South Africa conjures up images of wildlife safaris and sandy beaches, majestic mountains and wide open spaces. These may be the most popular tourist attractions of the country but it also has a couple of ski resorts with great snow from July to September. Tiffindell is the main ski resort in South Africa, located on the south slopes of the highest mountain in the Cape, the Ben Mc Dhui, also known as the Ben Mac ski area. After your safari and beaches, escape for a weekend to Tiffindell for a spot of skiing.
Though local farmers have been skiing here since the 1950s, Tiffindell was only established as a single-slope ski resort in the early 1990s. It has grown three times in length since then and intermediate and beginner skiers and snowboarders can have their fun here. Tiffindell covers 600m of ski runs, and grooming machines and snowmaking facilities ensure the best possible conditions in an African climate. Slopes that are cleared and groomed during summer quickly transform to ski runs after even the lightest of snowfalls. Presently Tiffendell has a button/drag lift but the charm of the place is that they make improvements all the time so there is always something new here.
Ideal for beginners, the friendly instructors have infinite patience. A beginner ski or snowboard course is compulsory for first timers, on a specially prepared flat beginner area about 40m long. Tiffindell is a very family friendly ski vacation resort with a day-care centre, child-minders and plenty of kids-oriented activities. Experienced skiers may not find any challenge on the slopes but Tiffindell sometimes has favorable snow conditions, that make off-piste and heli-skiing possible.
Après-ski is lively, particularly at Ice Station bar, the highest pub in SA. Try some of the local snowy cocktails, hang upside-down from skis and watch the flame torch ski demonstration. One can go on exhilarating walks, visit frozen waterfalls or the spectacular Telle Falls or get on a mountain bike, available free of charge, and head for the hills. Tiffindell has accommodation for 140 people in heated timber chalets and the main lodge is within 100m of the slope. Dormitories and en-suite bedrooms are available here. The main skiing season for South Africa runs from May to September.