The best places to visit in Africa in December are plenty. As the Autumn-Winter season kicks in, those living in Europe and America can expect darker days and colder nights. Fortunately for us, Africa—is uniquely positioned south of the equator. It is warm throughout this time.
As the season changes, so do the Serengeti and the Kalahari Desert, from its dry yellow plains to lush green fields. Wildlife migration attracts abundant predators, creating a spectacular show for all who witness it. While migratory birds fill the skies with their tropical colours and serenading songs, plants don full-leafed splendour, adding more beauty to an already stunning sight. Surprise, this is considered one of Mother Nature’s greatest spectacles.
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Is Christmas a Good Time to Go to Africa?
Absolutely! Africa is a continent full of beautiful landscapes, fascinating cultures, and incredible wildlife that will make your vacation special. As December ushers in warm summer weather for the Southern Hemisphere, it’s prime time to take a safari or beach holiday.
Where Should I go in Africa in December?
For a safari experience, the best African destinations are Kenya and Tanzania. You can explore the Savannahs of Masai Mara and Serengeti. You can also enjoy breathtaking views over Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or spot wild animals on an unforgettable journey through Ngorongoro Crater.
If you’re looking for beach escapades, try Seychelles, Mozambique, Zanzibar, or Angola. From pristine white-sand beaches to magical coral reefs, Africa has some of the best beach destinations in the world.
For a cultural experience, head toward Morocco’s cities, such as Fez and Marrakech. Or Egypt’s pyramids, which bestow a feeling of disbelief and awe. Visit Ethiopia’s history-rich city of Lalibela or explore the vibrant markets of Zanzibar.
Does wanderlust already inspire you? Check out our 9 best travel spots below!
1. Morocco (North Africa)
Morocco is ideal if you long to escape the mundane winter break! Boasting stunning mountains and breathtaking sunsets during this season in Western North Africa, there’s plenty of adventure awaiting. Enjoy the fascinating culture of Morocco with its signature delicacies, such as grilled meat and tagine. Browse through the bustling street stalls for little mementos that will last forever.
Every day brings a new entertainment experience – from snake charmers to flute players, magicians to storytellers; there is something for everyone. Your Moroccan vacation should also include festivities like Tan Tan music festival or the Marrakech International film festival in December.
2. Mombasa, Kenya (East Africa)
Mombasa is a tropical paradise at this time of the year. The city offers an opportunity to enjoy the perfect beach holiday. If you’re looking for beautiful white beaches and tranquil waters, the sandy beaches of Mombasa’s South Coast are the best place to set up your December vacation.
Whether you’re looking for relaxation or to explore the countryside and its wildlife Mombasa is a great destination. If you’re searching for something unique, visit the Gedi Ruins, an ancient city of the Swahili civilization abandoned many centuries ago.
3. South Africa
For those looking for a more relaxed holiday, South Africa is one of the best places to visit in December. Here you can soak in the immense beauty of its coastlines and lush vineyards. You can as well explore the culture of its vibrant cities! December is an ideal time to visit as temperatures stay fairly pleasant at 20°C during the day and 10°C at night. With its diverse culture, South Africa has something for everyone.
The best part is that the country allows you to experience all the best it offers. From game drives and safaris at Kruger National Park to exploring the buzzing urban life in Johannesburg or Cape Town. From wine-tasting tours in Stellenbosch vineyards to witnessing the best African art at various galleries.
4. Seychelles Islands (East Africa)The archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean offers a perfect destination for beach lovers and adventurers alike. Seychelles Islands will take your breath away with its crystal clear waters, powdery white sand beaches, lush green foliage, and vibrant coastal towns. Temperatures remain relatively stable at 25°C during December so that you can look forward to a perfect sun-soaked vacation.
Enjoy snorkelling, kayaking, or fishing while enjoying the best of what this tropical paradise offers. If you’re looking for something more active, explore the world’s smallest national park, Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve. The park is home to the famous Coco-de-mer palm tree – a rare species found only on these islands.
