Written by: Thandeka Mujati
Africa is filled with tropical rainforests, extensive coastlines, spanning savannahs, jagged mountains, unbelievable wildlife and to many people’s surprise, world-class ski slopes! Tick an item off your to-do list and experience skiing in Lesotho, Africa’s coldest country and home to breath-taking mountain ranges!
Lesotho is a gem in Africa and often referred to as the, “Kingdom in the Sky”. It lies entirely outside the tropics, at a considerable height above sea level. Some of the country’s mountain peaks reach well over 3,300 meters (11,000 feet). At 3,482 meters (11,424 feet), Thabana Ntlenyana which means “beautiful little mountain” in Sotho and it is Lesotho’s highest peak and the highest mountain in southern Africa.
Lesotho may be small and landlocked but it’s packed with activities! Its mountainous terrain and high elevation make it abundant with snow in the highlands, particularly during winter. In fact, some years have brought snow in the highlands all year round while the lowlands enjoyed perfect African, summer days! It’s the perfect place for summer and winter lovers.
The mountainous country is easily accessible from Durban and Johannesburg. It is a culturally diverse escape from South Africa, with its own striking and distinct culture. The ideal time to embark on your snowcation on the slopes in Lesotho is between May and September! The mountains will be snow-capped and skiing enthusiasts can enjoy a different kind of African winter.
Lesotho is a world-class skiing destination with ski slopes maintained according to European standards. It is the perfect destination for novice and expert skiers. If it’s your first time, there are stringent safety measures in place, you will have to complete a compulsory four-hour snow and skiing orientation before you can hit the slopes.
The snow slopes are well manicured and supplemented by daily snowmaking for unforgettable snow experiences. Visitors from across the country, continent and world have praised the Lesotho skiing experience, services, lodges and more. If you’re travelling with friends and family that aren’t interested in skiing there are a range of activities to keep your travel companions entertained, while you explore the slopes.
Nestled high in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho is Afrisiki, the highest ski resort in Africa and only one of two ski resorts on the continent. The world-class resort is a 90-minute drive from the Caledonspoort Border Post and about 200 km from the capital, Maseru. It is the perfect place to take in the ice-capped mountains, indulge in skiing, snowboarding, bum boarding, as well as other mountain activities most of the year – making it a must-visit. If the snow is sparse, there are snow-making machines to fill in the gaps to create an unforgettable skiing experience.
Africa is synonyms with sunshine and heat but come winter, Lesotho shows there is so much more. Take a trip to the “Kingdom in the Sky” and experience a winter wonderland where you can cut through fresh snow that rivals resorts across the world. Start planning a weekend getaway with your friends, a family vacation or a solo skiing trip today and experience a winter wonderland in Africa.