December in Africa

2 min Read December 6, 2023

December in Africa

East & Southern Africa

  • December marks the beginning of the long summer holidays throughout sub-Saharan Africa, so it’s essential to plan well in advance of this busy season.
  • Most African countries celebrate Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Day is also public holiday throughout Africa so banks and all government offices as well as many businesses will be closed.
  • December brings summer rains throughout much of Southern Africa, with a short rainy season in East Africa, so expect warm temperatures throughout the major safari and beach destinations, with a chance of a thunderstorm here and there to cool off the day. But the rains tend to be short and sporadic so the weather will certainly not dampen the holiday spirit.

East Africa

  • The great migration of wildebeest and zebra heads toward the southern Serengeti and Ndutu plains for the green pastures. It’s a fantastic spectacle, shared by many happy predators who are spoiled for choice. Pregnant females abound as the incredible baby boom generally starts in February.
  • In Rwanda, the rains are slowing down making it a great time to go primate trekking.

Southern Africa

  • Birdwatching is spectacular this season with safari camps in the Okavango Delta and lodges around the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers in particular, filled with “twitchers” from around the world. Watch out for large telephoto lenses and more excitement around a Pel’s Fishing Owl sighting, than a lion kill.
  • In the Sabi Sands, the air is filled with the smell of rain, the animals look healthy, birds and baby animals abound.

Cape Town & Surrounds

  • In Cape Town, the holidays are in full swing and the warm weather makes for perfect picnic weather in the Winelands, or at the beach.
  • Enjoy an outdoor concert at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
  • Consider an early start if you have booked private touring. Getting out ahead of the crowds can make a significant difference in reducing wait times. We encourage you to pre-book restaurant reservations to avoid disappointment. Consider visiting the most popular attractions at off hours. A trip up Table Mountain in the evening is a spectacular experience. Likewise strolling around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront at night will be far less hectic than during the day
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