A winter wonderland in the Western Cape

June 28, 2019

There are few sights as fascinating as when it snows in Africa. During winter, the Western Cape regularly sees snow on its highest mountain ranges and sometimes even on top of Table Mountain in the Mother City.

When the weather rolls in, here are the places where you’ll most likely be able to build a snowman:

Get your snowshoes ready at Matroosberg


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Matroosberg, one of the highest peaks in the Western Cape, is famous for snow over the winter months between June and August. 

Inside the Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve, there’s also no shortage of entertainment to go along with the beautiful scenery. Hike to the top of Matroosberg Peak or explore the lower slopes to see rock pools and interesting rock formations. If a strenuous hike to the top isn’t your idea of fun, you can also drive to the top along an exciting 4x4 trail

The Ski Club of South Africa is also based in the reserve, and is home to two ski huts and  three ski lifts (including a portable lift that can be set up on any slope). If you’re a fan of skiing, don’t go to the Alps, simply sign up to become a member to use these great facilities. 

Keep an eye on the ski club’s website to see the latest snow reports. With the reserve being only about two hours’ drive from Cape Town, this is an ideal day trip to look at the snow.

Brave the chill in the Karoo


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The Swartberg Pass, traversed via a gravel road running between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert in the Western Cape, is well known for receiving snowfall during cold fronts. 

The picturesque road winding through the Swartberg mountains is famed for its multiple hairpin bends and can be treacherous in foul weather, so be careful if you’re planning on visiting to see the snow.

Both Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert are historic towns worth a visit while you’re in the area, so take a long weekend to explore the area!

See snow atop Table Mountain


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If you’re not in the mood for a long drive to the countryside, explore a winter wonderland right in the centre of the city. Every so often during a cold front, snow falls on top of Table Mountain, an iconic sight to behold! 

Due to weather constraints, the Table Mountain Cableway will likely not be operational when it snows, but keep an eye on its website to see live updates. If the cableway is not operational, that means you’ll need to tackle the mountain on foot. Be sure to research your route well in advance, be extra careful not to slip on the icy rocks and take every precaution to stay safe

Don’t forget to pack plenty of extra warm clothes – it’s colder than you think up there!

Want to be certain of snow? Take a sho’t left to the Eastern Cape 


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If you’re looking for a snowy holiday, head to the Eastern Cape to Tiffindell ski resort, where you will definitely see snow in winter, regardless of the weather. The resort, on the slopes of Ben Macdhui, the province’s highest mountain, gets pretty chilly and is also armed with snowmakers that ensure perfect skiing and snow-boarding conditions between June and August every year.

Even if you are not into adventure sports, the drive up Ben Macdhui is well worth it for the panoramic views. 

Need to hire a car?

In order to minimise your travel costs, Mango has partnered with a number of car-hire services that you can add to your itinerary when booking online. Let your winter road trip begin! 

Learn more about our partner programmes here

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