The History of Snow in Southern Africa

There used to be a widely held belief by many that it rarely snows in Africa, so we compiled a detailed history of snow in Southern Africa. So let’s start the meandering down history lane all the way back in 1853… (please note this long article is now broken up into two pages – before and after 2010)

Snow history before 2010 can be found via the following link:

History of Snow from 2010 to 2020

June 2010

“Table Mountain turned into a snow-capped winter wonderland on Tuesday, June 15” said the news in 2010. It seems quite a few areas in the Western Cape received snow fall in 2010 including the Hottentots Holland mountains, Ceres, Matroosberg and Worcester.

June- August 2011

The central Drakensberg received quite a substantial amount of snow, as seen here at Cathedral Peak. Cathedral Peak was quoted as saying that this was the first snow in the camp itself since the 90’s. Snow in the Free State forced officials to close the major route between Villiers and Van Reenen’s Pass. Light snow fell over Johannesburg on a Monday afternoon.

July-August 2012

On the 14 July 2012 there were heavy snowfalls in the Karoo, N1 was closed on 14 and 15 July from Beaufort West – Richmond due to the snowfalls and the road from Three Sisters to Victoria West as well. The N1 was reopended on the 15th late afternoon. It snowed over all the provinces of South Africa on Tuesday, 07 August 2012. The people, and the media, went crazy. Not much work was achieved around the country on this day, what with office staff running outside to catch snowflakes and take photos.

August – September 2013

Late snow fall in August and September in the Western Cape and the KZN Drakensberg. Cape Town itself experienced hail that left the city bowl looking like a winter wonderland. There was even snow on Table Mountain once more.

April 2014

Not many people are aware that we actually received our first snow fall of the season on Matroosberg in April already of 2014. We have had some really great snow fall so far in the Western and Northern Cape and Mooi River KZN. We hope for even more so keep watching SnowReport for daily updates this winter season!

April 2015

First sighting of snow fell overnight and was spotted on April 5th at Tiffindell SKi Resort. Sneeuberg in the Eastern Cape as well as certain parts of Graaf Reinet and Afriski in Lesotho all experienced a little snow in April 2015. Sani Pass received a little snow on the 20th of April

May 2015

Snow at Sani Pass in in certain parts of Lesotho.

June 2015

In June, Snow was sighted in Lady Grey, Kokstad, Matatiele, Rhodes, Southern/Central Drakensberg, Lesotho, Ficksburg, Worcester, Sutherland and Swartberg.

July 2015

Lesotho: Maluti Mountains, Thaba-Tseka, Sani Pass, Thaba-Putsoa Pass. Eastern Cape : Elliot, Maclear, Lootsberg Pass, Lady Grey, Winterhoek, Barkly East, Dordrecht, Penhoek Pass, Naude’s Nek, Ugie, Stormberg, Compassberg, Rhodes. Free State: Zastron. KZN: Matatiele, Southern Drakensberg, Castleburn, Mooi River mountains, St Bernard’s Peak. Bulwer mountains. Western Cape: Hottentots Holland Mountains, Ceres mountains, Matroosberg, Hexrivier Valley.

August 2015

Western Cape: Matroosberg. Worcester Mountains Eastern Cape: Lootsberg Pass, Graaff Reinet, Rhodes.

September 2015

KZN: Southern Drakensberg, Central Drakensberg E Cape: Naude’s Nek LesothoMaluti Mountains, Sani Pass.

November 2015

E Cape: Rhodes/Tiffindell Ski Resort W Cape: De Doorns, Matroosberg.

27 March 2016

W Cape: Matroosberg.

6 April 2016

Lesotho: Light snow over the Maluti Mountains and Mokhotlong area.

30 April 2016

Snow over the Eastern Cape mountains and all along the Drakensberg as well as across the mountain ranges of Lesotho. some flurries in the KZN midlands E Cape: Barkly East, Ugie, Lady Grey, Rhodes, Maclear, Matatiele, Kokstad. KZN: Underberg, Kokstad, Impendle, Himeville. Lesotho: Sani Pass top.

