Winter in the northern hemisphere is summer in the southern, so it’s easy to flip the script on the weather. And when all else fails, just head to the Equatorial region for sun, sun, sun. The best places to visit in winter offer lush landscapes, moderate temperatures, and plenty of activities outside.
Here’s our list of the best places to visit in January:
- Zebra Migration in Botswana – During Botswana’s wet season, come bear witness to the spectacular zebra migration as well as a cornucopia of flamingos and other waterbirds.
- Penguin Chicks Hatching in Antarctica – Mid-season (December to early-February) offers the best time to visit Antarctica, with up to 20 hours of daylight, the warmest average temps (34 F), as well as the hatching of those adorable baby penguin chicks. Take a boat across the Drake Passage or fly-in for a quick and comfortable visit.
- Great Tiger Safari in India – In India, the tiger is king. These elusive cats are (rightly) at the top of any safari-goer’s list. January in India is a month of moderate temperatures and little rain, a perfect time to safari in India’s top wildlife reserves, each with distinct landscapes and ecosystems. Feel as though you’ve stepped into the pages of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book!” with our ultimate India safari itinerary.
- Epiphany Festivals in Gondar Ethiopia – The Ethiopian epiphany (Timket in Amharic), is one of Ethiopia’s most colorful and unique events. This three-day affair commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. Even though the core religious idea attached to the Ethiopian epiphany is similar to other Christians worldwide, the celebrations are quite unique in Ethiopia. Starting on January 18, join the festivities, the faith, and the prayers at this UNESCO-listed world cultural event.
- Great Gorilla Watching in Uganda – Uganda is home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population and is one of the few countries where you can encounter them in their natural environment. Straddling the equator, Uganda is a year-round destination, as there is little fluctuation in temperature (average temps in the 80’s, but January is the dry season, and perfect for an incredible wildlife experience.
- Secret Season in Kenya – The secret season in East Africa is a local delight and the perfect time for a blissfully private safari in Kenya. Because most visitors are focused on the Maasai Mara’s migration times, the secret season is a period of recovery, growth, and the natural daily cycles of the animals in the Mara. Starting around October and running through to March, secret season is more affordable, and just as spectacular.
- Tennis in Australia – On your summer adventure down under, coordinate your timing to attend The Australian Open, the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, held annually over the last fortnight of January. And then depart trendy Melbourne for an iconic outback, Great Barrier Reef, and Sydney adventure.
Looking for More Ideas?
Fly fishing in Patagonia is popular in February or spend the winter holidays with the chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains while escaping to secluded luxury in Tanzania.