A guide to where to go on holiday in January for wildlife, culture and adventure in Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Latin America.
Best places to go in January
Highlights of where to go on holiday in January in Africa:
- The annual wildebeest migration is in the southern Serengeti in Tanzania from January to March.
- It is the dry season in Kenya and Tanzania, so great for game viewing. The coastlines are enjoying good warm sunny weather too so a try break on an Indian Ocean island such as Lamu, Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia, Chole …. Safari and beach holiday anyone?
- January is excellent for birding in southern Africa as it is the green season from roughly December to March and birds love this wetter time of year.
- Botswana and Zambia offer great value in the green season, with lodges charging at greatly reduced prices in comparison to the peak season.
- South Africa’s Cape has Mediterranean-type weather in January (actually from about October to March). Head for Cape Town, the Winelands, and the Garden Route. It is also a good time for exploring, hiking and other activities in the Cape. Relax on beaches, enjoy fine food and gorgeous scenery.
KwaZulu Natal in the east of the country also has pretty good weather, so walks, cycling, horse riding and other activities would be excellent here in January. Combine with some beach time or a safari for an exciting African adventure.
- Victoria Falls is a sight worth seeing any time of year, but January is quite good as it’s not at peak flow (roughly February to May) nor at its lowest ebb (about October to November). You’ll get a good view of it from either the Zambian or Zimbabwean side.
- You can climb Kilimanjaro all year. January and February are two of the best months to climb the mountain as the weather tends to be quite clear. If Kili is a little too much of a challenge, talk to us about other hikes (perhaps in the Ngorongoro region or Kenya’s Loita Hills), or maybe a Maasai-guided walking safari.
Highlights of where to go on holiday in January in India, Nepal or Bhutan:
- Since the rains have stopped and the intense heat is yet to come, January is quite a good month for tiger viewing in India or Nepal.
- January is one of the best months for seeing rhinos in Kaziranga National Park in northeast India. You’ll also see wild elephants, hoolock gibbons and other such interesting wildlife here.
- Kerala and Goa are the places to hit the beach in India this month. There are some lovely hotels and lodges, the weather in January is in the mid-20°c, and you can find some great beaches and good food.
- It’s still a bit cold in northern India and Nepal, however, January can still be a good time for an adventure. Take to the hills on an Annapurna trek in Nepal, or perhaps explore the authentic Nila region in northern Kerala.
Highlights of where to go on holiday in January in Latin America:
- January is a good time for wildlife viewing in Costa Rica, and then there are adventures such as horse riding, cycling … and of course, excellent beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of the country.
- This is a good month to travel around Ecuador whatever your focus. It’s a small country but with some amazing highlights in the Andes, the rainforest and the Galapagos Islands. Take a look at one of our suggested holidays here.
- In the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, land birds start nesting and iguanas start mating in January.
- Iguazu Falls on the border between Argentina and Brazil are always impressive but they really are spectacular in January due to the extra volume thundering over the cliffs.
- Patagonia in both Chile and Argentina is a great choice in January as it’s a warmer time to visit these chilly southern regions of South America. Both of these countries also have so much more to offer than just Patagonia, though, so definitely worth checking out for January.
- In December and January, temperatures peak in the Antarctic making this a popular time with visitors. Conditions are ideal for photography, hiking and seeing penguin chicks. But you’ll need to book ahead to get a place on a boat.
Above are the events and reasons to travel that are specific to JANUARY, and below we give you an overview of when to travel in African countries, with links to pages that have more details to help you.
Where to go in Africa
When to go to Botswana
Botswana is about wilderness and wildlife in the Okavango Delta, Chobe, the Kalahari Desert . . . Take mokoro safaris, meet San Bushmen, hang out with meerkats and elephants, search for wild dogs.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Botswana page.
When to go to Kenya
If you want to take breakfast with a giraffe, walk with Maasai, see wildebeest (hopefully) escape the jaws of crocodiles in the Masai Mara, and chill out on the beach by the Indian Ocean, Kenya is for you.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Kenya page.
When to go to Madagascar
Head for Madagascar if you yearn to meet a lemur, want to see weird but wonderful baobab trees, are keen to learn about the ‘turning of the bones’ ceremony, or fancy escaping to stunning tropical beaches.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Madagascar page.
When to go to Malawi
This little country known as the ‘warm heart of Africa’ has a superb combination of lake activities and beaches, excellent wildlife viewing and bird watching, varied hiking opportunities, and fascinating culture.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Malawi page.
When to go to Mauritius
Mauritius is the place to come if escaping to the beach is your main priority. Hit the beach, enjoy watersports, explore some of the nature reserves or try out the restaurants and bars in the main towns.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Mauritius page.
When to go to Mozambique
Mozambique has miles and miles of Indian Ocean coastline and beautiful tropical islands. Fancy somewhere different for your beach holiday? You’ve just found it!
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Mozambique page.
When to go to Namibia
Impressive sand dunes, the Skeleton Coast, ancient rock art, tribal culture of the Himba, incredible wildlife, exciting activities . . . the huge arid country of Namibia attracts visitors for many good reasons.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Namibia page.
When to go to Rwanda
You should definitely come to Rwanda to see mountain gorillas, but also chimps, golden monkeys and other wildlife, as well as truly breathtaking scenery and fascinating culture.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Rwanda page.