7 May 2016

Tiffindell ski resort received light flurries of snow as did regions of the Drakensberg and Lesotho. Lesotho: Maluti Mountains, Sani Pass Top. KZN: Certain peaks of the Southern Drakensberg.

10 May 2016

Lesotho: Maluti Mountains, Sani Pass Top, Letseng Dimaond Mine, Thaba Tseka. KZN: Central Drakensberg Peaks. Free State: Phuthaditjhaba.

14 May 2016

Light snow fall at Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho Maluti mountains as well as the Southern Drakensberg.

25 May 2016

Snow at Tiffindell Ski Resort in E Cape and Mafika-Lisiu Pass in Lesotho as well at some parts of the Southern Drakensberg.

11 June 2016

E Cape: Elliot, Sneeuberg mountain, Ugie, Nieu Bethesda, Gaika’s Kop, Rhodes, outside Oudtshoorn, Hogsback. KZN: Bushman’s Nek.

12 June 2016

Lesotho: Maluti mountains.

13 June 2016

Lesotho: Mokhotlong,Oxbow, Sani Pass Top, Moteng Pass. Free State: Phuthaditjhaba, Clarens, Golden Gate Highlands Park, Moolmanshoek, Memel. E Cape: Rhodes, Winterberg Mountains. KZN: Cathedral Peak, Northern Drakensberg Peaks.

20 June 2016

W Cape: Breedekloof Valley, Sneeuberg, Swartberg, Oudtshoorn, Ceres Mountains including Matroosberg.

1 July 2016

W Cape: Brandwacht Mountains, Matroosberg, Worcester Mountains, Witzenberg. N Cape: Sutherland.

2 July 2016

E Cape: Barkly Pass, Rhodes, Barkly East, Naudes Nek. N Cape: Sutherland. W Cape: Swartberg, Stellenbosch, Outeniqua Moutains, Villiersdorp, Hottentot Hollands Mountains, Wapadsberg, Perdekop Trail Franschoek. KZN: St Bernard’s Peak, Dargle, Impendle, Nottingham, Underberg.

6 July 2016

W Cape: Matroosberg, De Doorns, Cederberg, Hexriviervallei. N Cape: Karoo mountains, Sutherland. E Cape: Graaf Reinet.

16 July 2016

W Cape: Matroosberg

23 July 2016

W Cape: Matroosberg, Worcester mountains, Elandsberg, Swartberge. E Cape: Sneeuberg, Lootsberg Pass, Matatiele. Lesotho: Sani Pass top. KZN: St Bernard’s Peak, Nottingham Road, Curry’s Post, Bulwer Mountains, Kokstad, Impendle, Dargle.

24 July 2016

KZN: Balgowan, Bushman’s Nek, Rosetta, Nottingham Road, Lower Loteni, Champagne Castle, Dargle, Kamberg, Royal National Park, Swartberg E Cape: Ugie, Cedarville Lesotho: Maloti Mountains, Sani Pass Top. Free State: Reitz.

25 July 2016

KZN: Bulwer, Impendle, Mooi River, Northern Drakensberg, Monks Cowl, Himeville, Kokstad, Lower Loteni, Donnybrook, Swartberg, Bushman’s Nek E Cape: Sneeuberg, Elliot, Stormberg, Ugie, Barkly East, Rhodes, Qunu, Steynsburg, Queenstown. N Cape: Karoo. Lesotho: Thaba Tseka, Qacha’neck, Lesotho Highlands, Maluti Mountains. Free State: Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Phuthaditjhaba.

26 July 2016

KZN: Swartberg. Lesotho: Maluti Mountains, Mount Moorosi, Sani Pass Top.

