January is high summer throughout Southern Africa. This means glorious weather in the Cape, the Winelands and Garden Route. North of the Cape, summer brings refreshing rains which are lightest in the West; Namibia and Botswana, and heavier in the east; Zambia, the Kruger and Mozambique. This also brings lower prices so talk to us because you can still enjoy superb safaris at this time. Weather and game viewing is excellent right across Kenya, Uganda and Northern Tanzania.
Exposed by the receding waters, the plains of the Okavango Delta are transformed by the African showers into a tapestry of green, drawing herds of plains game from the woodlands of higher lying islands to give birth to spindly-legged calves and foals. Predator sightings are frequent in these summer months as they tend to follow the birthing herds. On surrounding private reserves, there is greater flexibility about where vehicles can go, so you can go directly to where the best sightings are. Semi-desert areas like the Kalahari are transformed into a verdant Eden, interspersed with vibrant floral displays and a kaleidoscope of colours. Summer is also an excellent time for bird watchers and bird photographers, with a myriad of migratory bird species arriving.
Escape the winter weather at home by taking a safari in Tanzania or Kenya, followed by a laidback beach stay in paradisaical Zanzibar. At the start of the year the islands enjoy constant temperatures in the mid-20s to low 30s, with an occasional refreshing sea breeze. Also known as the ‘Spice Island’, Zanzibar is not all about beautiful beaches – the island is full of vibrant, bustling spice markets where exotic scents from Africa and the Middle East float on the air. Take to the water and snorkel the amazing reefs that surround the island, teeming with fish and other marine life, or head into deeper waters and scuba dive among glittering coral reefs.
This is the height of South Africa’s summer, but thanks to the ocean breeze and relative coolness of the mountains it’s a fantastic time to explore the Cape. Starting in the early morning, walk up Table Mountain for views across Cape Town and out to sea. Alternatively, explore the summit with a charming ride up in the cable car. The hills and valleys of the Winelands are postcard-perfect and brimming with historic wine estates. Travelling east, the coast is your compass, from the rugged shoreline of Hermanus to the glorious beaches around Plettenberg. Inland, the Garden Route's magnificent forests, rivers, mountains, and nature reserves are superb settings to walk and enjoy malaria-free safaris.