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Best Time to Visit South Africa


January is a midsummer month, characterised by afternoon showers, lush landscapes, spectacular sunsets, and sightings of numerous migratory birds.

What's the weather going to be like in South Africa in January?

  • Days and nights are hot and dry, but there is a chance of rainstorms (in the safari areas)
  • It’s peak summer season
  • In areas close to the Indian Ocean, there are particularly high temperatures and high humidity too
  • It’s hot enough for light layers, and a sturdy waterproof for storms
  • The garden route and Cape Town are drier and cooler than Kruger National Park.

What are the highlights of visiting South Africa in January?

  • Safari in South Africa is excellent all year round
  • The Kruger is less busy than it is during December, as the school vacations in South Africa have ended by January
  • January’s balmy evenings are superb for sundowners, and clear skies yield particularly spectacular sunsets throughout the month
  • Great sightings of big cats can be enjoyed during cooler mornings and evenings, as the animals have no need to seek shade at these times
  • January is brilliant for birdwatching, due to the prevalence of many migratory species
  • Leatherback and loggerhead turtles enter their crossover period between nesting and hatching this month
  • If you’re in the Mother City on 2nd January, you can experience the ‘Kaapse Klopse’ or ‘Second New Year’ celebrations
  • Travellers to KwaZulu-Natal can mark the anniversary of two famous battles – Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift
  • There are lots of opportunities for fantastic photography – sunsets, big cats, turtles, and more.

Any lowlights?

  • As there’s a lot of water available in parks and reserves, wildlife has no need to cluster around scarce supplies
  • Due to dense vegetation, wildlife is less visible than during dry season months
  • There are many mosquitoes about
  • The rains can cause some roads to become impassable to safari vehicles.

Recommended Safaris to South Africa in January

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