It’s a little known fact that there are actually ski hills on the African continent. You won’t experience skiing like you can find in the Rocky Mountains or the Alps but the novelty of skiing in Africa might just be worth it. Of course there are no ski resorts across equatorial Africa but in northern and southern Africa you will find places to hit the slopes.
The Atlas Mountains and the sub ranges stretch 1,600 miles through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia and reach a summit of 13, 665 feet at the highest point. They are the separation between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts and the Sahara desert.
There are two locations in Algeria to ski, Tikjda and Chrea, which are a part of the Tell sub Atlas range. These ski resorts were off limits not long ago as Algeria went through its civil war in the 1990’s. Today the area is safe and visitors and locals are skiing again.
Chrea is 60km south of Algiers and during the troubled times was a military outpost. The area quickly declined but in recent years has seen revitalization. This was once a favorite destination for Algerians and they’re working hard to make what was old, new again. Tikjda is 160km east of Algiers and has peaks around 4, 850 feet high.
More well-known than Algeria, Morocco has three main ski areas; Ifrane, Mischliffen, and Oukaimeden. Visitors to Ifrane may think they’ve taken a wrong turn and ended up in Bavaria. This town was designed by the French during the protectorate period to mirror an Alpine village. By some accounts it’s also the coldest city in Africa. Six miles away the town of Mischliffen has much smaller facilities but might be the perfect destination for someone just wanting to go down the slopes a few times.
Oukaimeden is home to the most well-known and best quality skiing in Africa and is only a half hour’s drive from Marrakech. The peak of the mountain sits at 10,800+ feet! It is home to seven runs (ranging from beginner to expert), the longest of which is a little over 3 kilometers. Getting back up you can choose from a chair lift, tow bar, or donkey. There are rentals for all ski equipment available.
The Eastern Cape of southern Africa is home to Ben Macdhui a nearly 10,000 foot tall mountain that is a part of the Southern Drakensberg Range. KwaDuma at roughly the same elevation lies on the border of Lesotho and South Africa and is a part of the same mountain range. These two mountains are home to the two ski resorts in southern Africa.
If you want to ski in July, these are the spots to hit. Tiffindell in South Africa is a fully modernized ski resort with lifts, snow machines, hill groomers, and a ski school. In Lesotho AfriSki operates another high quality ski resort, on par with American or European resorts. While modest in size it does boast an impressive snowboard park!