27 July 2016

N Cape: Sutherland, Loxton, Noupoort, Colesberg. Free State: Bethlehem, Fouriesburg, Ficksburg. E Cape: Dordrecht, Barkly East, Naude’s Nek, Rhodes, Lady Grey. Lesotho: Semonkong, Maluti Mountains. KZN: Bannermans Pass, Central and Northern Drakensberg Mountains.

1 August 2016

Lesotho: Sani Pass Top. Free State: Phuthaditjhaba, Fouriesburg, Verkykerskop, between Memel and Harrismith, Clarens, Golden Gate Highlands National Park.

3 August 2016

W Cape: Swartberge. E Cape: Lady Grey, Rhodes, Naude’s Nek, Sneeuberg, Barkly East. Lesotho: Qacha’s nek.

16 August 2016

Lesotho: Maluti Mountains.

19 August 2016

Lesotho: Mohale Dam in the Maluti Mountains.

20 August 2016

Lesotho: Sani Pass Top. KZN: Drakensberg Gardens. N Cape: Sutherland light dusting. W Cape: Matroosberg. Swartberg Mountains, Ceres Mountains, Worcester Mountains. E Cape: Sneeuberg, Hogsback

17 September 2016

W Cape: Hex Rivier Mountains, Matroosberg. E Cape: Graaf Reinet. Lesotho: Sani Pass Top

18 September 2016

Lesotho: Maluti Mountains, Qachas Nek, Mokhotlong. KZN: Van Reenen’s Pass, Swartberg KZN, Bulwer, Normandien Pass, Bushman’s Nek. Mpumalanga: Volksrust, Montrose Pass.

27 September 2016

W Cape: Brandwacht Mountains.

2 October 2016

KZN: Underberg, St Bernard’s Peak, Giant’s Castle, Dooley Knoll. E Cape: Matatiele. Lesotho: Sani Pass Top, Maluti Mountains

3 October 2016

E Cape: Rhodes

4 October 2016

Free State: Phuthaditjhaba. KZN: Sani Drakensberg Gardens, Cathedral Peak, Bushman’s Nek, Champagne Valley. Lesotho: Sani Pass Top

9 October 2016

W Cape: Tradouws Pass

14 April 2017

Light snow on the high ground around Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape.

12 May 2017

KZN: Giant’s Castle Lesotho: Sani Pass Top, Thaba Putsoa Pass, Maluti Mountains, Mohale Village E Cape: Rhodes

13 May 2017

Lesotho: Sani Pass, Maluti Mountains E Cape: Barkly Pass KZN: Cathkin Peak, Langalibalele Pass, Giant’s Castle

14 May 2017

High lying regions of Lesotho as well as the KZN Drakensberg

7 June 2017

N Cape and W Cape received a small amount of snow along with cold, rainy weather.

8 June 2017

A good amount of snow fell over many parts of Western Cape and isolated areas in Northern Cape and Eastern Cape W Cape: Langeberg Mountains, Matroosberg, Ceres, Ashton, Robertson, Hexrivier, De Doorns, Ladismith, Lady Grey, Du Toit’s Peak, Tulbagh, Villiersdorp, Table Mountain, Franschhoek, Riviersonderend Mountains, Hexpas Touwsrivier, Somerset West, Hottentot Hollands Mountains, Witzenberg Mountains, Cederberg, Winterhoek, Bainskloof N Cape: Roggeveld, Sutherland, Calvinia E Cape: Tarkastad

23 June 2017

Dusting of snow over parts of the E Cape E Cape: Wildebeestheok, Elliot, Ugie

28 June 2017

Lesotho: Letseng Diamond Mine, Maluti Mountains

1 July 2017

Some very unexpected snow dropped out of the sky over the Drakensberg and the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho Lesotho: Maluti Mountains, Sani Pass KZN: Cathedral Peak Free State: Namahadi Pass

