What “Do They Know It’s Christmas” got wrong about snow in Africa

There’s a line in Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” that goes “And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime.”

Not to be pedantic about something that was sung 35 years ago, but that’s incorrect. There’s snow in Africa every year. Just not a lot of it.

It’s possible to go skiing in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria. And while some of the snow is artificial, there’s also plenty of natural white stuff manufactured by the ski resorts.

South Africans go skiing, too. And in the higher elevations in Lesotho.

And then there’s the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, which rises 5,895 metres (19,340 feet) above sea level in Tanzania. There’s snow and a (shrinking) glacier.

And it can snow around the edges of the Sahara Desert, too. It’s rare, but it happens.

Sorry if I ruined anyone’s Christmas with this bit of meteorology.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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