In the Northern Hemisphere spring has officially arrived, making it the ideal time to witness the beautiful arrival of cherry blossoms in Japan or to go trekking through the Himalayas as the climate begins to warm up. You'll also find cherry blossoms in parts of China and South Korea at this time of year. The Middle East is ideal at this time of year - the heat has yet to reach its peak and so sightseeing around the ancient sites is far more pleasurable. It also means the Red Sea resorts are great for a beach break. The weather is still good across Central America with calm winds and only small showers before the climatic chaos of the approaching wet season.
If you're looking for a wildlife adventure, cruising the Amazon is a great option with high water levels making many more canals navigable by boat. The wet season in southern Africa means Victoria Falls is at its most impressive and it's whale watching season off the west coast of Sri Lanka. To help you plan a holiday for April 2019 we've put together some of the top destinations and experiences at this time of year as well as our guide to where's hot for a beach break and where to go for a wildlife adventure.
April is a month of renewal for many cultures as the new lunar year begins and the season of spring breathes life into people and landscapes. It's a month of frivolity and reflection though in other parts of the world it's a time to remember the tragic events of the past. Here are some of the best festivals and events happening in April each year.
Where? Countrywide, Japan
When? Throughout April
In the April most of Japan is decorated with delicate pink cherry blossoms and a sense of fun and optimism prevails. This is Japan at its most picturesque with parks in bloom and ancient castles framed by pretty flowers. The Japanese will often picnic under trees sharing food and drinks with friends and family. It's an extremely popular time to visit Japan so book early.
When? 13th-15th April
April heralds the lunar New Year in many Buddhist countries but Thailand's version of Songkran is the best-known. Over the course of a weekend it's celebrated with parades of temple statues, traditional dance performances and playful water throwing. Similar water-based festivities are held in neighbouring Laos and Cambodia too.
Where? Thimi, Nepal
When? 15th April
Holi has become the best-known Hindu festival in the world but in Nepal, little-known Sindoor Jatra is an equally riotous display of colour and merriment. A procession of over 30 palanquins are carried by male representatives of the local villages as crowds of people hurl vermillion powder at the parade. The highlight of the event is the arrival of Ganesha's effigy.
Where? Gallipoli, Turkey
When? 25th April
Every year on the 25th April visitors from around the world flock to Gallipoli to commemorate the deaths of thousands of soldiers who lost their lives during the fateful ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) campaign during WWI. From the dawn service to the parades held at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair, it's an evocative time to visit Turkey.
As temperatures continue to rise in the northern hemisphere and the southern half of the world sees temperatures start to drop, the best beach destinations are slowly moving north. April is a very transitional month with unpredictable weather in the majority of places - the odd shower is common whether you go, however, there's still a good offering of places that are great at this time of the year and here's our selection.
The Red Sea resort of Hurghada is brilliant at this time of year - temperatures are high but still on the comfortable side, the days are sunny and there's hardly any rainfall. The Red Sea can be combined with a little culture with the incredible sights of ancient Egypt from Cairo and the Pyramids to Luxor and its royal tombs.
The dry season is drawing to a close in the Maldives so you can still find long days of sun in April. As the wet season approaches the heat and humidity rises but with an air-conditioned, beachside resort you'll be just fine. If you're looking to add a little culture to your beach holiday, consider tacking on a visit to Sri Lanka.
The Caribbean coast is a great choice of beach destination in April - it's the last month of the dry season and the weather is still ideal and where better to enjoy that then Costa Rica? April is also peak season for leatherback turtles so you can relax on the beach while catching a glimpse of these majestic creatures.
If you're looking for a beach destination without the crowds, visiting southern Vietnam can be a great option in April. It's just after the high season with hot and humid temperatures but prices are better than in previous months and the crowds will be thinner. This is also a good time to visit the rest of the country.
