The cold front that swept through the Western Cape this week didn’t only bring much-needed downpours, it also brought some snowfall in the high-lying areas of the province.

Local photographer, Kevin Sawyer, jumped at the opportunity to document the snowfall at Matroosberg Nature Reserve, known for their snow-capped peaks. He also managed to capture some pretty epic images from his 12 hour jaunt on the mountain.


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A huge cold front recently hit the Western Cape and with it we saw the first snow fall of winter. Myself and @craigrh decided to make a mission to Matroosberg Nature Reserve in search of snow. The whole day we were the only car on mountain and exploring this area with a good mate nobody else around was the ultimate adventure day. #matroosbergnaturereserve #snow

A post shared by K e v i n S a w y e r (@kevinsawyer) on

Sawyer says the call of the cold beckoned him.

“I have been in snow before so it is not unusual to me. It is incredible knowing the snow is only 2 hours from home. This is often an experience we would travel overseas to enjoy,” he said.

He watched the weather carefully and knew he had a good chance of finding snow when temperatures dropped to -10°C in the evening and rose to a mere 2°C in the day.

On June 6, Sawyer packed his car with camera gear, food and coffee then set off to Matroosberg Nature Reserve at 6am to catch the snow.

“The reserve officials suggested we let out our tyres to at least 1.5 bar if we were going do the 4×4 trail. A few kilometres into the reserve the roads were less of a road and more of boulder hopping and rock sliding vertical climbs up the mountain. We pushed on and were eventually surrounded by snowy mountains with nobody else in sight. The car temperature reading blinked at 2°C continuously and our excitement increased with every metre gained. After two hours of crawling up the mountain in 4WD low range we were welcomed by incredible 360° panorama views of snow-covered mountains,” Sawyer recalls.

Sawyer exploring the Matroosberg Mountains.

“We made it back to Cape Town by 6pm to call it a solid 12 hour adventure day that has definitely set the tone for this winters’ missions.”

Sawyer highly recommends Matroosberg Nature Reserve to all Capetonians. “It is only a short two hour drive from the Cape Town City Bowl which makes it greatly accessible for a day trip. There is also affordable accommodation in the reserve, mountain huts with basics for living as well as camp sites for those more adventurous,” he advises.
The snow melts fast so it’s better to get there sooner.
The trick to catching the snow is to watch the South African Weather Service closely and plan a trip during or soon after a cold front. The snow melts quickly so don’t waste time getting out there.
“We had roughly 2-5cm of snow fall which we caught early in the morning, shortly after sunrise. Through the day we watched the snow melt as the temperature increased. When we were leaving, about 10 hours later, water was already rushing down the mountain and the snow roads we drove up were already muddy rivers.”
A snow-capped cabin in the mountains.


Pictures: Kevin Sawyer

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.