Skiing in South Africa
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Skiing in South Africa - Is it even possible?

Can you ski in South Africa? Well, usually when you talk about the best spots for skiing and snowboarding, South Africa is not the continent that most people consider. Skiing in South Africa is definitely the last thing that comes to mind.

However, you will be surprised to know there is a ski resort in South Africa. In fact, there are at least 3 South Africa ski resorts where one can experience groomed slopes, and occasional white powder snow.

Skiing in South Africa should be regarded as an alternative to South America or Australia. Here are the arguments for trying something different next coming winter.

Matroosberg - the oldest ski resort in South Africa

Matroosberg ski resort is situated in Western Cape, South Africa. For snowboarding and skiing, slopes of 2 km are available. The vertical drop of Matroosberg ski resort measures to be around 1289 ft.

The winter sports region is positioned between the altitudes of 1,794 and 2,132 meters.

The total number of ski lifts offered at Matroosberg is 2. This resort is best for beginner skiers and intermediate skiers as the terrain allow them to ski safely.

The ski slopes of Tiffindell, South Africa / credit:SAPhotog - shutterstock
Ski slopes in South Africa / credit: SAPhotog - Shutterstock

Other activities offered at this resort are snowboarding, ice climbing, kloofing, trail running, hiking, and abseiling.

Matroosberg is a private skiing hill, operated by Ski Club of South Africa.

The club offers their winter sports facilities to their members. Non-members can participate for a fee. Matroosberg has two permanent ski lifts that are of a ‘schlepplift’ design.

The lift system is built in a way that every skier is given their own Ski Lift Attachment. Without such an attachment, it is not possible to use the lift.

Matroosberg ski resort is positioned in Hex River Mountains of South Africa. It’s peak elevation measures to be about 2132 meters and a vertical drop of 338 meters.

In total, the ski resort offers marked trails of 1.9 km with 1 km of the trails perfect for beginners. The other 1 km is appropriate for intermediate skiers. No matter which South Africa ski resort you visit, rest assure the terrain will never satisfy the advanced and expert skiers.

Tiffindell - where international competitions are held

If you want to know which resort is the highest in South Africa, its Tiffindell. Tiffindell is another ski resort located in Eastern Cape of South Africa.

For snowboarding and skiing, slopes of 2.4 km are available. There are 5 lifts to transport the skiers. The best time to visit Tiffindell ski resort is in early June till early September.
Snowboarder at competition in Tiffendell, South Africa
Snowboarder at a competition in Tiffendell, South Africa. / Credit: SAPhotog - Shutterstock

It’s winter sports region is sited between the altitudes of 2,700 and 2,930 meters. If planning for skiing in South Africa, you will find the resort nestled securely on Ben McDhui mountain. You can go skiing in Tiffindell during June, July, and August.

The resort offers slope-side accommodation for about 150 guests. There is accommodation available for day guests in the nearby valleys.

Tiffendell ski resort has various amenities such as a restaurant, two fully stocked bars, a coffee lounge, ski school, and a ski clothing shop.

They can still have a unique experience by tobogganing, throwing snowballs at one another, or making snowmen. A trip to Tiffindell ski resort will make it the best family holiday of all ages and sizes.

Beginners will be glad to know that a ski school does exist in TIffendell. The ski instructors are competent and can teach you the basics of skiing.

Afriski - the highest situated skiing in South Africa

Located high in the Maluti Mountains, sits Afriski Mountain Resort.

The resort is situated at the peak of 3,222 m (10,600 feet) above sea level. The slope runs for about 1 kilometer. The average elevation of the ski region at Afriski Mountain Resort lies to be around 10073 ft.

During the winter months, the snow on the ground is sparse and not enough for snowboarding or skiing in South Africa.

A man stands next to his slope groomer at the top of the slope at Tiffendell, South Africa.
A man stands next to his slope groomer at the top of the slope at Tiffendell, South Africa. / Credit: SAPhotog - Shutterstock

Afriski in Lesotho is where you can snowboard and ski down South Africa’s tallest slope.

Afriski Mountain Resort amenities include the Gondola Café, Sky Restaurant, rental facilities, and lodging facilities.

The Bottom Line

Skiing in South Africa is minimal and does not offer much to intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers.

Families with children will surely enjoy the described ski resorts. The terrain is simple and ideal for beginners. Not to mention, its a cheap thrill.

If you want to experience the best in skiing, then you should consider other options. On the other hand, if the aim is to get some snow under your feet at a decent rate, then South Africa is a very affordable alternative.

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