Snow is a small, soft, white piece of ice that sometimes falls from the sky when it is cold. Snow is formed when tiny ice crystals in clouds stick together to become snowflakes. If enough crystals stick together, they’ll become heavy enough to fall to the ground. “Snow is a natural phenomenon that is experienced in almost all continents in the world, except in Africa, where the humid air, Mediterranean climate, or hot temperature prevents it from snowing”. The above quote is like many that have been told to Africans and others outside Africa. But is it true? Does it not snow in Africa? Indeed it does. This article will introduce to you five African countries that experience snowfall.

1 MOROCCO

Morocco is an African country located in the Maghreb region of Northern Africa. Its landscape spans from the Atlantic Ocean to the Sahara desert and mountainous regions. Morocco is among the only three nations along with Spain and France, that share the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. It is said that from Spain, the mountainous regions of Morocco can be seen. But the sea is not the only thing these countries have in common.

Unlike many African countries, Morocco is one of the few countries in Africa that experience snowfalls. As typical to Mediterranean zones, due to the highs and lows of sea level and other climate causes, summer mornings can get as high as 40°C (104.0°F) during heat waves. But in the winter, the temperature in Morocco can drop to as low as -5°C (17.6°F). It gets below-freezing point snowing all through December to January.

But despite the cold, Morocco is an exceptionally beautiful place, filled with the most accommodating people. During the December period, in cities such as Ifrane, Azrou, Khenifra, Imilchil, Midelt Azila among others, snowfall is common, and in the winter emits a cozy atmosphere that compliments the country’s enchanting ambiance. Morocco is truly one of the most stunning places for a winter family vacation.

2 LESOTHO

Letstho snow

Lesotho is a landlocked country located in the Maloti mountains of southern Africa. It is an enclave of South Africa, the largest of the world’s three independent states surrounded by the territory of another country. But unlike those states, such as Vatican City and San Marino, Lesotho is not a microstate, but a fully competent state with an area of over 30,000 km² and a stifling population of about 2 million people.

Lesotho lies entirely above 1,000 meters in height, which is 3,281 ft. in elevation. Because of its elevation, Lesotho remains cooler throughout the year than other countries with the same latitude, making snowfall a recurring enigma in that part of Africa. In the summer, Maseru the capital of Lesotho, and the surrounding lowlands may reach 30°C (86°F), but during the winter, the temperature can go as low as -7°C (19°F). In the highlands, southeast of the Highveld, it can get as low as -18°C (0°F) making snowfall the result. Snowfall is common in Lesotho between May and September. But on higher peaks of the mountainous regions, snowfall is experienced all through the year making Lesotho a go-to place for skiing and gaining the snowfall experience all year round.

Algeria is an African country located in the Maghreb region of Northern Africa. It has a semi-arid geography with an area of 2,381,741 square kilometers with a population of 44 million people which makes it the largest country in Africa by land mass, the tenth most populous country in Africa, and the tenth largest nation by area worldwide.

3. ALGERIA

Algeria snow

Algeria is a country dominated mostly by the Sahara and with such an arid climate, the idea of snow might have seemed far-fetched. But astonishingly, this hot country snows in the winter. Due to its extremely large land mass, Algeria experiences three types of climate: the Mediterranean climate, which occurs in the coastal areas, the Continental climate, experienced by the highlands and mountainous regions, and the Desert climate in the Sahara. So where does it snow?

During the winter months of December through February, snow occurs in the northern regions of Algeria. In cities such as Setif and Batna in December and January, Algeria experiences a drop in temperature that can drop as low as 2.4°C (36.3°F). It snows for 6.8 days. In February, usually, winter draws to a close, and temperatures are supposed to rise. This isn’t the case in Algeria as the temperature can drop to as low as 2.2°C (36°F). Algeria remains a go-to place for a holiday trip, and their famous Chrea Ski resort in Bilda continues to fascinate visitors. You should definitely choose Algeria for your next holiday.

4 SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa snow

The Republic of South Africa is a country located in Southern Africa. It covers an area of 1,221,037 square kilometers (471,445 square miles) with over 62 million people, making the country the 23rd most populous country in the world and the second most populous country located entirely south of the equator. However, that is not the only cool thing about this country.

While South Africa is known for its predominant warm and temperate climate, with the hottest temperature in the interior mainland of South Africa rising to as high as 51.7°C (125.06°F), a certain region in this African country snows in winter. In the Eastern Cape, the temperature can drop to as low as -20. 1°C (-4.2°F) and snowfall is common between winter and early spring. In places such as the Eastern Cape Highlands, the Gauteng Province of Johannesburg, the Western Cape, and even the Drakensberg mountains, snow continues to engulf these places in the winter adding to the already captivating ambiance of South Africa.

 

5 ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a landlocked country located in a region in East Africa known as the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia covers a wide area of 1,112,000 square kilometers (472,000 sq. miles) and is home to around 126.5 million individuals making it the 13th most populous country worldwide, the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria, and the most populous landlocked country in the world.

Ethiopia, despite its proximity to the equator, like the few countries mentioned in this article, experiences snowfall. In the northeast of Gondar, in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, snowfall is common among the Simien mountains including Mount Ras Dashen, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Simien Mountain National Park continues to attract thousands of tourists all year round, especially in winter.

 

So there you have it. These are five African countries that experience snowfall. But are these countries the only African countries to have recorded snowfall? Not at all. In countries such as Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Tanzania, snowfall is common but not regular. However, in the five countries mentioned in this article, snowfall is regular. As climate change continues to impact our beautiful planet, we can be sure that soon, more African countries might come to experience this wonderful phenomenon. Till then, I implore you to travel and enjoy Africa to the fullest.

 

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