Does It Snow in Africa? (Where and How Much)

The Atlas Mountains in Africa receive snow from June to September and April to November. Mount Kenya in East Africa has year-round snow-capped peaks, while South Africa gets snow from August to June. Snowfall varies across different regions of Africa, but it does snow in Africa, indeed.

Read this article for more answers on ‘Does it snow in Africa?’ As we also included snowy destinations worth penciling in on your next winter adventure in African regions, which are also popular among tourists. Shedding light on the preconceived notion that the continent offers nothing but heat, we provide curated in-depth information.

Snow in Africa

Uncommon Snowfall in Africa

Does Africa receive snow? Infrequently, but the subsequent occurrences elevated rarity to a whole new level.

In September 1981, Johannesburg experienced up to 1 meter of snowfall in certain regions.

In 2013, the population of the middle east in Cairo, Egypt, was taken by surprise by an unforeseen snowstorm, which was a first in more than a century.

In February 1979, before the event that witnessed the accumulation of 1 inch of snow between the town’s first snowfall and claimed by eyewitnesses, there is no official record. However, in December 2016, snow fell on the town of Séfra Aïn, sometimes referred to as the “gateway to the desert,” on the edge of the Sahara Desert.

Snowfall in Africa is uncommon and is primarily found in mountainous regions. Nevertheless, certain African nations have encountered cold weather and snow.

Republic of South Africa

The temperatures in towns across South Africa can fluctuate, spanning from muggy to chilly or snowy, contingent upon the nation’s positioning on the equatorial plane.

In Sutherland, where there is heavy snowfall, temperatures can plummet to -16°C during the winter season, which lasts from June to August.

With its mountains covered in snow, Hogsback, a magical land in South Africa known as Hobbit Land, often transforms into a winter wonderland. Other towns such as Rhodes (which holds the annual winter event Rhodes Trail Run), Prince Edward Islands, and Cederberg also experience snowfall.

The Eastern Cape province only encounters consistent snowfall for three months a year, so from June to August, the resort relies on snow-making machines. The Tiffindell Ski Resort, situated in Drakensberg on the eastern Great Escarpment, takes pride in its regular snowfall.

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The southwestern coast of South Africa, known as Western Cape, proudly presents five snowy destinations.

  • Matroosberg Private Nature Sanctuary.
  • Manor of the Forgotten Highway.
  • Guinevere Guest Farm.
  • Mont Rouge.
  • Klondyke Cherry Farm.
  • Morocco

    Where else does it snow in Africa? In Morocco, but the winter temperatures differ due to its five climate zones.

  • Mediterranean.
  • Sub-Mediterranean..
  • Continental.
  • Alpine/Highland.
  • Semi-Arid.
  • During the winter season, certain regions of the country, especially the central areas and the northern mountains, frequently experience snowfall. The temperature can drop as low as 18°F to 23°F, depending on the specific climate zone, at any time between December and February.

    Atlas Mountains

    In 1935, the smallest temperature encountered on the landmass was documented in the petite town of Ifrane, which receives ample snowfall and dropped to a frigid -11oF.

    Michlifen (Mischliffen) is a small mountain town located near the town mountain small a in the Meknes-Tafilalet Region. It has a ski resort inside the cedar forest that locals fondly call Pearl Atlas. The resort boasts two chair lifts and slopes that span a distance of half a mile.

    Oukaïmeden is a mountain village located in the African continent, standing at an altitude of 10,700 feet. It is the highest ski resort in the Atlas Mountains, offering facilities for rentals and hotels, as well as lifts.

    Seasoned explorers brave the severe winters of Azilal, a province in the Atlas Mountains, in these highland communities.

  • Zaouïat Ahansal.
  • Bouguemez Valley.
  • Tagleft.
  • Aït Ouqabli.
  • Amsfrane.
  • Anergui.
  • Johannesburg

    From 1956 to 2012, snowfall in Johannesburg, the biggest city in South Africa, is not common, with occasional occurrences in different months and years, accompanied by a minimum temperature of 2°C in June and July.

    Lesotho

    The lowest point of this small country is only 1,400 meters above sea level, which is significantly higher compared to the rest of the world. The temperature in this southern African country can drop as low as 0°F in the highlands, while reaching a peak of 82°F. Additionally, the chilly weather contributes significantly to the overall climate of the country, making it a unique destination.

    Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, experiences year-round snowfall, with up to 0.5 inches of accumulation. In the highlands, the winter season from June to August brings about very chilly temperatures and the occurrence of snow.

