Although Johannesburg doesn't have any ski slopes of its own, the Afri Ski Resort in Lesotho is close enough for a weekend of skiing!
But you will need a passport
The small, relatively new, resort was set up in 2002 - in a natural amphitheatre, at an altitude of 3222 metres (10571 feet), with a 1.1km main slope
- at full length, a 700m intermediate slope and a beginners slope of 300m.
The Afri Ski Resort in the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho, with its 1.1km ski slope!
Burton, the worldwide leader and manufacturer of snow equipment, sponsor The Afriski Park with its slope-style 6 to 10 trick points.
The skiing season is during the winter months of June, July and August, with the possibility of bitterly cold weather and heavy snowfalls during July and August (see newspaper report below).
Snowmaking equipment ensures that there is always snow - and good skiing, during these winter months.
You'll find everything you'll need - from your apres ski hot chocolate to accommodation and full ski equipment hire!
The T Bar drag lift at the foot of the 1.1km piste at the Afri Ski Resort in Lesotho
GETTING THERE :
The distance from the centre of Johannesburg to the Caledonspoort border, near Fauriesburg in the eastern Free State, is 326kms (203mi), with the ski piste a further 81kms (50mi) from there.
The most common route is to leave Jo'burg on the N3 Durban highway and follow it for approx. 122kms, until Villiers.
At Villiers, turn right onto the R26, over the N3, and head for Frankfort, Reitz, Bethlehem and Fouriesburg and then a further 10kms to the Caledonspoort Border post, which is open from 06h00 - 22h00 (6.00am - 10.00pm)
After clearing the border, take the first tar road left, left again at the T junction, and follow the A1 road past the Liphofung Cave turnoff, up the Moteng Pass, past the New Oxbow Lodge and onto the ski resort.
Snowboards wait to be used at the Afri Ski Resort in the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho
The accommodation ranges in quality and price from 4 Star to backpackers.
4 Star : Motswale Mountain Chalets and Park City Chalets
3 Star : Lillyhammer Chalets, Maribel Chalets, Innsbruck Chalets, Seefeld Chalets, Chamonix Chalets, Davos Chalets, Courchevel Chalets, Imoya Chalets and St. Moritz Chalets.
3 Star : Tirol Lodge.
2 Star : Vail Lodge.
2 Star : Aspen Apartments.
1 Star : Backpackers.
Accommodation is also available at the New Oxbow Lodge
(15kms. before Afri Ski)
Tel/Fax : 051 933-2247
Liphofung Cave, a National Park
(45kms. before Afri Ski), has VERY reasonable accommodation. The chalets that sleep four are clean and comfortable, but share only one communal bathroom with others.
Tel : +266 22 913-206 or +266 22 460-723
Various establishments in Fouriesburg and Clarens
in South Africa.
SKI AND SNOWBOARD EQUIPMENT RENTALS :
Equipment, which is added to every year from the latest brands imported from Austria, is available for hire for kids between the ages of 3 and 6, for youths between 7 and 14, and for adults - over 15.
Rent your snowboards, skis, boots and helmets, as well as Zipfelbob bum boards, for as short a time as half a day.
A family gets ready to use their Zipfelbob bum boards at the Afri Ski Resort in the
Maluti Mountains in Lesotho!
SKI SCHOOL :
As a beginner, you won't be allowed on the slopes without attending the compulsory snow school.
The teaching methods now follow the Europeen style, which rate your experience according to a colour pattern!
Green is for Beginners, Blue for Beginner Plus, Red for Intermediate and Black for Advanced/Master.
These lessons all follow a one day group lesson, which allows you to be trained according to Europeen standards, and at the same time ensure that no bad habits are formed - which are often the result of a rushed learning process.
The slope that you ski on is also dependent on your lesson colour grade!
Green - 1st Learning Section.
Blue - Beginner Slope.
Red - Intermediate Slope.
Black - Main Slope.
The Pudi Kids Club offers tuition to minis, between 3 and 6 years, and maxis, between 7 and 14 years.
Kids on their own ski slope at the Pudi Kids Ski School at Afri Ski Resort in the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho!
NEWSPAPER REPORT :
On Monday July 16th 2012, The Johannesburg newspaper The Star, ran a headline that read "-18deg nightmare for 4 friends trapped in snow for 20 hours"
The continuing article mentioned that ".....emergency service ER24 headed to Lesotho yesterday morning after receiving numerous distress calls from motorists trapped on the Moteng Pass on the road to the Oxbow Lodge and the Afri Ski resort.
Paramedics found nearly 30 vehicles stuck, or having been in collisions after skidding on ice, in a scene that stretched 1.5kms....."