If you EVER considered skiing in SA, now is the time to seize the moment and test the slopes.
While the extreme cold weather is wreaking havoc in SA, the conditions resulted in a 'winter wonderland' for Tiffindell. Simultaneously, the influx of snow in the Drakensberg district of Lesotho on the peaks of the mountain had the same upshot on Afriski Mountain Resort.
Afrski has also planned a jam-packed snow sports programme for this winter, and if you'd like to get in on the action, check out: Are you ready to hit the Afriski slopes ahead of Winter Whip 2016?
In the southern Drakensberg's Tiffindell Ski Resort, the snow has been welcomed too.
Travis Morrison, at Tiffindell Ski Resort, stipulates the current conditions in Tiffindell. "We have had extremely heavy snow over the last five days and are expecting more tomorrow so skiing conditions are better than they’ve ever been. We have over 1.2km of ski slopes open."
He says the resort still has accommodation available throughout August.
What you need to know about Tiffindell Ski Resort:
Where: Outside Rhodes, Eastern Cape (right on the border of South Africa and Lesotho)
The road from Rhodes: It's a dirt road up the steep Carlisleshoek pass, the 4th highest pass in SA. Good in summer, but it may be icy or covered in snow in winter. Access is possible in a high clearance 2x4 in good road conditions only. It is recommended that you always phone the resort at 045 974 9004 to confirm current road conditions as these can change rapidly (there is intermittent cell coverage on this route).
What you need to know about AfriSki Mountain Resort:
Where: In the northern parts of the Drakensberg, on Lesotho's side.
The road to AfriSki: This resort sits in Lesotho, so you'll have to go through border control to get there. The Caledonspoort border is open from 06:00 to 22:00 seven days a week. And Ficksburg border post, which is approximately 50km away from AfriSki, is open 24 hours. Keep in mind SA's new unabridged birth certificate requirements when travelling with minors.
Travellers should take note that the roads to AfriSki have temporarily been closed due to the snowfall.
Previously, it might have been a mission to gain access to Tiffindell, since ten mountain passes were closed due to the hazardous conditions.
However, the mountain passes have been re-opened, making it easier to access Tiffindell and Lesotho. The Chris Hani District Municipality in Queenstown, Eastern Cape issued a statement on their Facebook page, ‘all passes and routes except for Barkly Pass and the Elliot route have been opened’.
The South African Weather Service reports of continuing disruptive snowfalls in various parts of SA, especially in areas towards the eastern parts of the country during this week.
Snowfalls are expected over the south-western and western high grounds of KwaZulu-Natal, the northern high ground of Eastern Cape and the eastern and southern parts of the Free State, persisting over the extreme south-western parts of KwaZulu-Natal, north-eastern parts of the Eastern Cape as well as the extreme eastern parts of the Free State.
So, if you'd like to make a #WinterEscape, now is the time!
SEE WEATHER CONDITIONS HERE: Weather Update: More floods, thunderstorms and high seas expected
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