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    Afriski Mountain Lodge and Resort, located in the Maluti (Maloti) Mountains, is the sole ski resort in Lesotho, providing visitors with a snow park and three skiing courses. The resort allows skiers to enjoy a thrilling skiing adventure, starting from its summit at 10,500 feet and descending to the base at 9,500 feet, covering a vertical distance of one thousand feet.

    June is the chilliest month in Lesotho, the frostiest nation in Africa.

    Snow-Covered Mountains in Africa

    Because of their elevated heights, mountains in different regions of Africa experience different levels of cold weather and snowfall.

    Kenya’s Highest Mountain

    Does it snow in Africa on this mountain, Kirinyaga, located in East Africa, with its highest point reaching over 17,000 feet and featuring 11 glacier formations, where temperatures can drop as low as -10°C during the mostly windy period from December to March?

    Mount Kenya, Africa

    Mesa Mountain

    Between 2010 and 2013, there were instances of light snowfall on Devil’s Peak and Front Table. Among the distinct African landmarks that provide a view of Cape Town, there is a mountain with a flat summit that is approximately 3,600 feet high.

    Simien Plateau

    There are no ski areas or lifts in Ethiopia. Rainfall also occurs from March to November. In the Northern Ethiopian mountains in East Africa, temperatures can get extremely cold, forming glaciers at -2°C. This temperature occurs from December to October.

    Atlas Range

    Jbel Toubkal, which reaches a height of almost 14,000 feet, spans across Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria. This mountain range encounters snowfall from November to April, but the mountain peaks can also be covered in snow from September to June.

    Kilimanjaro

    Located in Tanzania, East Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest solitary mountain globally, boasting three glacier formations and a temperature range of -15°C to 27°C. Additionally, it holds the title of Africa’s highest mountain, standing at over 19,000 feet.

  • Furtwangler (named after one of its initial mountaineers in 1912).
  • Rebmann (established in the 1800s).
  • The Ice Fields (the northern one being the closest to the summit of Uhuru Peak and also the largest)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro experiences its warmest temperatures in September. Surprisingly, there is snowfall from June to September, although the mountain is frequently capped with snow, particularly in December.

    The rainy season takes place twice a year, specifically from November to December and from March to May. The southern hemisphere receives more rainfall compared to the northern hemisphere. The weather on different sides of the mountain is experienced in various ways.

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    Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa

    Mountains of the Moon

    Stretching across an area of more than 0.5 square mile, the Rwenzori Mountains consistently encounter snow, precipitation, and the development of glaciers as a result of their cold climate. Situated at the border of Uganda and the Central African Republic, this mountain range maintains temperatures ranging from -5°C to 20°C, creating an alpine environment.

    How Frequently Does Snowfall Occur in Africa?

    Does altitude determine the greater elevation, however, it could snowfall last week. You need to climb high to experience it, but you need to climb high for year-round snow experience as well. Focusing on Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, some parts of Africa experience semi or yearly snowfall.

    Here’s a brief overview of the occurrence of snowfall in different regions of Africa.

    What is the Average Snowfall in Africa?

    The intermittent snowfall in South Africa from May 1956 to August 2012 recorded up to about 4 inches in the southern suburbs.

    Sutherland experiences up to 0.31 inches of snow in June, 0.24 inches in July, and 0.31 inches in August, which are the first three winter months in South Africa.

    Africa Snow

    Does Africa Experience Snowfall in December?

    Winter in Africa is primarily cold, bitter, and also different in various regions of the continent, experiencing snow. However, the weather in December is mostly sunny and hot in Africa.

    South Africa experiences a predominantly dry and arid climate, with its mountainous regions being particularly devoid of moisture. The average temperature during its winter season, which spans from August to June, is around 20°C, and the country receives snowfall during this period.

    Kenya in East Africa receives both snow and rain from March to December, but atop Mount Kenya, snow falls all year round.

    The Atlas Mountains experience snowfall on the peaks during the months of November to April and from September to June.

    Final Thoughts: Does Snowfall Occur in Africa?

    In Toronto, November can be as snowy as certain regions of Africa, the second largest and most densely populated continent. Nonetheless, the continent is the warmest on the globe due to its location along the equator, and numerous areas in Africa rarely encounter snow.

    It is not always fun to think about snow in Africa during winter because Africa, specifically South Africa or Kenya, Tanzania, is known for its sunny winter destinations. Even though Africa is not typically associated with snow, there are trusted ski resorts such as the Atlas Mountains in Algeria, which attract skiers from around the world. So, it’s time to debunk the stereotypical notion that Africa does not experience snow. Yes, Africa does indeed have snow.

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