April is a month of climatic transition as the rains of the wet season start to disperse, ushering in the dry season. In terms of weather this can be a great time to visit Africa as temperatures are moderate and there's not as much rainfall as in previous months. The landscapes are still lush from the rains so it's not necessarily the best time to be on safari but some destinations still offer a good wildlife experience.
It's the tail end of the wet season with rainfall starting to decrease with just a short shower in the afternoon. The scenery is lush and there's plenty of newborn animals around as well as migratory bird species so it's the perfect time for birdwatching. As it's not yet the peak dry season, prices are more affordable.
After the rains the wildlife-rich island of Madagascar is thick with luxuriant forest growth, making it incredibly attractive at this time of year. It's also the time of year when lemurs begin their courtship with males waving their tails at females and becoming extremely vocal in their attempt to secure a mate.
This may fly in the face of common convention but for keen photographers, or for anyone who wants a good collection of images to remember their once in a lifetime trip, April is a good time to trek for mountain gorillas. The overcast conditions of the rainy season create ideal lighting conditions for photography.
Here's a selection of our tours perfectly suited for travel in April from the deserts of Jordan to the beaches of Vietnam.
On The Go's Signature group tours place local interaction and authenticity at the heart of your cultural travel experience. Upping the comfort stakes, this range is a clear cut above our Budget range.
Appealing to a wide age demographic from the 20s to 60+, we maximize your days with excitement and awe and then bring you home to a comfortable 4* hotel with western amenities, air-conditioning, WiFi and, where appropriate, a swimming pool. Hotels can sometimes be of 3 or 5 star standard too, ensuring you get the best value for your holiday.
Visiting all the main attractions you’ll be accompanied throughout by our highly qualified English-speaking local guides too. Group size is typically 18 with a maximum for 28, apart from festival tours, where group sizes can be larger due to the one-off nature of these events.
Our Active range brings you thrilling trekking and cycling holidays to some of the world's most popular destinations. Whether it’s trekking to the Lost City of Petra in Jordan or cycling around the Angkor temples in Cambodia, you’ll get to explore more of your chosen destination than just the standard highlights, either by bike or on foot. There will still be lots of cultural experiences and even the occasional wildlife encounter along the way. You'll need a good level of fitness and an intrepid spirit.
Group sizes are small and average around eight travellers. The accommodation you’ll be staying in reflects the off-the-beaten track nature of these trips with simple hotels, wild & fixed camping, homestays and local guest houses for value and convenience.
On our Independent range you won’t be joining other travellers, but will be on your own private itinerary. Accommodation, pace of travel and the style of trip is tailored to your individual needs. From pre-priced packages available off the shelf to fully curated tailor-made holidays, this range also includes our selection of one-night stopovers, day-tours and short breaks.
Our Independent range gives you all the great service aspects of our Signature range with the flexibility to create a truly unique and bespoke holiday or adventure to a variety of destinations around the world.
Our Budget range is the perfect choice for independent spirits travelling on a shoestring. As well as guided sightseeing of the key highlights, there’s also ample free time to explore independently or partake in optional excursions that maximise your time in each destination. Few meals are included, allowing you the freedom to choose exactly where you eat and spend your evenings out, with the added bonus of enabling you to stay in control of your spending.
Many tours in this range include a local payment and this pricing system helps keep costs down so you can be sure we’re delivering the best possible value. You’ll be travelling by both private and public transport – think buses, trains, feluccas and even camels. Accommodation ranges from dome tents to a surprise 4-star hotel at a 3-star price. And with a maximum group size of 32, these tours are designed to create a social and fun travel experience.
On our Handpicked range we bring you the most iconic experiences in destinations where you’ll join travellers from other travel brands on your tour, safari or sailing holiday. Collaborating with our carefully handpicked portfolio of local partners, these holidays represent exceptional value and there’ll be plenty of cultural experiences shared with other like-minded travellers.
Group sizes and accommodation standards vary by destination where typical group size is 18 travellers and hotels, boats and safari lodges are of a 3-4 star standard.