Africa is the world’s second largest continent. It occupies an area of about 11.7 million square miles, which is about 20% of the earth’s land area. It has 54 countries and 11 territories. A huge part of the continent is in the northern hemisphere with a small portion of Africa being in Southern Hemisphere. The continent is surrounded by the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Africa is on the intertropical zone right between Tropic of Capricorn and the Northern Tropic; therefore the continent is always hot and has high humidity. However, it may surprise you to learn that some parts of Africa receive snowfall.
Does it Snow in Africa?
Yes, snow is an annual occurrence on some parts of the continent. Africa is the world’s hottest continent with about 60% of the continent consisting of deserts and drylands, but some parts of Southern Africa and African mountains receive snow regularly. South Africa is home to some of the top skiing resorts in the continent.
Where Does it Snow in Africa?
Johannesburg is located on a Highveld plateau where it experiences a sub-tropical highland climate. The temperature in the city drops below freezing point during winter nights causing frost. Snow fell in Johannesburg in May 1956, August 1962, June 1964, and September 1981 during the twentieth century. During the twenty-first century, the city received a decent snowfall on June 27, 2007 (accumulating to over 4 inches in southern suburbs) and on August 7, 2012. Johannesburg received light sleet in 2006.
The Drakensberg is the eastern part of the Great Escarpment that surrounds the central Southern African plateau. The Drakensberg is situated in Lesotho and South Africa. The escarpment reaches its highest altitude of between 6,562 ft and 11,424 ft. The region receives snowfall regularly and its home to the only commercial skiing site in South Africa. Tiffendell Resort has an advanced ski-making capability which makes it possible for people to ski for three months annually.
The 3,558 ft flat-topped mountain known as the Table Mountain is one of the most unique South African attractions overlooking Cape Town. Table Mountain receives light snow dusting at the Devil’s Peak and Front Table after every few years. Table Mountain received snow on June 15, 2010, August 5, 2011, August 30, 2013, and September 20, 2013.
The Atlas Mountains are mountain ranges which stretch through Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco with its highest peak (Jbel Toubkal) being 13,671 ft high. The High Atlas is in the central parts of Morocco, and it includes the Jbel Toubkal. The High Atlas receives snow from November to April every year. Snowfall can persist at the peaks of the ranges from September to June. Morocco has three skiing stations including Oukaimeden on the western parts of the High Atlas.
Other African Mountains That Receive Snow
The Ceres and Cedarberg in the south-western Cape receive snow regularly. Snowfall is a regular occurrence in Mount Kilimanjaro with its peak being covered entirely by snow. Snowfall in Kilimanjaro is associated with the region’s two rainy seasons (March to May and November to December). River Ruwenzori’s glacier has been retreating since the 2010s due to rising temperatures.