January is all about going to the beach in South Africa | Credit: Buzz South Africa
Johannesburg and the Highveld is hot by day, warm at night and receives regular rainfall often in the form of afternoon thunderstorms. Cape Town and the Western Cape is hot and dry, cooling down at night. The Kruger Park and surrounds is very hot by day, warm at night and receives occasional rainfall.
January is an ideal time for beach holidays anywhere along the South African coast, though Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal coast to its north can be swelteringly hot.
Game viewing in the Kruger Park and other reserves can be relatively challenging as animals are dispersed away from water sources and thick vegetation tends to reduce visibility. This is arguably compensated by the lush green condition of the bush, clearer skies (better for photography) and far greater variety and profusion of birds as resident species come into breeding plumage and are supplemented by a variety of intra-African and Palaearctic migrants.
January falls into the nesting season for loggerhead and leatherback turtles along the beaches of iSimangaliso, and turtle-tracking tours can be undertaken in the evening.
Accommodation tends to be very full during the school holidays, which run to mid-January, but much quieter towards the end of the month.