The great summer starts winding down in Africa in April and the year catches its breath before winter. Down in the sun-baked Western Cape, the city of Cape Town welcomes its first autumnal showers. Further north, safari destinations like the Kruger, Botswana and Zimbabwe emerge after months of heavy rain. Cloaked in green, they offer lovely scenery, superb birdwatching, and good game viewing.
South Africa still enjoys lovely sunny days with only a hint of crispness in the early mornings, while the Indian Ocean islands offer travellers hot days on postcard-perfect beaches. These are just some of the best places to visit in April. Not quite summer, not quite winter but a magical moment in between, Africa in April is a quieter experience and a great time for visitors who want to avoid peak-season crowds and prices.
Kruger National Park
The Kruger’s summer rains arrive from about November, peak in January and February, and end around April. During this low or Green Season, the Kruger is transformed into a beautiful, verdant emerald landscape and it makes for incredible photography.
In April, the summer’s afternoon thundershowers are on the wane and the early morning chill of winter is imminent. The Kruger is where to go in April if you want to enjoy a world-class safari experience before the peak season arrives with its tourist numbers.
If you're looking for one of the best places to travel in April, then look no further than Cape Town. Consistently voted as one of the top vacation spots in the world for families, couples and solo travellers, Cape Town is one of the best places to visit in April.
South Africa’s 'Mother City' boasts spectacular natural beauty, superb accommodation and fantastic weather year-round. Summer temperatures peak between December and February, by when most visitors head home – which means better rates and uncrowded beaches until April. April to June has crisp and clear days, perfect for a hiking trip around Table Mountain.
April is the perfect time to experience this charming and friendly country. Namibia’s peak season crowds are yet to arrive, and its modest rainy season has petered out along with the heat, but the cold of winter is a month away. Expect warm days with fluffy clouds in a dry blue sky. It is a good time for photography, especially since April’s just-washed air and lack of dust means clear views. And it’s the landscape that’ll hold your attention the most!
Namibia’s tapestry of mountains and desert is spellbinding enough during the dry season. After the rains, it explodes with colourful extravagance. Splashes of luminous green stand out like graffiti against the apricot-coloured dunes of Sossusvlei, the desert’s mirrored waterholes are fringed by bobbing birds and butterflies. In Etosha National Park, elephants and giraffes munch their way through leafy woodlands while zebra and countless antelope mow the savannah. Big cats lie fat-bellied in the shade – Namibia is where to go in April to see the summer’s baby antelopes emerge from hiding and joining the herds.
It’s true that April isn’t peak season for Mozambique’s Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos, but aficionados of the country reckon that this shoulder season is well worth risking the odd shower.
The five islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago see off the last of their summer rains by April and the later you leave it, the drier they are. Benguerra and Bazaruto Islands are the two largest, and visitors can choose between honeymoon hideaways and small family-friendly resorts. Diving and snorkelling in the Bazaruto National Park is the highlight, but spa massages and seafood feasts come close behind.
Set on Mozambique’s northern coast, the Quirimbas Archipelago is a more exclusive destination. A string of mostly uninhabited coral islands, some not more than a sliver, is where you will find Crusoe-chic beach bungalows and low-key luxury retreats. And if you tire of powder-white beaches and humming tropical reefs, visit the old town on Ibo Island where guides take you to Portuguese churches and crumbling forts to the tinkety-tankety sound of local silversmiths at work.
You're probably thinking that the Seychelles, the epitome of the luxury beach holiday, is a safe bet all year round. And it is! April is the period when the warm and wet trade winds abate ahead of the cooler winter winds that scuff up the water – a turnaround period if you like. The result is calm, warm water and spectacular underwater visibility of up to a staggering 30 metres (98 feet).
The Seychelles is one of the best places to visit in April for families with young children, and it's an ideal time for serious divers too. But such is the kindly nature of the Seychelles that you don't need to strap on all that bulky scuba equipment and walk around sounding like a Star Wars extra to enjoy its underwater world. With water temperatures up a balmy 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit) and tropical reefs lying close offshore, the Seychelles is the sort of place you can slip out of your hammock, grab a mask and snorkel, and nip off for a bit of snorkelling within sight of room service.
5. Victoria Falls
Take Africa’s fourth largest river, fill it with five months of summer rain, and then fling it over a mile-wide precipice to tumble 360 feet into a deep ravine. The ensuing tower of spray can be seen from 30 miles away and the water rumbles like distant thunder. Welcome to Victoria Falls in full flow! If this is one of your bucket-list destinations, April is the time to see it.
Note: it may sound odd, but you will need to think about how you’ll actually see it. Viewing sites often resemble outdoor showers and the few hardy sightseers are dressed in waterproof clothing – normally ponchos provided by their tour guides. Opposite the Main Falls, where hundreds of thousands of gallons of water race over the edge, visibility can be a challenge and the noise deafening. But therein lies the magic of Vic Falls: a face-to-face encounter with our planet’s most powerful and colossal waterfall is a soul-stirring reminder of humankind’s insignificance within the bigger picture of life.
April is a great time of year to see Victoria Falls from the air. The David Livingstone-inspired ‘Flight of Angels’ helicopter ride is a popular choice for couples and families, while a tandem microlight flight will appeal to the more adventurous.
Mauritius has an enviable subtropical climate that normally delivers perfect beach weather for most of the year. However, January and February can get rather wet when cyclones roll in from the Indian Ocean. April is nice and hot, with temperatures peaking at around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).
This gorgeous island’s sunny shores have been a firm favourite for family holidays for years. Warm and shallow waters offer safe swimming conditions for the kids, while adventures like snorkelling, water skiing, parasailing or windsurfing provide hours of fun for older travellers. Many holiday resorts feature on-site kids’ clubs, allowing parents to slip away for a scuba diving expedition or even a round of golf.
Ready to Start Planning Your Trip to Africa in April?
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