When you think of snow and skiing or snowboarding you often think of places like the Alps, or even some hills and resorts in various parts of western Europe. No one ever really considers snowboarding in Africa or for it to be a great place to get your ski on, and why not? With some incredibly impressive mountains strewn across areas of the continent, there is no better time than now to check out the fantastic slopes and resorts of Africa.
Snowboarding in Africa: Tikjda Resort – Djurdjura, Algeria
Algeria is home to some of the worlds most fantastic mountains for outdoor winter sports. Despite the fact there was some unrest in the area in previous years, things have calmed down and now thre is a bustling winter activity industry back up and running. Resorts such as Tikjda in the Djurdjura Mountains in the north of the country are ideal for those looking to enjoy the snowy hills and slopes.
Snowboarding in Africa: Chrea Region – Chrea, Algeria
Algeria is also home to the Chrea region, about 60 kilometres south of Algiers. While many of the hotels and chalets remain closed following military insecurity in the area after 1992, the area is once again bustling and busy with snow seekers taking to the slopes to enjoy a bit of the powder each year. This is considered one of the coldest places in Algeria, so snow is almost guaranteed in the winter months.
You might be surprised to hear that one of the best ski resorts in all of Africa is the resort AfriSki in Lesotho, along the northern border with South Africa. While it remains the sole ski resort in Lesotho, it’s nonetheless one of the more popular in the area. This is in fact the highest altitude ski resort in the continent and can accommodate up to 250 people at any one time and boasts a one kilometre ski route and a beginners hill. While it may not be the grandest of resorts, it gives people in the area as well as visitors the opportunity to hit the slopes in an area they didn’t quite expect!
As with many other things, South Africa also excels in its offering of snow loving activities. It’s also home to some of the most impressive ski resorts on the continent, if not the world, the Tiffendell Ski Resort in the Eastern Cape Highlands, open through the winter months of June-August with slopes maintained by artificial snow as well as offering an extensive academy for beginners. It also is home to some great runs and jumps for more experienced skiers, making this the perfect place for everyone. The nearest city is Rhodes, in the Eastern Cape and while Tiffendell is known mainly for its ski hill and fantastic powder, it’s open year round as an alpine resort for travellers of all kinds to enjoy the surroundings, regardless of weather.
It’s no surprise that Morocco should be on the list of some of the best ski slopes on the African continent. In fact, thanks to the Atlas Mountains, it’s home to some fantastically high slopes and luscious ski resorts such as Michlifen, which some call the Moroccan Aspen. It’s home to some great hills that are used by internationally acclaimed Moroccan competitive skiers to help train for competitions and King Mohammed VI of Morocco comes here frequently to enjoy the slopes himself.
Oukaimeden is another ski resort in Morocco that attracts people from miles around and offers slopes suited to almost every level. Even when considered “busy” this resort isn’t overly crowded and it boasts some extremely long runs that range from easy to challenging. Only 80 kilometres from Marrakesh means you can enjoy the sights of the city and the slopes all in the same day.
Developed in 1928 by the French administration as a hill station for their colonists who were residing in Morocco at the time, they found relief from the scorching summer heat here over five thousand feet above sea level in the alpine regions of the mid-Atlas Mountains. The seasons here are somewhat more tempered and reliable, with comfortable, sunny summers and cooler, snow filled winters making it ideal for those looking to hit the slopes. Ifrane is home to a number of beautiful hotels and chalets for those who love to catch a bit of snow on their trip, so be sure to check out this gem of a ski town in the Atlas mountains, which has been styled after many you’d find in the alps. The ideal part of Ifrane is that it’s much more than just a skiing town, and due to its long and varied history as a popular colonist town, it’s developed to be a small city in its own right filled with many things to see and do throughout the year as well as a university and a number of hotels and shopping opportunities.