Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
4 minute read
31 May 2022
9:37 am

6 SA snowy destinations for your winter travel bucket list

Renate Engelbrecht

South Africa might be known for its warm and welcoming weather, but it also has some magnificent snowy destinations to explore.

Snow in Nieu-Bethesda. Image: Instagram - Ina Botha

Although most tourists come to South Africa for its lovely weather, locals often keep an eye out for homegrown spectacular winter spots worth exploring. And, when there is snow, it is even better.

Whilst one would never know for sure, these South African spots have seen their fair share of snow over the past few years.

Chances are you might be able to build a snowman here this winter:

Nieu-Bethesda

According to the owner of The Bethesda Guesthouse, Carla Smit, the Karoo town Nieu-Bethesda is often covered in white from the months of May, sometimes all the way through to November. She says that your best bet, though, would be around June and July. In August last year, many shared photos of a snow-capped Compassberg.

Where to stay:

The Bethesda Guesthouse is located close to all the best restaurants in town and its owners are charming. With that comes its popular restaurant, Bruno’s where you can have some of the best pizza in town.

If you’re keen on exploring the outskirts of town, opt for a farm stay at Doornberg where you can stay in a spacious family room that once housed a farm school. This self-catering option is perfect for families wanting to see more of what’s around town, offering children from the city the rare opportunity of experiencing a working farm.

ALSO READ: Secluded destinations to escape to in South Africa

Matroosberg

Ceres’ Matroosberg is often covered in snow during the winter months, hence it’s a safe bet to plan your holiday around that area. According to matroosberg.com once the slopes are covered in snow, they remain snowclad for quite some time. The area is also known for its private ski slope.

Where to stay:

The Matroosberg Nature Reserve has got you covered with various accommodation options. From the Goatherder House which is more than a hundred years old to a ski hut and lakeside houses and a campsite on the banks of the Spek River, you’ll definitely find something. According to their 2022 camping rates, adults pay a mere R90 per person per night if they stay for two nights, and children only R60.

Cederberg

Even the Cederberg Conservancy calls for some snowy expeditions. You might just catch the snow while staying at one of the various idyllic spots.

Where to stay:

Gecko Creek Wilderness Lodge is said to be the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of snow. Located in the heart of the Cederberg Wilderness, it is also perfect for those keen on nature photography.

Drakensberg

The Drakensberg becomes even more magnificent once the snow starts to fall. With various magical destinations to retreat to, this is an easy weekend getaway from Gauteng – one your kids will forever be grateful for. Last year, Mnweni was beautifully draped in white.

The Sani Pass is another one of South Africa’s popular snowy destinations during the winter months, which boasts magnificent views and allows avid travellers to visit Lesotho’s winter wonderland too.

Where to stay:

Eagle’s Rock Mountain Retreat is one such place where you and your family can enjoy the snowy wonderland.

The Sani Valley Nature Lodge is a good choice if you’re planning to explore the Sani Pass – the mother of all South African mountain passes.

Sutherland

Sutherland is known as the town in South Africa with the coldest winters. This area’s winters often come with a thick layer of snow too.

Where to stay:

Try Rogge Cloof’s inclusive or self-catering accommodation and use that as your base to explore this unique part of the Karoo.

Hogsback

Another one of the country’s snowy destinations often blanketed under white during the winter months is Hogsback in the Eastern Cape. This village is located in the Amathole Mountains and apart from its fairy forests and waterfalls, you’re bound to run into some snow angels too.

Where to stay:

If Hogsback is one of the snowy destinations you’re keen to explore, stay in the highest residence in Hogsback and see the snow first. Fourfields Hogsback offers a self-catering cottage that can accommodate up to six guests. Or opt for Trengwainton Cottage – an off-the-grid sanctuary for two. The Edge Mountain Retreat also boasts magnificent views.