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Skiing in South Africa

For a truly unique winter travel experience in Africa, it’s going to be tough to top a ski getaway in the Drakensberg mountains.

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Granted, for those who are used to skiing in, say, the Alps or Rockies, the charms of SA’s downhill and snowboarding playgrounds may have less potency than for those who’ve never seen snow. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner, what could be more cool than saying you learned to snowboard in Africa?

You have two options for accomplishing this feat: Tiffendell, at 2720 meters above sea level (sounds like a ripoff of an all-male revue, but is actually SA’s only ski resort), and Afriski, a bit higher up at 3320 meters, in the Maluti mountains of Lesotho. Both resorts have nifty webcams, for a live look at snow in Africa:

The skiing at these two resorts is fairly basic – each has a single, long, wide strip of snow, and that’s about it – but the Drakensberg make a splendid backdrop, with plenty to see and do when you’re not on the slopes, erm, slope.