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January safaris - predators, chimps & gorillas

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January safari highlights

January is one of the secret months for safari ecstasy – excellent action combined with low tourist volumes in the selected areas below. This is the start of the calving season throughout Africa, and the predators are cashing in on easy meals. It's also the best time to trek for chimps and gorillas and search for rare and endemic birds. Along the coast, water clarity is good for snorkelling and diving. Expect lower lodge prices and no crowds.

Great Wildebeest Migration - the start of the Serengeti calving season

The first rains have beckoned the herds to the Ndutu area of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Many females in the herd are heavily pregnant at this point, and some have started giving birth. The predators are cashing in on the abundance of easy pickings.

Gorilla and chimp trekking

This is the short dry season in Uganda and Rwanda, providing excellent opportunities to trek for chimps and gorillas and to search for rare and endemic birds.

Maasai Mara secret season

January heralds a lush, green landscape with fewer visitors, making it an excellent time for wildlife viewing. This is the calving season, and you will see cheetahs, lions, leopards and hyenas in action.

The paradise islands off East Africa

Zanzibar, Mafia, Chumbe, Pemba, Mnemba & Lamu - these iconic paradise islands are at their best during January and February. The days are hot and sunny, and the sea is at its clearest, making it an excellent time for divers and snorkelers. How about combining one of the above East African safaris to Maasai Mara or Serengeti with a few days of sand-in-the-toes ecstasy?

South African combo safari
Cape Town & the Garden Route

January is a fantastic time to explore South Africa's Western Cape. Cape Town, the nearby Cape Winelands and Garden Route are buzzing with festive season vibe but without the intensity of the main holiday season crowds.

Greater Kruger

The Greater Kruger area offers green landscapes after the early summer rains, and the calving season means plenty of predator action. You can combine these two destinations via a 2-hour direct flight.

São Tomé and Príncipe

January is a pleasant month in São Tomé and Príncipe. The dry, sunny conditions make for excellent hiking, and clear coastal water means great snorkelling, diving and nesting-turtle watching. This is also an excellent time to add endemic lifers to your birding list, as this is the avian mating season.


Ethiopia is at its best between October and March. Genna (Christmas) is celebrated on 7 January, and Timket (Epiphany) on 18 and 19 January. Lalibela is a good place to celebrate Ethiopian Christmas and Gondar is a good place to experience the Timket (Epiphany) where there is a re-enactment of the first baptism at Fasil's Pool. January to April is the best time to visit Omo Valley – the weather is hot but dry and there are several traditional ceremonies taking place.

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.


Travel to Chad is recommended during the months of November to April - the dry season. Zakouma National Park hosts an abundance of wildlife, including elephants, buffaloes and big cats, with the floodplains in the eastern half of the park being the most productive.

These are just a taste of our ready-made January safaris

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

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