski school and a restaurant that offers tasty dishes.
Learn more about the resort and book a reservation on their official website here.
Kenya – Does Kenya Have Snow?
Located along the equator and with a tropical climate, Kenya as a country rarely experiences snow.
The only place known to snow is Mt. Kenya, Africa’s second tallest mountain that stands 5.199 meters above sea level.
The peaks of this mountain are covered with snow permanently.
Standing at 5,199 meters above sea level, Mount Kenya is the tallest mountain in the country and second in the continent after Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Located in Nyeri county that is approximately 150 km from the capital city Nairobi, the mountain covers an area of approximately 715 km2.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and at the same time a National Park managed by the government of Kenya.
Its highest point of the mountain is the Batian peak that is 5,199.
The high altitude of the mountain, usually above 4500 feet, experiences snow especially between the months of December and March.
The area surrounding the mountain receives rainfall almost on a daily basis.
The mountain is a popular hiking destination and has 11 glaciers.
Hiking lovers need to bring mountaineering gear and those looking to climb to the highest point.
Accommodation within the national park is relatively affordable and consists of cabins and mountain huts.
For more information, check out their website here.
Does it Snow in Uganda
Uganda is located in the East Africa region and it borders Kenya and Tanzania among others.
Due to its tropical climate, the country rarely receives snow.
However, the mountains of Rwenzori do receive snow due to their high altitude.
Rwenzori mountains are a range of mountains situated between the borders of Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
Due to the high altitudes in these mountains, the temperatures may fall up to -5 degrees Celsius during the cold period.
Due to the low temperatures experienced in this range of mountains, there are several glaciers.
The highest point stands at 16,762 feet and is covered with snow permanently.
Early in the 1950s, the snow covered peaks were many making it possible for skiing lovers to ski but over time, the majority have disappeared due to climate change.
Nicknamed as the ‘Mountains of the Moon” by Ptolemy, the famous ancient geographer, the mountain ranges are under the protection of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
The management has set up an elaborate tracking system that offers guidance to the visitors to all glaciated peaks.
Additionally, the park is full of wildlife making it a marvelous place to visit.
Does it Snow in Ethiopia?
Located in Eastern Africa, the country has two distinct seasons namely wet and dry.
During the wet season, the country experiences heavy rainfall between the months of June and September.
Under such conditions, the country rarely experiences snow but on high altitudes, it occasionally snows.
Simien Mountain, which has the highest peak at 4550 meters above sea level, occasionally receives snow.
The mountain is located along the Ethiopian Highlands in the north part of the country.
The mountain is within the Simien Mountains National Park that was declared a World Heritage Site and the highest point (4,550 M) is Ras Dejan.
Due to its close location to the equator, the area does not experience drastic temperature drops.
Snow is a rare occurrence but during the rainy season, it is possible due to the high altitude.
Tracking is common and tracks leading all the way to the peak of the mountain may take up to 7 days or more.
In some instances, special mountaineering gear may be required and park authorities may help in organizing for the gear.
Final Thoughts on the Question: Does it Snow in Africa?
Does it snow in Africa? Africa rarely gets snow but if you wanted to know whether there are places that experience snow in Africa, then there are a couple of places that do.
Majority of these places are the highest mountain peaks that are permanently covered with snow and can offer a perfect place to explore for those who love snow and hiking.
Finally, there are a couple of marvelous ski resorts for skiing lovers.
Therefore, if you want to experience the magic of snow in Africa, book your flight now and enjoy the various ski resorts located across the continent!