9 July 2017

A dusting of snow for the Western Cape over many of their mountain ranges. Western Cape: Somerset West, Sneeukop, Hexrivier, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Bloukop Mountains, Langeberg, Swellendam, Franschoek, Robertson

14 July 2017

Light snow flurries spotted at Afriski in the Maluti mountains and also at Tiffindell Ski Resort near Rhodes, Eastern Cape

16 July 2017

More lovely snow in July with falls seen in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape Western Cape: Matroosberg, Drie Kuilen Nature Reserve, Somerset West, Swartberg Pass, Suurbraak Mountains, Drakenstein Mountains, Simonsberg, Langeberg, Riviersonderend, Calitzdorp, Jonkershoek, Winterhoek, Laingsburg, Worcester, Montagu, Kammanassie Mountains, Swellendam, Ladismith, Beaufort West, De Doorns, Klein Swartberg, Table Mountain, Du Toit’s Kloof, Karoo National Park, Witzenberg Eastern Cape: Hogsback, , Lootsberg, Naude’s Berg Pass, Elliot, Cradock Northern Cape: Sutherland, Nieu Bethesda

16 August 2017

Western Cape: Worcester, Tulbagh, Matroosberg, Lootsberg Pass Northern Cape: Sutherland Eastern Cape: Dordrecht, Wapadberg Pass, Molteno, KZN: Underberg, Sani Pass

17 August 2017

Eastern Cape: Barkly Pass, Elliot, Queenstown, Lady Grey, Barkly Pass, Rhodes, Nieu Bethesda, Graaf Reinet, Hogsback, Wapaberg Pass, Katberg, Nico Malan Pass, Rhodes, Lootsberg Pass, Ugie, Maclear KZN: Impendle, Fort Nottingham, Kokstad, Kamberg, Nottingham Road, Mooi River, Bushman’s Nek, Drakensberg Gardens, Bulwer, Cathkin Peak, Lower Loteni, Swartberg Lesotho: Qacha’s Nek, Black Mountain, Sani Pass, Maluti Mountains, Mokhotlong, Free State: Zastron, Bethlehem Western Cape: Outeniqua Pass, Clarens

18 August 2017

Eastern Cape: Elliot, Sneeuberg, Barkly Pass

22 August 2017

Northern Cape: Sutherland

23 August 2017

Western Cape: Swartberg, Matroosberg

26 August 2017

KZN: Mweni, Lesotho: Maluti Mountains

26 September 2017

Western Cape: Cederberg, Swartberg Eastern Cape: Sneeuberg

5 October 2017

Western Cape: Worcester, Lesotho: Sani Pass, Maluti Mountains, Thaba-Tseka, Maseru Eastern Cape: Barkly Pass, Rhodes, Bastervoetslaanpad Pass KZN: Drakensberg, Bushman’s Nek, Drakensberg Garden

10 October 2017

Lesotho: Sani Pass, Maluti Mountains, Maseru, Sani Pass Top, Thaba-Tseka, Qacha’s Nek Eastern Cape: Naudes Nek, Barkly East, Rhodes, KZN: Drakensberg, Bushman’s Nek, Drakensberg Garden, Cathedral Peak, Bergville, Matatiele, St Bernards Peak, Witsieshoek, Lake Naverone, Underberg, Castleburn, Monks Cowl, Free State: Zastron

16 October 2017

Western Cape: Worcester, Matroosberg, Stellenbosch, Nieu-Bethesda, De Doorns

26 October 2017

Lesotho: Sani Pass, Maluti Mountains, Maseru, Sani Pass Top, Thaba-Tseka, Qacha’s Nek Eastern Cape: Naudes Nek, Barkly East, Rhodes, KZN: Drakensberg, Bushman’s Nek, Drakensberg Garden, Cathedral Peak, Bergville, Matatiele, St Bernards Peak, Witsieshoek, Lake Naverone, Underberg, Castleburn, Monks Cowl, Free State: Zastron

