January is the busiest month of the year mainly because of the two major festivals, Ethiopian Christmas and Timket and at the end of January there is an AU Summit, which is held in Addis Ababa every year. These two events do put pressure on hotel accommodation and internal flight seats so if you are planning to travel in January it is best to plan in advance.
A great time to be on safari - clear, hot days and warm nights make this high season a popular time for safaris and good for diving and snorkeling.
Skies are clear and animals congregate around the rivers and watering holes making for great game viewing in the parks and conservancies.
January is not as crowded as the peak period nor as expensive.
January is warm and sunny with short showers which do not last long in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar and is one of the best times for game viewing in all wildlife parks in Tanzania. Migratory animals and predators linger around Ndutu in southeastern Serengeti plains between December and April. All the game parks offer excellent bird watching in January including Eurasian migrants, which are present from October to April. January is one of the best months (September to March) for big game fishing (marlin, barracuda, sailfish, tuna) off Mafia, Zanzibar and Pemba. It is low season in Southern and Western Tanzania game parks, and shoulder season in Zanzibar.
Whale sharks are feeding on the surface and with responsible operators it is possible to have magnificent snorkeling encounters with these graceful filter feeders. Mafia is one of the easiest places in the world to swim with whale sharks and we have the longest season (October through to Feb/March, depending on the year).
In January we can dive all the sites of Mafia, the weather is predictable and we access the sites outside the bay, with the sites inside the bay still offering their best.
Weather is dry and warm but cooled by the Kaskazi (north) breeze. Beautiful sunrise and sunsets. Time for sleeping with a fan
Kilimanjaro & Mt Kenya
January, February and September) are the best months for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. January and February are usually dry, warm and clear with brief rain showers, which make good climbing conditions.
The month of January has daily high temperatures, around 28- 30°C and dry. It’s a good time for game drives in Akagera National Park where Rwanda will soon have the Big Five. A good time for cultural tourist experiences which includes visiting Memorial museum in Kigali City, the National Museum in Huye district and the Kings Palace in Nyanza.
January is a dry month in Uganda and very good for water activities and water safaris as wildlife is drawn to the water sources. It is also good for balloon safaris, fishing and hiking in the Rwenzori Mountains.
Head to: West and East Coast are lovely – always a bit cooler by the sea then inland, and water temperatures along the Eastern Cape Coast are warm and pleasant for swimming. Port Elizabeth, Jeffrey’s Bay, Plettenberg Bay have lovely swimming beaches. Recommend booking accommodation 12 months in advance. Cape Town is still in party-mood and is very festive, laid-back and at its most polished. Note, the south-easterly wind usually blows strongly in January along the coast (especially around Cape Town). Can be slightly unpleasant, but great for kite-surfing.
Avoid: Northern Cape and Karoo – the heat is unbearable! January is this part of the Northern Cape’s hottest month, with average daily temperatures soaring over 36° C (97° F).
With grasses becoming longer and wildlife harder to spot – it would appear the quantity of game viewing in general may not be as great as in the dryer months. However, this is when most young are born and January is a wonderful month to witness the babies of the bush.
January is rainy season in Madagascar with heavy rain in the evening. Roads to Bekopaka, Belo/mer and Manja are closed because of the high level of rivers to cross without bridges and Tsingy De Bemaraha National Park is closed. As a result there are less visitors to enjoy the green vistas and hot, long and sunny days. The bush, rice fields and vegetation are very green and trees, plants, cactus and orchids are in flower. Beautiful, colourful, bright skies and sunshine! With less visitors hotels are empty a little cheaper.
From January to March over 200 orchids bloom across the grasslands of Nyika National Park. Many migrant birds usually arrive during the start of the green season (from January to April) due to the climates north of the equator becoming less hospitable.
January is the start of the rainy season in Malawi. Landscapes are lush and green and there is flurry of activity in all key wilderness areas.