5. Zanzibar (East Africa)
Experience an exotic mix of culture, history, and natural beauty that Zanzibar has to offer! During December, the temperatures range between 24-31°C, making it a great time to take a break from the cold winter months. Tour Stone Town and explore its unique culture with its traditional markets, old buildings, and historic sites.
Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, wander over to Forodhani Gardens’ sparkling night market on the waterfront next to House of Wonders for a taste of tantalizing local street food. Afterwards, rest and relax at one of the town’s serene beachfront-an absolute must-see when visiting Stone Town.
And if you’re looking for adventure, hop on a boat. Zanzibar is one of the best places to visit in Africa in December, where you can enjoy the best diving and snorkelling spots around the island. With its pristine coastline, stunning coral reefs, and abundant sea life, Zanzibar is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable African vacation.
6. Botswana (Southern Africa)If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, then Botswana should be a top choice in your African exploration! Known for its abundant wildlife, Botswana offers some of the best game-viewing experiences on the continent. The best time to visit is in December when temperatures remain fairly pleasant, with highs of 32°C during midday and lows of 17°C overnight.
You can take a safari tour to explore its national parks, like Chobe National Park or Moremi Game Reserve, which offer a chance to see the best African wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, lions, and more. Not to mention the breathtaking sunsets you experience on a Botswana Safari – unforgettable!
7. Mauritius (East Africa)
This island country located in the Indian Ocean, about 2000 km off the Southeast coast of Africa, is one of the best places to visit in Africa in December . With temperatures ranging between 23-°C during this month, it’s a great time to explore its stunning beaches, lush forests, and beautiful coral reefs. Remember to bring along light clothing for the ultimate getaway with breathtaking views, powdery white sand beaches, and a sun-drenched climate.
With luxurious resorts like Four Seasons Resort Anahita or St Regis ready to serve your every need, you can have an unforgettable holiday, whether travelling solo or with friends and family. The island also offers plenty of activities; why not go scuba diving? Or take a dip in Tamarin Bay while swimming alongside dolphins? And don’t forget Black River Gorges National Park, which features incredible biodiversity and excellent hiking trails!
8. São Tomé and Príncipe (Central Africa)
If you’re looking for a tropical paradise, the islands off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa are it! With its hot and sunny climate year-round and clear blue waters, these photogenic islands offer visitors an incredibly welcoming atmosphere. To experience all these idyllic destination offers, plan your trip between December through February – when conditions tend to be at their driest.
Take the opportunity to explore its lush green landscapes, colonial architecture, and fascinating culture – best seen in São Tomé’s capital city Santo Antonio. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, head out into the Atlantic Ocean and go snorkelling and swimming around the island’s beautiful coral reefs. Keep an eye out for the Hawksbill sea turtles, dolphins, and even whales – a rare sight!
9. Rwanda (East Africa)
Rwanda is a beautiful African country best known for its incredible wildlife, stunning landscapes, and unique cultural experiences. December is the best time to visit as the weather is typically mild, with temperatures ranging from 16-25 degrees Celsius. This makes it ideal for outdoor activities like exploring the Volcanoes National Park or Nyungwe Forest to see the endangered mountain gorillas.
Drift away to an idyllic world of luxury and serenity at this collection of free-standing forest lodges perched above lush, inviting gardens. Enjoy the intricate amenities that await you, from cosy fireplaces, private viewing decks, outdoor showers, baths – even your butler! Unwind easily as you are surrounded by nature in your sanctuary—it is simply unrivalled.
On top of this, December marks the start of Rwanda’s annual events like the Gorilla Highlands Festival and the Kwita Izina – a traditional ceremony to name newborn mountain gorillas. With so many attractions, Rwanda is perfect for those looking for an exciting African adventure.
At the end of the day, when choosing a dream holiday destination in Africa in December, there is no shortage of options. From classic safaris and tropical beach escapes to spectacular coastal scenery and unique cultural experiences, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time wherever you choose to go.