What is the best safari in January that gives you full satisfaction? January in Africa means a long summer day, with odd thunderstorms and green landscapes filled with fruits, berries, and seeds.
This breeding season and there are young animals and birds everywhere! The bush buzzes with excitement and abundance. In contrast to the short, dark days in the Northern Hemisphere, Africa celebrates the New Year with color and vitality.
Between January and the end of March as well as June to October, when the temperature is pleasant and dry, are the optimum times to visit the majority of Kenya’s safari locations and the main Tanzanian safari regions. But a safari during the brief rainy season (November to December) is definitely something to think about.
It’s a great time of year to visit Cape Town and the Garden Route since January brings hot, dry weather to the Cape. High temperatures are also present in the Kruger and KwaZulu-Natal, however sunny spells are broken up by tropical downpours.
The majority of travelers include an African safari on their bucket lists, and the continent offers an incredible selection of locations with magnificent animals, intriguing cultures, and breathtaking scenery. The choice of where to go is the issue! Planning your first trip might be challenging with so many alternatives.
It’s critical to know what qualities you desire in a safari location. Which animals are you interested in seeing? Which safari do you want to take—a 4×4, a strolling, or a horseback ride? How much time do you want to spend? Are you also seeking a place with activities outside safaris?
Once you’ve considered these factors, you may start to determine which nations would be the most appropriate for you. As specialists in African safaris, we can advise you on which nations are ideal for your first trip and provide all the information you need to plan your first safari. There are numerous nations that are particularly suitable for individuals going on their first safari.
You can also choose your safari outside Africa.
What is the Best Safari in January & How To Make It
Expect fewer tourists and lower prices compared to the safari month, though local parks and coastal areas may be crowded in the first half of January as a result of South Africa’s local school holidays for the best safari in January.
Many lodges which are far from easily accessible areas are exempt at this time of year, so be on the lookout for special rates. Some lodges are even closed for a month or two.
Places to visit wildlife can be disastrous, especially if the first rainfall is good but bird watching is at its peak due to the breeding activities and the presence of summer migrants.
This is a great time to enjoy these many celebrated little things, such as the emergence of frogs and turtles from their dry season hibernation, and a mixture of gulls, snakes, and leopards, as they begin their reproductive cycle on flying ants during the best safari in January.
Be sure to pack light clothing to cover open areas, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and high-factor sun lotions. And of course, keep a raincoat nearby for a weird shower. Read this article for a complete safari packing list and more about asanas in Africa.
Please be aware of mosquitoes and wear long sleeves and long pants in the dark, sleep under the mosquito and apply some form of mosquito repellent. We suggest you exercise caution during this time – please consult your doctor.
Tanzanian safaris are more enjoyable during the dry seasons. The best time to witness young animals and beautiful scenery are from January through March. The best time to see a ton of animals is from June lot October! However, there will be a crowd.
According to Travel Africa magazine, a 10-day safari in Botswana typically costs between £6000 and 8000 (US$8,500 and $11,000), or $850 and $1100 per person every day. For safaris in Tanzania or Kenya, major international tour operators frequently price $750-$1000 per person per day.
Best Safari Destinations in January
Let’s find below some amazing safari destinations in January:
1. South Africa
Cape Town and the Garden Route are in party mode for the entire festival season, with great opportunities for wine, dining, and chilling on the beach of the best safari in January.
Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa is good for all seasons and January is no exception.
The national park is busy all year long, especially during school holidays, and we instead recommend a private archive on the west end of the park, where privacy enhances the experience and great guides are your Big 5 (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros, and buffalo).
Also, in South Africa, we recommend doing a safari for the Madikwe Game Reserve. Not only is it a malaria-free region, but it’s also a great place to look for other sought-after species such as the Big 5 and cheetahs, painted wolves, and brown hyenas.
January is also a great time to visit almost anywhere in Botswana, as many lodges offer good green season discounts – though it is rare to visit again.
Be aware that the number of annual Okavango Delta floodwaters received from the Angolan Highlands has decreased, and that only permanent deep water channels still provide aquatic activities such as boat baiting and Mokoro travel for the best safari in January.
For both Zambia and Zimbabwe, the adventure capital of Victoria Falls is open for business all year long and is a must for any Africa-fanatical fanatics.
2. East and Central Africa
Nabi Hill and Lobo are the places to visit if you want to explore the Wildebeest in January, seeing the Great Wildebeest migration going south in Tanzania’s Serengeti area in January in anticipation of nourishing green grass after the first rains. Many females are extremely pregnant at this point and moving to green grass is a top priority.
3. Great migration explanation, Kenya
Kenya’s Masai Mara is now enjoying its ‘secret season’ when tourists are few, and resident predators attack a large number of hunting species that do not follow livestock for the best safari in January.
Residential species such as Thomson and Grant’s gazelles, impala, warthogs, topis, and coke’s heartbeats have been very easily picked up for the big cats recently renowned by the BBC’s Big Cat Diary.
