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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Can You Build a Snowman in Africa?

It's winter time in Africa. Skiing, snowboarding, and building a snowman in the South African winter months of June, July and August is a common event. Africa has 14 ski resorts since snow falls regularly over parts of Africa. Frosty the snowman would happy in Africa.

Frosty the snowman would happy in Africa.
Fashionable African Snowman
It's a common misconception that Africa is hot all the time. In the winter months of June, July and August, snowfall is common in towns in South Africa. 

There is a long standing African feud over snow and ice; Sutherland is considered to be the consistently coldest town in South Africa with temperatures going well below freezing throughout the winter. However, Buffelsfontein Farm in Cape Town South Africa holds the official lowest temperature record in the country of 0 °F. This feud is a long standing controversy to South African Sutherland and Buffelsfontein residents. The feud is on the same level as the US feud between Chicago and New York on who makes the best pizza. 

Sutherland is the coldest town in South Africa, with an average yearly temperature of 52°F. Lowest temperature in Sutherland averages 37 °F.  Buffelsfontein is actually a privately owned farm in Cape Town South Africa holding the official lowest temperature record in the country; it is on this farm where the official record for the coldest night ever in South Africa was recorded, a freezing 0°F. Buffelsfontein record was recorded on June 18, 1996 and because of this, the weather service officially calls Buffelsfontein the coldest town in Africa. The coldest temperature recorded in Sutherland was 2°F on July 12, 2003.
In the winter months of June, July and August, snowfall is common in in various towns in South Africa.
Walking to school in the South African snow

Averaging the lowest monthly temperatures from the years 2000-2012, the annual average low temperature in Buffelsfontein was 49°F while Sutherland's was 44°F. Sutherland is consistently colder; however, Buffelsfontein holds the record for the coldest day. The debate will continue for the claim to fame of the coldest town in Africa however one fact is clear, it does snow in Africa. 

Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. This tiny Kingdom of Lesotho has a ski resort high on the cold African snowcapped mountains. The ski resort, AfriSki has a ski run down a side of a mountain for snow skiing, snowboarding, and other cold weather mountain sports. The AfriSki Resort opened in 2002 and is the highest ski resort in Africa. AfriSki is located in the Eastern Free State of Southern Africa. Lesotho is known as the Kingdom in the Sky due to its highlands where many of the villages can be reached only on horseback, by foot or light aircraft. Frosty the snowman travels to Lesotho Africa each year to enjoy the South African winter snow. 
The tiny kingdom of Lesotho has a ski resort high in the cold snowcapped mountains.
Ready to build a snowman

Where else can you ski and make a snowman in Africa? Algeria, Egypt and Namibia have one ski resort, South Africa has three and Morocco has seven ski resorts in the Atlas Mountains; Oukaïmeden, Michlifen, Jbel Hebri, Azrou, Rif Gebirge, Djebel Bou Iblane, and Hoher Atlas. Regular snow fall has created ice-capped peaks on Kenya's Mount Kenya, Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro; Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains and Ethiopia's Semien Mountains. It's not enough to ski but frosty the snowman would still be happy.

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