15 November 2017

Western Cape: Matroosberg, Beaufort West, Karoo National Park Eastern Cape: Barkly Pass, Wapadberg Pass, Lootsberg Pass, Sneeuberg

16 November 2017

Eastern Cape: Barkly East, Bastervoetpad Pass, Clarens, Dordrecht, Elliot, Molteno, Rhodes, Hogsback, Elliot, Sneeuberg, Nieu Bethesda KZN: Lake Naverone, Swartberg, Bushmans Nek, Nottingham Road, St Bernards Peak, Matatiele, Drakensberg Gardens, Garden Castle, Kamberg, Underberg, Lake Naverone, Cathkin Peak, Impendle, Mooi River, Cathedral Peak Lesotho: Mokotlong, Numolani, Sani Pass, Maseru, Butha Buthe, Thaba Tseka, Maluti Mountains Free State: Fouriesburg

22 November 2017

Western Cape: Worcester, Matroosberg, De Doorns

27 November 2017

A little snow over the mountains of Lesotho Lesotho: Maluti Mountains, Mahlasela Pass

22 March 2018

A little snow over the high passes of Lesotho was recorded, causing some chaos on the mountain passes Lesotho:Kao and Tlaeng Pass

30 April 2018

Light flurries of snow spotted in the morning at Afriski Mountain Resort in the Maluti Mountains as well as on the Lesotho Black Mountain. Lesotho: Maluti Mountains and Black Mountain

03 May 2018

Light flurries of snow spotted again over Afriski Mountain Resort in the Maluti Mountains Lesotho: Maluti Mountains

12-13 May 2018

A nice cover of snow was experienced over certain parts of Eastern Lesotho the weekend of the 12-13 May. This included Sani Pass Top, the Maluti mountains and the Thaba Putsoa mountain range. The area of Tiffindell Ski resort also received snow near Rhodes, Eastern Cape as well as the mountains above Maclear. Lesotho: Maluti Mountains, Thaba Putsoa, Sani Pass Top E Cape: Tiffindell Ski Resort, Maclear

14-15 May 2018

A nice cover of snow was experienced over certain parts of Eastern Lesotho Monday night into Tuesday. The majority of the snow was experienced over Sani Pass Top, the Thaba Putsoa mountain range, the KZN Southern Drakensberg and Black Mountain pass also received a covering of snow. The Maluti mountains around Afriski received a few flurries but nothing settled Lesotho: Sani Pass top, Thaba Putsoa, Black Mountain KZN: Southern Drakensberg mountains.

14-15 June2018

A large cold front hit the Western Cape with heavy rains and localised flooding. Some snow was seen on the top of Matroosberg in Ceres, as well as the peaks of the Worcester mountains. Light snow was also to be found in the Eastern Cape around Tiffindell Western Cape: Matroosberg, Worcester Eastern Cape: Tiffindell

1-3 July 2018

Various parts of South Africa were blanketed with snow at the beginning of July. Sutherland in the Northern Cape was a winter wonderland in white snow. Western Cape, Matroosberg reportedly received some of its heaviest snow in 10 years. Even Table Mountain experienced a few flurries. Various parts of Eastern Cape received a bit of snow, including Hogsback. Western Cape: Matroosberg, Worcester, Franschoek, Table Mountain Eastern Cape: Hogsback, Barkly Pass, Nieu-Bethesda

13-15 July 2018

What an exciting few days of snow for South Africa! Snow started on the high reaches of Matroosberg midday on the 13th of July, although their was no low-level snow, a great many 4×4 enthusiasts were able to enjoy the snow higher up. The SnowReport Team made their way to Afriski Mountain Lodge in the Maluti mountains, Lesotho, where the received a good blanketing of snow overnight and into the morning of the 14th of July, with the cold freezing the lakes and dams. The snow was also spotted at Tiffindell in the Eastern Cape as well as in Sani Pass, Black mountain as well as along the KZN Drakensberg Western Cape: Matroosberg Eastern Cape: Tiffindell Ski Resort, Rhodes, Lesotho: Afriski, Sani Pass Top, Maluti mountains KZN: Drakensberg Mountains

