Safari wildlife January, world’s best safaris

A White-Nosed Coati in Costa Rica, Central America

A White-Nosed Coati in Costa Rica. Photo by Ryskas.

Wildlife safari January. Months/locations are chosen on the strength of :

• The weather,  as wet weather often means animals will shelter while long spells of rain stimulate growth of vegetation that hides to creatures, especially out in the great plains of East and South Africa. In Namibia rain means the wildlife does not have to rely on waterholes near to rest camps. So…dry seasons are best for safaris!

• The frequency of animal sightings generally, especially the Big Five in Africa (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros),  the tiger in India and so on. Bugbog crew has been to most of these locations.

Self-drive or guided tour?

Note that in some locations you can get along pretty well by yourself, whether it’s walking or self-drive (e.g. Kruger in South Africa, Etosha in Namibia). But in some places you need not just a safari guide but a good safari guide who is pleasant, informative and knows where the beasts are/will be. Preferably without dozens of other tourists in the same place (e.g. Kenya, Amazon, Borneo).

Wildlife and plants

Various wildlife parks, Costa Rica.
This small central American country embraces 70 parks hosting a vast variety of wildlife – especially birds – and flowering plants, volcanoes, beaches and mad activities. Best from December-April. Avoid May-November (rains)

Whales and Penguins

New Zealand
January is still summer in New Zealand so days are long, the weather is calm and whale and Orcas watching off Kaikoura between Christchurch and Picton, east coast of the South Island) is full-on, yellow-eyed penguins cluster on the Otago Peninsula (south east, Dunedin, South Island) and dolphin sport around the Bay of Islands (north of the North Island).

Polar wildlife

Antarctic and South Georgia cruises.
Seals, penguin, albatross, whales and more await tourists who can handle the choppy seas. Best December-January. OK November, February, March.

Big game safari

Masai Mara, Kenya.
Huge numbers of animals scattered across a spacious savannah. Too many tourists, but very good wildlife access. Best July-September for wildebeest migration or for great weather December-March. Avoid April-June ( heavy rain).

Marine life

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
This distant group of bleak, volcanic islands groans under the weight of weird and wonderful animals unaffected by human visitors. Best January-March. Avoid July/August and September, October, November.

Rhino and tiger safari

Royal Chitwan Park, Nepal.
Fun elephant back rides in search of tigers and rhinos; sightings of the former unlikely, the latter, probable. Best November-April.

Rwanda – Parc National de Volcans and Uganda – Mgahinga National Park.
Mountain gorilla hikes, damp environment and a maximum one hour visit with the hairy chaps but it’ll be unforgettable. Best in January, February, June, July.

Serengeti and Ngorongoro, Tanzania.
Monster safari parks with a huge diversity of animals. Best December-February, June-September with Serengetti wildbeeste and zebra migration around July/August. Worst time: March-May (rains).

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