Tropical downpours occur in most of southern Africa, meaning short bursts of rain which literally just reduces the temperature and leaves everything looking fresh and new.
However the hot summer of South Africa’s Western and Eastern Cape means high temperatures and zero rainfall there, which provides good opportunities for you to spot the Big Five in the region’s malaria-free private game reserves. We also recommend Kenya in January, if you want to see new-born animals. The fresh rains create a carpet of green on the savannah that supports the annual baby-boom of plains game.
In sub-Saharan Africa, January is midsummer. Africa in January is magnificent, and many regions are wearing their seasonal finery. In several cases, African beach destinations are at their best in January and a handful of countries deliver some of the most rewarding safari trips in January. Animal migrations are in full swing, beaches are hot and dry.
With top experiences ranging from gorilla trekking and uncrowded game viewing to scuba diving and wine tasting, here is our guide to where to go in Africa in January.
The Cape Coastline is sublime this time of year. Long sunny days make the Winelands wonderful in January and one can also enjoy excellent game viewing in this region too.
Africa’s greatest wildlife phenomenon, the wildebeest migration is taking place in the Serengeti in Tanzania (until the end of March). Stay in a luxury, private mobile tented camp or even a luxury lodgea nd enjoy the majesty of this spectacle.
Flamingos come to feed on the algae and brine shrimps in the shallow lakes formed in the Makgadikgadi after rainfall. There are some wonderful camps to stay at which allow you to see these incredible birds at close quarters, as well as seeing desert adapted wildlife and meeting local San people.
Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking is wonderful from January until the end of March in Rwanda, Uganda and Odzala in the Republic of Congo. This is one of Africa's greatest wildlife experiences.
Experience the festival of Timkat, the Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of the Epiphany. The best place to see this is in Gondar.
The warmest time in Kenya. Fantastic wildlife and birdlife can be found as high concentrations of wildlife congregate in regions such as the Masai Mara.
Season for turtle nesting for the leatherback and the logger head turtles along the southern African coastline. Maputaland has several sites.
Chad is fantastic at this time of year, incorporating both Zakouma National Park with its fabulous wildlife, with the Ennedi region of the Sahara desert – perfect for those with a decent budget who are wanting to get off the beaten track.
The the flood waters have receded from the fringes of the Delta giving a greater access to land. This is a wonderful time to see wildlife by game drive vehicle, take a mobile safari and walk with your guide.
Lamu and the Kenya coastline are sublime at this time and one can snorkel and swim alongside dolphins. The best time for a marine safari is from November to March.