Rainy season - can be wet in the interior, but the further west you go the better the weather, with places like Etendeka being very pleasant this time of year. Coastal climate stays very mild right throughout the year and receives very little rain. During the rainy season large herds of plains game can be seen west of Okaukuejo. Rainy season is lambing and calving season in Etosha. Migratory water birds and waders appear at Fischer’s Pan. 10 species of migratory raptors spend their summers in Etosha, including Bateleur and Tawny Eagles
Migrant birds come into the area and the breeding plumage turns little brown birds into flaming orange balls of colour. Wild dog are generally around and on the hunt.
The days are warm – in their 30’s and we can have some showers, but activities are rarely cancelled. The bush has burst to life and it’s green and lush.
The end of the month is the beginning of boating safaris in the South Luangwa – there are only a few months year this is possible.
Great for birders, baby animals and good on the pocket too!
Whilst January, February and March fall in the rainy season they are still a great time to visit Zimbabwe as many animals give birth and there are lots of babies - The Ngamo Flats in Hwange and the Linkwasha concession are good plances to visit. Gonarezhou National Park and Eastern Highlands are excellent for birding at this time of the year. Waterfowl, cranes and ducks begin to nest. The Falls are in good flow with good visibility.
Republic of Congo
Black headed Bee-eaters are frequently seen along forest edges, a dream for any birder. Elephants are more frequently seen inside the dry forests of Lango, sometimes making a walk a bit longer than expected. Slowly but surely the forest starts preparing for the big rains and we feel it towards the end of the month when the humidity makes for sticky and sweaty forest walks and gorilla treks.
January is peak winter and in most parts of Bhutan the temperatures range from 15° C to – 0.2° C. The climate is dry and sunny for most parts with perfect blue sky. However, it is cold, especially when the sun hides behind the mountains or in the mornings and evenings. At night the temperature falls below zero in most parts. Some high altitude places can experience snowfall too.
It is perhaps not the best time for photography or trekking, as the high passes could be closed due to snowfall. January is usually considered low season in Bhutan and there are few visits during this period due to extreme weather conditions.
Wintering birds are well settled. Lots of large heronries in Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary and others like it across India. These heronries are full of chicks constantly calling out to their parents for food, which echoes in all areas around bird sanctuaries. It is also a great time of the year to spot Tiger, who is vibrant in its thick and bright winter coat.
This is peak winter and in most parts of north India temperatures range from 15° C to 1° C. The foliage after the monsoon months is still quite thick in most parts; however, this is the month when water bodies start shrinking.
January is perhaps not the best time for photography as there is a lot of fog especially in the earlier part of the day for the first half of the month. This is especially true for bird sanctuaries where one is trying to photograph birds at a distance - although fog /misty mornings can add an interesting perspective when photographing larger mammals at close distance.
January weather is cool and the sky is clear with snowfalls at higher elevations Northern Mountain is full of snow. Throughout the month of January daytime temperatures will generally reach highs of around 22°C with night temperature dropping down to around 9°C. The whole of January can be foggy.
January is perhaps not the best time for photography as there is a lot of fog especially in the earlier part of the day. The early morning fog is there for the first half of the month. Especially true for bird sanctuaries where one is trying to photograph birds at a distance. Though fog /misty mornings can add an interesting perspective when photographing larger mammals at close distance.
January is the best time to watch whales and super pods of dolphins off Mirissa in the southern coast of Sri Lanka and a great time for beach holidays with a twist of wildlife. Let us take you to spot the illusive leopard and other wildlife in the lowlands of Yala along with some deep sea adventures In Galle/Mirissa/Hikkaduwa. A quick stop to photograph the endemic bird species in Sinharaja Rainforest will be a definite treat! In Sri Lanka there’s always sunshine and the focus will be on helping you discover the marine mammals off Mirissa, the illusive leopard In yala and treks in Sinharaja. 27- 33 C on average, this will drop to around 23-25 C when we reach the rainforest region.
Temperature between 26-30 degrees Celsius approximately with very little wind / breeze, generally calm waters
Winter Monsoon actually does not affect the Maldives much in terms of rainfall - expect dry and clear weather
Main wildlife highlights possible: Turtles / Dolphin / Reef Sharks / Eagle-Sting Ray / Whale Shark (South Ari Atoll)
Enjoy the perfect safari. Without compromise.