Although Africa has a reputation for hot climates, tropical rainforests, and deserts, it is home to several surprisingly cold countries. If you are looking for snow in Africa, it is not unusual to find it in some regions.
High and low elevation levels cause cold and snowy weather in some countries in Africa. Countries with high mountains are usually the ones with cold climates.
We have listed the 10 coldest countries in Africa. These coldest African countries are Lesotho, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Algeria, and Tunisia.
Table of Contents
The Coldest Countries in Africa
|0°F to 82°F
|17°F to 104°F
|3.2°F to 104°F
|59°F to 68°F
|0°F to 77°F
|50°F to 90°F
|The Democratic Republic of the Congo
|50°F to 90°F
|41°F to 50°F
|63°F to 91°F
|43.5°F to 50.7°F
Located in Southern Africa, Lesotho is a tiny country with a total land area of 30,355 sq km. It is the coldest country in Africa with an average temperature range between 0°F to 82°F.
In winter, the temperature reaches an average of 19°F in the lowlands and 0°F in the highlands. In the highlands, snow is commonly experienced, especially from May to September.
Morocco is the second-coldest country in Africa, with an average temperature range of 17°F to 104°F. The winter season in Morocco is considered extremely cold since temperatures can go below freezing.
It can reach a low temperature of up to 23°F and have snow in January and February. For skiing activities in this climate, Morocco has two ski resort locations: Marrakech and Ifrane.
The temperature in South Africa in winter is generally cold and falls as low as 3.2°F. Some parts of South Africa such as Sutherland, Cederberg, and Rhodes, can also experience snow.
Moreover, the coldest months are usually from June to August. Due to the altitude, temperatures drop below the freezing point. South Africa’s winter is cold, but it is also the sunniest season of the year.
Located close to the South Hemisphere, Tanzania experiences cold temperature ranges averaging between 59°F to 68 °F. The coldest months are from May to August.
Specifically, in Mount Kilimanjaro, the temperature can range between 0°F to 95°F. The mountain has an elevation of 19,341 ft and comprises three glaciers.
Another mountain in Tanzania is Mount Meru, a dormant stratovolcano that is 14,968 ft high. It has no glaciers and the temperature here averages between 12°F to 95°F.
The coldest months in Kenya are between July and August. Mount Kenya has the coldest climate in the country and has an average range of 0°F to 77°F.
The mountain has an elevation of 17,057 ft and 11 glaciers. Mount Kenya experiences snow in the months of March to December.
In the month of May in Kampala, Uganda, the temperature drops up to 63.1°F. In the Rwenzori Mountains, at an elevation of 16,762 feet, temperatures average between 50°F to 90°F.
Glaciers can be spotted covering about 0.58 sq miles over three mountains. Overall, Uganda has mild to cold and wet climates.
The cooling temperatures from the Benguela Current contribute to the cold temperatures of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The temperature can drop as low as 50°F.
Rwenzori Mountain is also located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where temperatures also range between 50°F to 90°F.
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the temperature drops at night to as low as 41–50°F. Additionally, the winter season is characterized by a cold and bleak climate.
Within the Simien Mountains, the average temperature ranges from 14°F to 64°F. This area is 14,872 feet high and is devoid of glaciers.
In the mountains, snow can be found as it gets quite cold from October to December.
Algeria, located along the central coast, typically experiences long, cold winters with temperatures that drop as low as 42°F in Algiers, the capital city. In the mountainside area of Algeria, including Setif and Biskra, January is the coldest month with temperatures ranging between 50°F and 92°F.
Algeria has numerous ski resorts that are usually open five months a year. Some of the popular ski resort locations are Chréa and Tikjda.
Tunisia’s coldest months are from January to May, with February as the coldest with an average temperature of 43.7°F. The coldest town in Tunisia is Thala, having the highest altitude in the country of up to 3,337 ft.
In some months, Thala even experiences snow. Thala’s coldest month is February, with an average low temperature of 36.9°F.
The eastern part of Africa has the most glaciers. Glaciers are found only in Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania. In the highlands of Kenya Mountain of Kenya, there are 11 glaciers: Darwin Glacier, Diamond Glacier, Forel Glacier, Gregory Glacier, Heim Glacier, Josef Glacier, Kraph Glacier, Lewis Glacier, Mr. Ali Cesar Glacier, Northey Glacier, and Tyndall Glacier.
In Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo lie the Rwenzori Mountains. The mountain range has six mountains: Mount Baker, Mount Elena, Mount Emin, Mont Luigi di Savoia, Mount Speke, and Mount Stanley.
In the 1900s, there were 43 glaciers found across the mountain range. However, today, only Mount Baker, Mount Elena, Mount Speke, and Mount Stanley have glaciers.
Aside from mountain ranges, snow is common in several African cities. In Morocco, snow is regularly experienced in Ifrane and Mischliffen.
Oukaïmeden in Morocco is a village in the Atlas Mountains that also has snow and even has a ski resort. Another village in the Atlas Mountains that has snow is Azilal, which has extremely harsh, cold winters.
In South Africa, the Drakensberg and Western Cape have regular snowfall. Other places with frequent snowfall are Afriski in Lesotho and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.