Snow Falls at Aquila Private Game Reserve as Cold Front Sweeps over the Western Cape

Safari guests at Aquila Private Game Reserve were treated to a rare and spectacular sight this morning (08 July 2024) when a cold front swept through the Western Cape’s Ceres region, bringing unexpected snowfall just 2 hours from Cape Town. This extraordinary sight provided a magical experience for overnight safari visitors and highlighted the unpredictable beauty of South Africa’s winter weather.

Two Southern White Rhinos stand amidst a snow-covered landscape as snow falls over Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa, only 2 hours from Cape Town.

Can the Wildlife Survive in the Snow?

Aquila closely monitors all its wildlife. Our expert team of game rangers, conservation specialists, anti-poaching units and wildlife veterinarians maintain a close watch over the animals at all times. While snow is a rare occurrence in the Western Cape, cold temperatures, seasonal rainfall and icy conditions are an expected part of South Africa’s winter weather.

It’s also important to note that the snow is light and doesn’t last for more than a few hours before it starts to melt — and South Africa’s wildlife is adapted to endure the natural climate and unpredictable weather conditions.

Although the early morning started with falling snowflakes and centimetres of snow blanketing the reserve, by the time the sun had settled overhead and the guests had finished their coffee and indulged in a warm buffet breakfast spread, the snow had already begun to melt away, lingering only on the mountainous peaks and shaded valleys throughout the reserve.

Snow in South Africa is a truly magical occurrence, but it’s not all about stunning scenery and cozy winter weather. The melting snow actually helps to replenish the Karoo’s semi-arid environment. Western Cape officials have even reported a hopeful rise in dam levels across the province as the cold front brings snow and plenty of rain throughout the week.

Snow seen at Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa’s main safari lodge on 08 July, 2024.

Where to See Snow in the Western Cape

Snowfall in Cape Town and the Western Cape is a rare phenomenon, typically occurring once or twice a year, if at all, mainly occurring in the high-altitude regions and mountainous areas. The Western Cape, known for its Mediterranean climate, usually experiences mild, wet winters with occasional cold fronts bringing snow to higher elevations.

Snow is most commonly seen in the Ceres, Overberg and Matroosberg regions during the winter months of June to August. These areas typically receive a light dusting to a few centimetres of snow, with significant snowfalls being extremely rare. In the early hours of this morning, however, Aquila Private Game Reserve, which is only a 2 hours’ drive from the city, transformed into a snow-topped winter wonderland as the cold front swept across the Western Cape.

Male lion seen walking over a snow covered rocky landscape at Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa
Male lion walking across Aquila’s snow-covered landscape, image courtesy of Cape Town is Awesome

The Beauty of Aquila Private Game Reserve in Winter

Aquila Private Game Reserve is located only 2 hours from Cape Town, in the Western Cape’s wild and stunning Ceres Karoo. Renowned for its diverse wildlife and untouched landscapes, the reserve is a must-visit for winter travellers and winter safari-goers.

Whether you’re looking for a day trip or overnight safari experience, the reserve offers a unique blend of luxury and nature, providing both tourists and locals with a South African Big 5 experience close to the city — and the recent snowfall added a new layer of charm to Aquila’s already captivating Winter Safari experience.

The last time Aquila saw snowfall like this was in 2018, and safari guests were similarly treated to wildlife sightings in the snow, snowball fights, and cozy nights in front of the fireplace. We’ve even seen some creative guests building “snow-lions” and “snow-rangers” instead of the quintessential snowman.

Seeing snow while on safari in South Africa really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don’t miss out on the chance to visit Aquila Private Game Reserve this week. Rain, snow or sunshine, South Africa’s wilderness awaits.

For more information about visiting Aquila through each season, what to pack for your safari, and what to expect when visiting Cape Town in the winter, read our helpful Cape Town safari packing guide.

Open-Air Safari Vehicle at Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa, image courtesy of Cape Town is Awesome

Experience a Safari in the Snow at Aquila Big 5 Safaris

A romantic safari weekend is a perfect choice for those looking to heat up their winter itinerary. Picture this: panoramic views of snow-topped mountains as elephants and giraffes graze below, buffet style meals featuring aromatic curries and local delicacies, cozy evenings by the fire, and luxurious safari lodge accommodation.

Welcoming all ages on safari, Aquila’s Family Lodge Suites, Family Cottages and Karoo Cottages are great for families and groups looking for an exciting winter getaway. To make it even better, Aquila has exclusive winter discounts for overnight accommodation (valid until 31 October 2024).

With all meals, welcome drinks and 2 guided game drives included in your stay, book Aquila’s Winter Specials or browse our discounted Children’s rates so you can bring your whole family with you on safari.

For more information on snow in South Africa and to stay updated with Cape Town’s upcoming cold weather events, visit Snow Report SA or keep a watch the latest snow pictures on Aquila Safari’s and Cape Town Tourism’s social media accounts.

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