Icicles formed around the facility at Silver-Streams Self Accommodation and Caravan Park in Underberg after South Africa experienced its coldest recorded day of the year. Picture: Madie Botha
Icicles formed around the facility at Silver-Streams Self Accommodation and Caravan Park in Underberg after South Africa experienced its coldest recorded day of the year. Picture: Madie Botha

‘Christmas in July’ follows SA’s coldest day of the year

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Jul 23, 2021

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DURBAN, July 23 (ANA) - Christmas appears to have come early to South Africa after parts of the KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces were covered in snow and icicles this week following the country’s coldest recorded day of the year on Thursday going into Friday.

Temperatures dropped below zero in the Underberg area in western KZN, turning it into a winter wonderland for residents and tourists, according to bookings manager at Silver-Streams Self Accommodation and Caravan Park, Madie Botha.

Botha said in an interview with the African News Agency (ANA) on Friday that when she woke up on Friday morning, icicles had formed around parts of the facility, which is nestled in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountain range. This occurred throughout the week, Botha explained.

Temperatures dropped well below zero on Thursday night, forming icicles at the bank of a river near the Silver-Streams Self Accommodation and Caravan Park in Underberg. Picture: Madie Botha

This follows a warning by the South African Weather Service (SAWS), telling residents around the country to expect “bitterly cold” temperatures from Thursday into Friday morning.

“It will be the coldest night of the year in some places over the interior of SA tonight into tomorrow Friday morning (23 July 2021). Small-stock farmers please be advised,” SAWS said a statement on Thursday.

“The cold temperatures will be due to a succession of cold fronts that are expected to sweep across the southern half of the country. A second, more intense cold front supported by an upper-air trough will affect the Cape provinces on Wednesday through to Thursday” it added.

Following last week’s violent protests in KZN, which resulted in shops, warehouses and fuel stations being looted and destroyed, Botha explained that tourism in the area has dramatically decreased.

“We were actually doing fine until the looting and then everything was cancelled because of the petrol shortage, food shortage and all that. It was supposed to be a good month for us, but I think it will start to pick up again for August, hopefully,” Botha said.

In the Western Cape region, residents queued up at the Matroosberg Nature Reserve, about two hours west of Cape Town, to catch a glimpse of the snowcapped mountain peaks, according to African News Agency (ANA) photographer Ayanda Ndamane.

Western Cape residents made their way to the Matroosberg Nature Reserve to catch a glimpse of the snowcapped mountains. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

- African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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