- Travel and Places
Snow in South Africa
In South Africa snow is not a common phenomenon
According to the South African Weather Service records, it has snowed in Johannesburg on only 23 days in the last 103 years, including the snow fall on August 7, 2012, which is considered by some elders to be the largest they have ever seen. At some places in Johannesburg the snow was lying up to 20cm (8 inches) deep, while in Bethlehem, a town in the eastern Free State Province, it was up to 70cm (28 inches).
Reported by the newspaper, Beeld and www.news24.com snow probably fell for the first time since the late 1960’s in all 9 provinces on the same day due to a vast cold front.
Best places to see snow in South Africa
According to Chris Davies at getaway, the six best places where snow could be seen in South Africa and even ski’d during winter months, however sporadically and unpredictable, are at Matroosberg, Cederberg, Cathedral Peak, Golden Gate National Park, Long Tom Pass, Underberg and Sani Pass.
Some people in South Africa saw on August 7, 2012 snow for the first time in their lives.
"Auw, it's raining pap!" could have easily been a thought in many minds, as 'pap' happens to be SA's main starch - a porridge-like dish of ground mealies, looking very much like snow when prepared in the most common way.
My personal experience of snow
As a young child in the winter of 1963 I've seen heavy snow in Bloemfontein. I remember participating in the building of a snowman with a carrot for a nose, quite upset because the warm jacket my mother forced me to wear - dug out of a trunk filled with inherited clothes - was too large for me.
In the winter of 1981 as an adult and mother of two, I experienced a memorable fall in Johannesburg. My husband and I were baking pancakes when the 15-year old daughter of our neighbor suddenly opened the back door to surprise my husband with a ball of snow against his head. The ball, hitting him out of the blue, landed in the pan with hot oil and almost caused a disaster.
On August 7, 2012, as a grandmother of four, I had the opportunity to enjoy a return trip per car from the North West Province via Gauteng Province to Polokwane, the biggest city in the Limpopo Province. (Polokwane means ‘Place of Safety’ and was previously known as Pietersburg. The town was established in 1886 by the Voortrekkers and named in honor of the Voortrekker leader Petrus Jacobus Joubert, but renamed after demolition of the Apartheid regime in 1994 to the name it was called by the tribes in the region.
In Randfontein my partner decided to pull off and take me for a walk in the snow. I was stunned with amazement. The snow reminded me of swarms of insects. The temperature was 0° Celsius (32° Fahrenheit), thought I could feel a significant difference between the cold caused by snow and the region’s normal dry cold in winter.
Clouds promising snow over Bela Bela, Limpopo Province, South Africa
In the Limpopo Province, only two hours north of Johannesburg (Gautang), clouds promised snow to Bela-Bela, previously known as Warmbad (Warm Baths)
Composing haiku in the snow
At about midnight in the region of Randfontein and Westonaria, and according to our perception driving in a blizzard, my friend and I composed a couple of haiku. The word 'composed' should perhaps be 'committed'... just blame it on the snow....
White snowflakes floating
Purifying dirty soil -
Muddy footprints scream.
Cozy fire burns,
warming cold body and soul -
Deadly blizzard rage.
Long legs on high heels
molded in black, silk stockings -
Foot stuck in bear trap.
© Martie Coetser (August 2012)
Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2012-08-09 01:35:54
Title :: Snow in South Africa
Category :: Article - hub
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