For many Kenyan locals, this is the perfect time to stay in Masai Mara, for the best safari in January.
Islands like Zanzibar, Seychelles, and Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago are great in January, making this combined bush-and-beach vacation an irresistible choice.
Nevertheless, the local festival is aware of the abundance of seasoned travelers and will likely look to travel in the second half of January.
The mountains of Uganda Park and Kibale National Park and Rwanda Vulcanos National Park are now the best after the rainy season for trekking gorillas, shrimps, and gold monkeys, and the views of the mountains and the volcanic waterside are forever gone.
For trekking lowland gorillas, head to the Odjala-Kokoa National Park in Congo to preserve these gentle giants as well as other features such as bonuses, forest buffalo, and forest elephants.
For bird watchers, January is plenty of time in Uganda and Rwanda. Here are the Albertine Rift Endemics with highly sought-after avian gems such as green broadbills and Green-breasted pitas at the best safari in January.
4. Yellowstone National Park, USA
On top of a volcanic hot point, Yellowstone National Park is an approximately 3,500 square mile natural recreation area. The park is primarily in Wyoming, although it also extends into areas of Montana and Idaho. Dramatic gorges, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs, and spouting geysers, notably Old Faithful, are all highlights of Yellowstone. Numerous animal species, including wolves, bison, elk, and antelope, as well as hundreds more, call it home.
In Wyoming, January and February are cold. However, with so much snow this winter, it is much simpler to see Yellowstone’s wolves since their grey fur shines out against the white dazzle and their paw prints form a useful trail in the snow.
Not all people are drawn to wolves. Other species, like bison, elk, and bighorn sheep, gather in the steamy thermal features of the park in search of warmth.
5. Southern Serengeti, Tanzania
This assembly of the million-strong ungulate herds in the southern Serengeti, from January to March, is equally magnificent to the northerly river-cavorting of the Great Migration, which often captures the headlines (in August).
Numerous wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle give birth here in large numbers while feeding on the nutrient-rich short grasses, drawing a variety of ravenous predators.
The Serengeti in Tanzania is the ideal safari location because of its friendly population, stunning scenery, and incredible wildlife sightings. The Southern Serengeti is a seasonal area since there isn’t much left to graze on the parched plains during the dry season, which lasts from May to October. From December to March, you may follow the wildebeest at Kusini in the Serengeti National Park on a Serengeti South Safari with AfricanMecca. Large migratory herds of wildebeest and zebra reside in these short-grass and nutrient-rich plains during the rainy season.
The months of January and February or June and October are the ideal times to explore the Serengeti. No matter what time of year you come, the Serengeti’s abundance of animals delivers a breathtaking safari experience.
Kenya is a fairly developed tourism destination with a long history as a safari destination. The country and parks are quite accessible, the infrastructure is excellent, and the level of service and lodging is consistent and of a very high caliber. On the grasslands of the Masai Mara, where the Great Wildebeest Migration peaks, visitors may see the country’s wide array of beautiful animals and unique civilizations.
Amazing conservation efforts that have been making headway ever since the terrible poaching crisis in the 1970s and 1980s have resulted in a high concentration of wildlife, making it quite likely to see animals in large numbers. A fantastic area to dip your toe into the safari pond is one of Africa’s most well-liked safari locations. Additionally, there are extensive sections of gorgeous shorelines and amazing excursions across the Great Rift Valley.
What are the ideal locations to visit? Masai Mara, Samburu, and Shaba National Parks, which each feature award-winning game lodges, are ideal for safaris and wildlife viewing. Mombasa, Malindi, and Lamu all have beaches. We suggest visiting the lovely Watamu Beach and Diani Beach. Great Rift Valley is great for treks and landscapes.
What creatures am I able to see? There are lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, bat-eared foxes, zebras, warthogs, hartebeest, gazelles, and impalas.
7. Yamanouchi, Japan
In Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan, there is a park for monkeys called Jigokudani. It is situated in the Yokoyu River Valley, in the northern portion of the prefecture, and is a component of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park.
Jigokudani Monkey Park’s Japanese macaques are better observed in the snow, which is why they are known as snow monkeys. Although they spend the entire year in the park, they are more likely to take a dip in the thermal hot springs in January and February because of the extreme cold. This is without a doubt the most picturesque time of year.
8. Tambopata, Peru
This national park in southern Peru is home to some of the most biodiverse jgle on the globe, as well as 670 different bird species.
More than 1,000 types of butterflies, 100 animal species, 600 bird species, and several tree and plant species may be found in the reserve. In reality, this reserve and the area around it are among the most biodiverse areas on earth.
Six species of macaw are among those who like licking clay, which naturally neutralizes plant poisons. These birds congregate in vast numbers in Colorado and Tambopata’s colpas, two of the biggest clay licks in the world.
You must first go to Puerto Maldonado in order to access the Tambopata National Reserve. The capital of Madre de Dios and the entry point to the reserve is Puerto Maldonado. Daily inbound planes arrive at Puerto Maldonado. These planes come at least three times every day from Cuzco or Lima.
