Snow Destinations in Africa: 7 Hidden Spots for Winter Adventures


For outdoors lovers, snow destinations in Africa hold an enchanting appeal and great potential for thrilling adventures. Whether you love to ski or snowboard, it’s a chance to have tons of fun while taking in the wonders of nature under a blanket of snow.

When you think of snowy holiday adventures, destinations like Vienna, Austria or the Swiss Alps may come to mind. While these are renowned for their scenic winter landscapes, there are plenty of hidden winter wonderlands to explore.

Hidden snow destinations off the beaten path offer authentic, local experiences that you can never have anywhere else. Exploring these locations is an adventure in itself and can be incredibly rewarding. Take a look at some of the best kept secrets for winter adventures in Africa:

Best Snow Destinations in Africa

Famed for its warm, tropical climate, Africa is one of the last places on earth where you would expect to have a snowy adventure vacation. However, a few destinations on the continent get sufficient snowfall for unforgettable adventures. Let’s have a look:

Afriski, Lesotho

Lesotho happens to be the only country in the world with a base elevation of about 1,500 meters above sea level. Almost the entire country is located high up in the Drakensberg Mountains. For this reason, it is often referred to as mountain kingdom. Courtesy of this high altitude, it is one of only two countries in Africa with a ski resort.

Located in the Maluti Mountains, Afriski has a summit of 3,222 meters above sea level and a 1-kilometer slope. Snowfall is not always thick enough to cover the entire slope. The resort fills these gaps using a machine creating an idyllic playground for snow lovers. It is one of the best places in Africa to go skiing or snowboarding during winter (between May and September).

Sani Pass, Lesotho

Set in the stunning Drakensberg Mountains, Sani Pass is home to breathtaking vistas of snow-covered landscapes. The extensive mountain pass makes its way over the Drakensberg escarpment with a peak altitude of 2,876 meters.

During winter months (May to September), the escarpment experiences heavy snowfall blanketing the entire landscape. A resort sits at the peak of this winter wonderland. Here you can enjoy an unforgettable winter vacation with adventures including 4×4 drives through the steep, icy pass, skiing and so much more.

Driving here comes with a significant thrill factor but require considerable experience on tricky terrain. But it is also highly rewarding as it takes you through stunning terrain. An enchanting frozen waterfall right next to the road is one of the highlights of the route.

Matroosberg Peak, South Africa

This is one of the few parts of South Africa that experiences heavy snowfall. As the second-highest peak in the country, it offers a breathtaking view over rugged mountain terrain. During winter months (June to August), you can enjoy a variety of fun activities on the thick, white snow. These range from snowshoeing and snowboarding to skiing and snowball fighting.

Thanks to its remote location and clear winter skies, it also makes one of the best snow destinations in Africa for stargazing. Note that accessing this location requires a 4×4 to maneuver through the challenging terrain.

The Atlas Mountains, Morocco


In the northwestern corner of the continent, Morocco offers an incredibly diverse geological landscape. It is home to the High Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert and various volcanic landscapes. It also boasts a long coastline as well as a number of oases and valleys. Its remarkable diversity makes this country ideal for a unique winter vacation adventure.

Winter lasts from December to March, bringing snowfall to areas like the capital Rabat and the High Atlas Mountains. Ski Resort Oukaimeden near Marrakech offers the best snowy landscape for adventurers. At an elevation of 2,600 meters above sea level, it boasts about 10 kilometers of slope. It has ski lifts for easy accessibility. The resort has a certain rustic charm that offers an authentic experience that you will not find at any upscale location.

Still in the Atlas Mountains, Ifrane is a charming winter wonderland popularly known as Morocco’s Switzerland. The little town is home to unique architecture similar to that of Swiss alpine villages. Here you can enjoy hiking in the pristine white snow, sledding and a variety of winter sports. The town is also home to the Michlifen Ski Resort, a popular destination for snow adventure lovers.

Where Else Can You See Snow in Africa?

The above locations are some of the few snow destinations in Africa where you can enjoy winter adventures. However, the continent also has a number of additional locations that experience snowfall. These may not have a fully-fledged snow adventure scene but still offer breathtaking scenery. Have a look:

Ruwenzori Mountains, Uganda

The majestic Ruwenzori Mountains are located on the border between Uganda and DRC Congo. These ranges are renowned for their rare equatorial glaciers. They are also one of few snow destinations in Africa around the equator. At its highest peaks, the region receives snowfall consistently throughout the year. On the highest point, Margherita Peak, there is a permanent ice cap.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


It is no surprise that the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro makes the list. Snowfall occurs on its highest peaks – Gillman’s Point and Uhuru Peak. The areas have permanent glaciers and freezing temperatures throughout the year. Due to climate change however, the glaciers are constantly shrinking. So add this destination to your bucket list before it’s too late.

Mount Kenya, Kenya


The second-highest mountain on the continent is also among snow destinations in Africa. It is home to permanent glaciers such as Diamond, Tyndall and Lewis Glaciers. These are the main sources of snow for several peaks including Lenana, Nelion and Batian Peaks. Each of these peaks sits at an altitude of over 4,000 meters above sea level and experience snowfall year-round. Here too, the glaciers are receding as a result of climate change. The long-term sustainability of these equatorial glaciers is at risk.

Scaling the Heights of Africa on Your Snowy Vacation

Africa’s diversity is not limited to tropical beaches and sunny savannas. The continent is also home to some of the best hidden gems for winter adventures. Snow destinations in Africa remain unexplored and unspoiled, ideal for off-the-beaten-path vacation adventures. They are also a lot friendlier on the pocket than the world’s most popular winter destinations. So if you’re not a big fan of crowded tourist spots, these are your best bet for epic snow vacations.

Outside Africa, here are some of the best and most unusual places to ski around the world.

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