When to go to South Africa
The diversity of experiences you can enjoy here is huge. From incredible wildlife in Kruger and many other parks, to fabulous beaches, impressive mountains, and cosmopolitan cities, South Africa never fails.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to South Africa page.
When to go to Tanzania
Fly over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon, follow the wildebeest migration, climb Kilimanjaro, learn from Maasai, go chimp trekking, relax on Zanzibar Island . . . Tanzania is unbeatable.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Tanzania page.
When to go to Uganda
Mountain gorillas are the highlight of Uganda for some but for others, it’s the incredible birdlife. Whether it’s the wildlife, the culture, or incredible landscapes such as Murchison Falls, it will not disappoint.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Uganda page.
When to go to Zambia
Walking safaris were born here and it is home to Victoria Falls. Canoe on the Zambezi; visit the ‘lost world’ of Liuwa Plains; experience the photo hides in South Luangwa . . . We adore Zambia.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Zambia page.
When to go to Zimbabwe
Superb safaris, Victoria Falls, cruises on Lake Kariba, canoe trips at Mana Pools, rock paintings at Matobo Hills and the ancient ruins of Great Zimbabwe. Diversity, adventure and luxury combined.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Zimbabwe page.
10 days from £2350pp plus international flights.
Tanzania safari in Selous, and beach stay on Zanzibar. A great holiday for a great price.
- A hard-to-beat safari and beach holiday
- Great value, with excellent guiding and good accommodation
- Exciting safaris in Nyerere National Park (Selous)
- Boat safari on Lake Tagalala
- Chill out in a Zanzibar beach resort
- Explore Zanzibar's Stone Town
Above are the events and reasons to travel that are specific to JANUARY, and below we give you an overview of when to travel in India, Nepal and Bhutan, with links to pages that have more details to help you.
Where to go in Indian Subcontinent
When to go to India
Palaces and forts vie for your attention alongside tigers and rhinos, while spiritualism and sightseeing can combine with Himalayan mountains and Keralan beaches for a uniquely Indian experience.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to India page.
When to go to Nepal
Nepal is an incredible country where you can see Everest in the north, tigers in the south, and the stunning cities of the Kathmandu Valley with the stupas and temples. Adventure, wildlife and spiritualism.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Nepal page.
When to go to Bhutan
The Land of the Thunder Dragon is a Buddhist kingdom where you can enjoy visiting temples, discovering a unique culture, and hiking in stunning scenery.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Bhutan page.
13 days from £2700pp plus international flights.
A rich mix of the north's highlights - from the Taj to the ghats and from tigers to palaces.
- Admire the serene beauty of the Taj Mahal
- Explore the Pink City of Jaipur
- Look for tigers, sloth bear and antelope in Ranthambore
- Experience a slice or rural Rajasthani life
- Walk round atmospheric Fatehpur Sikri
- Immerse yourself in the sacred city of Varanasi
Above are the events and reasons to travel that are specific to JANUARY, and below we give you an overview of when to travel in Latin American countries, with links to pages that have more details to help you.
Where to go in Latin America
When to go to the Antarctic
Go and explore one of the most untouched places on Earth, Antarctic, land of snow and ice, penguins and elephant seals, albatrosses and orcas.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Antarctic page.
When to go to Argentina
Tangos, red wine and steak, gauchos in the Pampas; glaciers in Patagonia; Iguazu Falls; wetlands, winelands, lake districts . . . Argentina is a feast of experiences just waiting to be explored.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Argentina page.
When to go to Bolivia
Bolivia is one of the generally lesser-known countries in South America, but its Amazon rainforest, Andean mountains, salt flats, Lake Titicaca and fascinating history shouldn’t be missed.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Bolivia page.
When to go to Brazil
From the Amazon to the Pantanal, from Iguazu Falls to the Costa Verde, and from Rio de Janeiro to the Afro-Brazilian culture of Salvador, Brazil is huge, diverse and unmissable.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Brazil page.
When to go to Chile
The landscapes of this long thin country vary from the Atacama Desert in the north, to the lakes districts and winelands in the centre, down to Patagonia in the south and Easter Island offshore.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Chile page.
When to go to Costa Rica
Discover sloths and spider monkeys, walk on hanging bridges, explore volcanoes, try zip-lining, dip your toes in the Caribbean and/or the Pacific. It’s a tiny country but it’s packed with adventures.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Costa Rica page.
When to go to Ecuador
The highlights of Ecuador are the Andean mountains, the Amazon rainforest, the beautiful cloud forest, the Galapagos Islands, and the Ecuadorian people.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Ecuador page.
When to go to the Galapagos Islands
A nature lover’s paradise where wildlife has no fear of mankind and you can swim with curious seals or see pelicans in the fish market. Unique wildlife, volcanic habitats and nature cruises.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Galapagos Islands page.
When to go to Peru
Peru is synonymous with the Incas and Machu Picchu, but it also has Amazon rainforest, cloud forest, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon, Arequipa . . . Peru is uniquely and diversely fascinating.
For more detail, read our Best Times to go to Peru page.
12 days from £2130 pp plus international flights.
Traversing this small country you'll be amazed by the richness and variety of the scenery and wildlife.
- Watch for white-faced and howler monkeys in Cahuita
- Laze on a sandy Caribbean beach
- Take a boat ride in the waterways of Tortuguero
- Walk across hanging bridges at Arenal Volcano
- Enjoy views over Culebra Bay and the Gulf of Papagayo
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