Peak numbers of these magnificent birds may be seen pecking the clay from December to January when the local food supply is at its greatest. Remember that it is the rainy season; pack a brolly.
Tanzania is home to some of the best national parks on the continent, with dense populations of wildlife and breathtaking vistas of Mount Kilimanjaro. It features a variety of fantastic off-the-beaten-path parks where there are fewer tourists, wildlife encounters are more exclusive, and there is a ton of culture and opportunities to interact with native communities.
Unmissable experience: every year, 1.7 million wildebeests roar over the Serengeti plains on their way to Kenya. It is a great location to combine a safari with a beach vacation because it is close to lovely Zanzibar. A few days on a palm-lined beach at the conclusion of a safari are the ideal way to decompress before returning to everyday life. Safaris are intense and thrilling. A place to visit once in a lifetime.
What are the ideal locations to visit? We advise first-timers to take a safari to the Northern Circuit, which includes Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti National Park. Visit Zanzibar via boat or light plane to unwind after your trip.
What kinds of creatures can I see? Gazelle, zebra, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, antelope, lion, cheetah, and wildebeest (in astounding numbers!).
What do I need to know? There are fewer possibilities than in other locations where you can go on a boat, on foot, or on a horseback safari since there are so few alternatives to a 4×4 safari.
The most active tourists are best suited for the safaris in Zambia that take place in January since they lay a significant emphasis on adventurous activities like walking safaris between camps. The nation is the ideal option for anybody looking to explore on foot because of its outstanding walking safaris. The tour operators are known for being exceptionally informed, passionate, and personable.
The atmosphere of a safari in Zambia is one of authenticity and intimacy because the lodging is intimate and family-run. Camps and hotels are cozy and affordably priced, and the safari sector is comparatively well-developed. You may also see Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
What are the ideal locations to visit? South Luangwa National Park is the best place to go on a walking safari because you can go between the camps on foot there. Another excellent location to watch animals is Lower Zambezi National Park.
What kinds of creatures can I see? The best time for walking safaris is from May to October when there are beautiful sunny days and cool nights with great wildlife watching. The rainy season, which lasts from November to April, can make it difficult to reach certain distant regions. However, you can witness a cheetah, giraffe, hippo, lion, leopard, wild dog, elephant, buffalo, and hyena.
What do I need to know? For some people, especially first-timers, a safari in Zambia may be too strenuous or adventurous. Many travelers hold off on going to Zambia until their second or third safari. During the rainy season, several parks and accommodations are closed.
Botswana is a breathtakingly gorgeous nation all year round. from the huge lakes of the Okavango Delta to the golden Kalahari desert, which is peppered with baobab trees. The terrain transforms into vivid colors of green during the rainy season, as animals swarms to feast on the new growth. In Botswana, safaris are exclusive experiences.
The nation concentrates on high-income, low-impact safaris, so even if you might fork over a bit extra money, you’ll be rewarded with premium animal experiences and individualized service. Are you likely to run into other travelers? Minimal.
What are the ideal locations to visit? Chobe National Park and Moremi Wildlife Reserve are ideal for year-round game-watching. When it’s dry: Okavango Delta Kalahari Game Reserve is in bloom.
What kinds of creatures can I see? There are lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, buffalo, giraffes, antelopes, zebras, hippos, pukus, and wildebeests.
What time is ideal for travel? Botswana is accessible all year long. The dry season, which lasts from July to October, is when you may see big herds assembling at waterholes. The greatest time of year to see birds is during the green season, which lasts from December to March. Even though it might rain during these months, costs are typically lower and game watching is usually excellent, particularly in the Kalahari where animals migrate south in search of water.
What do I need to know? Botswana is well known for being the most pricey safari location in Africa. Traveling during the green season, however, may result in much-reduced costs.
What should I pack for my January safari in Africa?
The best safari attire to bring
- Tank tops and t-shirts.
- Sleeveless shirts (for protection from sunburns)
- Dress comfortably in casual attire. To keep you cool, loose clothing is ideal.
- Clothing made of cotton rather than synthetic materials will assist to keep you much cooler, especially during the hot, dry summer months.
- Safari pants with knee zippers are really handy.
- For early morning and nighttime safaris, wear a fleece or thick jacket.
- Binoculars for distant game viewing
smartphone or camera with a respectable zoom
- Anti-mosquito spray
- A broad-rimmed hat
- Enduring but breathable footwear
- Any prescribed drugs, eyewear, or sunglasses
- If you’re traveling during the rain, bring a lightweight raincoat.
- Lightweight long pants or long-short convertible pants.
- A warm fleece jacket or pullover.
- One bathing suit
- Cotton underwear and socks.
During the peak season, it may get quite busy and more expensive. The nation’s mass-market tourism strategy can result in highly congested parks; nevertheless, visiting private reserves helps you to avoid too many other visitors – albeit they are fairly expensive. Before traveling, it is advised to have many shots, and malaria prevention measures are crucial.
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