While the Mother City of South Africa is best known for its beautiful beaches and hot sunny weather, each winter the snow in Cape Town shows another side to the peninsula. As you may remember from your Geography lessons, temperatures need to reach a certain point for snow to fall. For the most part, Cape Town does not experience snow in its main hubs. Just under an hour away however, the Western Cape towns of Ceres, Worcester and Tulbagh offer the chance to enjoy a spectacular winter wonderland.
The first snowfalls often begin towards the middle of June, and continue well into July. Going to see the snow has become something of a pilgrimage for many locals, not to mention visitors who want to enjoy a southern hemisphere winter without being subjected to chilly conditions throughout the season.
Sleet and hail are produced when temperatures reach a very low state of chilliness, resulting in chunks of hard ice. Usually, hail looks more like, well, hail, but under certain conditions, it mixes with sleet to resemble snow in its look and even feel.
The thing that really matters however is that for Cape Town, snow or anything close to it is still a great cause of wonder and excitement. Places like Ceres are known for their snow, but in the heart of the city, it’s not often that we get to do fun things like make snow angels.
Where to See Cape Town Snow
The best way to plan an outing to see the snow is to keep an ear and eye out for weather bulletins. Each year is different of course, but generally speaking the best time is from late June to late July. Cape Town locals get very excited once the snow is thick enough to cavort in – ask around and you are sure to get the latest updates in snow as well as some enthusiast tips on where to go.
The picturesque fruit growing town of Ceres is best known for its snow fields. The town lies about 135km outside of Cape Town, near the Matroosberg Mountains. The reserve here is where you can experience plenty of fun in the snow. Skiing, snowboarding, snowman building and snowball fights are par for the course – there are however set rules on which areas are open to the public. Cherry picking can also be enjoyed in winter, so even if you happen to visit on a no-snow day there are still other things to do.
Also in the area is the wine-growing town of Worcester. You will be able to enjoy some beautiful views of snow-capped mountains in the distance, lush green valleys and fields dusted with snow, scenic orchards and plenty of wide open spaces. There are many other things to do here too – try some trout fishing in one of the many lakes found within the lovely wine estates or take a walk around town to see old churches and interesting buildings. Wine tasting is par for the course too – perfect for warming up after playing in the snow!
The quaint town of Tulbagh has become a popular travel destination in the Western Cape, and for good reason. From the gorgeous Cape Dutch, Edwardian and Victorian homesteads on Church Street, to the endless farms and country views, snow-capped mountains, baboons dashing across long country roads and a relaxed atmosphere, this is a great place to take a drive and see some snow. Tulbagh is about an hour or so away from Cape Town.