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December in Africa is when summer really gets going and many places are at their best

Where to go in Africa in December

Kenya’s Maasai Mara, Laikipia, and Lewa, and Tanzania’s Serengeti and Ngorongoro are simply superb.

Our Recommendation for December

As the wet season starts to set in, game viewing becomes more difficult in Southern Africa, as waterholes across the country open up and the herds disperse into smaller groups. The majority of Zambia and Zimbabwe is shut at this time of year, whereas South Africa still has enough concentrations of game to guarantee a top-quality safari. 

Tanzania

Tanzania’s light rains have a substantial effect on the movement of game in the lesser-known reserves – Katavi, Ruaha, and Selous see a dramatic shift in game volumes as herds disperse across these vast parks. The result is substantially more difficult big game viewing. However, Tanzania’s Northern Circuit is fantastic at this time of year, with the Serengeti’s Great Migration in full swing.

South Africa

December is one of South Africa’s finest months, as the weather in the Cape and along the Garden Route is at its best. Safari is not as good as a couple of months previously, but the Kruger’s private reserves still offer excellent big game viewing – Timbavati is one of our favorite destinations for a South African safari at this time of year.

Kenya

Kenya's short rains are usually over by mid-December and the dry season is beginning. After the rains, the scenery looks dramatically green – and although this can make game viewing more difficult than it is during the dry season, do not let this put you off. December is a great month for safari in Kenya and works extremely well for Christmas or New Year breaks, although you must book these key dates a long way in advance to get the best camps.

Mauritius

December is a great month to visit Mauritius, with temperatures for the year reaching a peak in either December or January. The advantage of December is that humidity levels are not yet as high as they are in January, so it's great beach weather for sun worshipers. As this is the summer rainy season, you can get some sporadic tropical showers and thunderstorms, usually in the evenings, but you're almost guaranteed 6–8 sunny hours each day.

Seychelles

December is a very popular month to visit the Seychelles, and it's one of the warmest times of the year. During December the islands can be quite wet, with light winds, and care should be taken to avoid the southern islands that are within the cyclone belt.

Great Destinations in December

Great Trips in December