6-10 August 2018

Many days of snow across the country, including Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, KZN and Lesotho. Picturesque snowy landscapes photographed in the Bo Swaarmoed Pass region. Western Cape: Matroosberg, Touws River, de Doorns, Swartberge, Bo Swaarmoed Pass, Worcester Northern Cape: Sutherland Eastern Cape: Sneeuberge, Rhodes, Barkly Pass, Tiffindell, Ugie, Hogsback, Naude’s Nek Pass Lesotho: Mokhotlong, Sani Pass, Semonkong, Mohale, Letseng KZN: Underberg, Bushmen’s Nek, Drakensberg Gardens, St Bernards Peak

17-18 August 2018

Western Cape And Northern Cape caught the tail-end of a cold front and saw a little snow on the high lying areas and mountain ranges. Lesotho and KZN also saw significant snow in certain parts.Western Cape: Hex Rivier, Hottentots Holland, Villiersdorp, Matroosberg, Franschoek, Worcester Northern Cape: Sutherland Eastern Cape: Sneeuberg, Rhodes, Barkly Pass, Tiffindell, Ugie, Hogsback, Naude’s Nek Pass Lesotho: Mokhotlong, Sani Pass, Letseng, Black Mountain KZN: Dargle Bushmen’s Nek, Drakensberg Gardens, St Bernard’s Peak Free State: Harrismith, Golden Gate National Park

25-26 August 2018

Disruptive snowfalls on some of the high-lying passes in the Western Cape. Also, rhinos and other African wildlife could be seen in snow-covered landscapes. Capetonians really enjoyed the lower-lying snow and although a few cell phones may have been lost while making snow angels at Matroosberg, fun was still had by all! Western Cape: Hex Rivier, Koo Valley, Ceres, Matroosberg, Worcester, Cederberg, Wolseley, Gydo Pass, Koue Bokkeveld, Touws Rivier, Theronsberg pass Northern Cape: Sutherland

18 September 2018

This significant 5-day snow event resulted in a short period of disruptive ground-level snowfall on the N9 and in the region near Uniondale in the Western Cape, and plenty of snow on the high-peaks in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, as well as predicted snow in Southern Namibia (while there were reported sightings we didn’t receive any photographs). The extensive ground-level snow around the Uniondale and Graaff-Reinet regions, as well as far up into the Northern Cape was not something we see every year and neither is such widespread snow coverage and neither is such a long snow event. We also saw a surprising amount of ground-level snow in the KZN Midlands, although it melted very quickly. Some of the amazing wildlife in the snow photographs and videos from this event hit the international news.

3-4 October 2018

Besides being a special event marked by the first SnowReportSA on-location video report being filmed after landing a helicopter on the escarpment in the central Drakensberg, we also saw very unusual snow coverage way up into Mpumalanga, with snow photos being posted from Carolina, Memel and Sabie. The event also saw eight highly motivated SnowReportSA followers joining us for the amazing 45 minute Drakensberg helicopter flights with absolutely perfect viewing conditions. The event saw snow falling from the Eastern Cape Drakensberg around Barkly Pass and Tiffindell Ski Resort, right through Lesotho and on the northern, central and Southern Drakensberg. We finally got to see some snow in the Golden Gate National Park. It was certainly one of the most exciting snow events of the year, with both Richard and Rob out reporting from different locations at the same time.

13-15 October 2018

A small snow event mainly around AfriSki and Letseng in Lesotho, but we also received some great photos from a group of experienced hikers took on a challenging trip in the Sentinel area in Royal Natal National Park. The Malutis also got some snow that was visible from near Clarens in the Free State. Despite it’s limited size, this event resulted in the largest snowflakes we’ve seen on video all season.

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