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Top 5 Snow Spots in the Western Cape

Snow is not a common occurrence in the Cape, but good planning can get you knee-deep in it, especially during July and August. Bear in mind that snowfall here is not guaranteed and always dependent on weather conditions. Jacques Marasis shares his personal top five favourite spots to check out.

Matroosberg Nature Reserve

Ceres is a renowned snow destinationnear Cape Town and the neighbouring Matroosberg is high on every snow chaser’s list. It’s one of the highest peaks in the Western Cape and low-pressure weather systems often dump up a metre or more at higher altitudes from late June to early August. Access into the higher-lying parts of the reserve is an issue, though, with slushy roads and heavy traffic making it impossible to get to pristine. snow.

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Sutherland

Widely celebrated for its clear night skies and negligible light pollution, the town of Sutherland is home to South Africa’s SALT astronomical observatory. It is also one of the coldest places in the country, with occasional snowfalls during winter. The juxtaposition of arid Karoo landscapes with virgin snow makes for extraterrestrial photographic opportunities.

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Swartberg

The dramatic Swartberg range creates an unmatched visual spectacle when the lofty peaks are dusted in snow. Your easiest access is along the historic gravel pass between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert, with exceptional hiking and gravel biking from both these country dorps. An early start is advisable, as traffic congestion often sees the local authorities closing access roads into the mountains.

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Hex River Valley

The breathtaking mountain ranges bordering the Hex River Valley form a backdrop to Worcester, a town easily accessible along the N1 highway. Rugged peaks skyline above verdant vineyards, but the actual snow is not that easy to reach if you don’t have access to trails on private land.

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Cederberg Mountains

The amber sandstone outcrops gracing the Cederberg make for unmatched snowscapes when weather conditions align. It’s a solid drive from Cape Town and therefore a bit of a hit-and-miss mission, so aim for the higher altitudes towards the Swartruggens Conservancy. Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is out of this world, with sublime rock formations making it a unique destination.

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