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December safaris – beaches & lush bushveld

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December safari highlights

Our safari experts view December as the month to seek out lush green landscapes, festive-season Cape Town and the white sand beaches of Indian Ocean islands.

Expert safari tip:

Plan your December safari for the first two weeks of the month to take advantage of lower prices - before the busy festive season really kicks into action.

South Africa

In South Africa's Western Cape - which has a Mediterranean climate - Cape Town is in full festive-season swing, with trendy restaurants, white-sand beaches and a wide variety of outdoor activities on offer. The Cape Winelands is showing off with summer-green exuberance and offers delicious cuisine accompanied by award-winning wines. Further along the coast, the Garden Route offers much the same but in a more casual setting. If a bush-and-beach combo is your thing, consider convenient flights direct from Cape Town to the Greater Kruger, where the bushveld is transforming into summer green. For the safari connoisseur, the Kalahari transforms from drab sandy desert into a green oasis. Coupled with low visitor numbers, you may feel like you have the Kalahari bushveld all to yourself. The birthing season is in full swing and the big cats, hyenas and wild dogs grow fat on the easy pickings.

At this time of year, the Southern African bushveld is a paradise for birders, with the summer migrants here in big numbers.

Indian Ocean Islands

December is time for toes-in-the-sand relaxation on blissful Indian Ocean islands, combined with water activities such as diving, snorkelling and spending time with colossal whale sharks. We highly recommend this after your secret season safari in East Africa - with its early mornings, late nights and bumpy roads. Time on an island paradise is exactly the right tonic to wash away the dust and recharge those batteries. The island paradises of Zanzibar, Pemba, Mnemba and others await...


Ethiopia is at its best between October and March. For those drawn to the captivating landscapes of the South Omo Valley and the enigmatic Danakil Depression bordering Eritrea, November and December hold particular allure due to lower temperatures and rainfall. For wildlife and bird watchers, Ethiopia is packed with endemic species. The national parks offer many enticing encounters - from Ethiopian wolf, gelada monkeys and walia ibex to blue-winged goose, golden-backed woodpecker and Abyssinian catbird.

Great Wildebeest Migration

The herds of wildebeest and zebra have moved into the short grass plains of southern Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the adjoining Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Many of the cows are pregnant and are due to give birth in the coming months.

Rest of Africa

The Southern African bushveld has started to green up but is not yet as thick as it gets later in the wet summer season. Wildlife viewing can be patchy, depending on rainfall and available food sources.

Rwanda enjoys mild weather during December - a great time to visit this biodiverse country. December is also a good time to visit Zakouma National Park in Chad now that the dry season has commenced.

Which of our ready-made safari trips are at their best during December?

The list below provides a few examples of our many ready-made safaris at their best during December. If none meets your wishes, start the discussion with one of our safari experts to find your December safari of a lifetime - including the amazing experiences mentioned here.

The above ready-made packages are just a taste of December-friendly safaris on offer

If none of the above meets your needs why not discuss your requirements with one of our safari experts?

Start the discussion

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