Travelers to South Africa were treated to an unusual sight earlier this month, as they got a chance to see wild animals frolicking in the snow, after an unexpected storm. Most people on safari would expect to see creatures like giraffes, elephants and antelope in the sunshine, over the grassy plains and arid landscapes that we associate them with. These creatures flourish in the dry heat of the country, but a freak September blizzard saw them playing in the snowfall.
These photos were taken on the Western Cape of South Africa, where a cold front arrived during the first week of September, bringing snow to the Karoo region, and to the Sneeuberg (literally translated to 'Snow Mountain). Photos and videos show elephants, antelopes and giraffes in the snow, seemingly unpeterbed by the low temperatures and icy conditions.
While the photos were taken primarily on the Western Cape, snowfall also hit the Eastern and Northern Cape, and in some areas more than ten inches fell over a three day period. The Kwazulu-Natal province, a popular safari destination that is known for big game, was also hit by the blizzard, as well as Lesotho (a country surrounded by South Africa).
Although images of African wildlife in the snow are unusual, it's not unheard of for snow to fall in the area during the winter (which falls around June-Aug, opposite to that of North America and other contintents in the Northern Hemisphere). Earlier this year, the same region experienced other snowfalls, including multiple days of snow in July. However, it's rare for snow to fall so late in the year in this semi-desert region.
The photos and videos themselves are beautiful, showing a side of Africa that many tourists may never expect to see. It's fascinating to see these stunning creatures covered in snow, and to get a look at Africa in the winter. It's also worth remembering that although these animals may look cold (and would undoubtedly prefer it to be a little warmer!), snowfall and low temperatures are part of the winter in this area, so this is not something that would be potentially harmful to the animals in the photos. Without need to worry about their safety, we can simply enjoy the photos being shared and the rarity of seeing giraffes and elephants with snow falling all around them.
Source: Travel & Lesiure