When should you hike a trail? Some hikes lead to fascinating forests, some have tremendous views and others are rich in variety. Share your favorite trails with other hikers and nature lovers.
Start early in the dry season (from november till april) and beginning of the rainy season until end of June. Shoulder season May and June, showers may occur. July and August are the Cuban school holiday.
Start the day hike to the Potholes before noon otherwise the stuff doesn't let you pass. After heavy rainfall, the Bourke's Luck Potholes can be flooded. Crowded in summer, early morning and late afternoon less busy. Best sunlight for the beautiful orange colour after midday.
Crowds and Weather
Southern winter, the dry season from May to September is the best time for traveling through the eastern part of South Africa, and it's also low season with fewer tourists, except for school holiday. Days are sunny with low humidity and nights are cold. Fewer mosquito and a very low risk for malaria. The busiest months with most tourists are in southern summer (October/November to March). This means queuing at the entrance. The rain starts end of October. The scenery gets lush and green, but during summer it’s also hot and humid and heavy rainfalls occur. Our favorite month is September: still dry and temperatures rise.
When to go? It depends on what you’re looking for. Every season is different. Read on for the best tips to plan your visit:
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Expect a busy National Park year-round except for winter (mid-November/December - February). The main season is from May until October with most tourists and highest rates. Heaviest crowds in July/August. A sweet spot month with mild climate but without heavy crowds is early-November until mid-November. Otherwise, March/April are considered months without massive crowds.
Insider Tip: There are several tips to avoid crowds year-round. A very nice and detailed information from a hiking point of view can be found here at TripAdvisor (close the pop-up and scroll down): Itinerary for Hikers to Avoid the Crowds
December - February (Winter): It’s usually cold and chilly. The average temperature is 7°C (45°F). Often snow, and tracks can be frozen, which makes even short walks on the top dangerous. However, it’s possible there are still some good days in the first half of December. During winter months there are virtually no tourist crowds. That means you can enjoy an amazing scenery during days with pleasant weather. In February the park is closed for 1 week.
March - April (Spring): First months with more tourists but still not high season. Mild temperatures: Up to 21°C (70°F) in April, which is a beautiful month and excellent for photography: Flowers are blooming, the forest in is full of vigor, leaves are verdant
May - August (Summer): Peak season. Temperatures climb to an average of 29°C (84°F) in August. The wet season, with most rain in May/June/July. However, some tourists don’t mind the rain: It creates an enchanting atmosphere with mountains surrounded by mist.
September - October (Autumn): Still high season but usually comfortable weather and less rain than in summer months. Temperatures 20-28°C (68-82°F)
November (Winter): Fewer tourists and still comfortable temperatures and even less rain. Beautiful autumn leaves. Some say from early-November until mid-November is one of the best times.
National Holidays: Avoid the national holidays at all cost. Even more crowds and highest rates:
- Chinese Spring Festival (New Year): Late Jan/early Feb
- International Labor Day: May 01 to 03
- National Day: Oct 01-07 (the heaviest crowds of all and highest rates)
- Spring is pleasant (flower season August and especially September), but rain is possible until the end of August. October is not too hot and a good month for hiking and rock climbing.
- Summer from November to March is warm and dry but hot at midday with almost any shelter. Hiking in summer is best in the morning.
- Autumn from April to mid-May is still warm and pleasant for hiking, but rain showers can occur.
- Most precipitation in winter until August. Nights are really cold. Snow on the peaks is possible. Low water bridge across Olifants river can be flooded and closed.
Crowded at weekends, public holiday and school holiday. More popular for the South Africans. Stadsaal Cave best sunlight in the afternoon.
Best at low tide especially for the 9.2 km long hike around the peninsula. Tide times
Whale spotting from May to November possible.
Candelabra flowers in bloom from February to April.
In general, low rainfall in the Plettenberg area. Driest and coldest months are from June to October. The coolest and driest month is July. More precipitation in the hottest months from November until March. Most rainfall in March. However, Plettenberg gets more than 300 hours of sunshine each month in summer.
(updated by whentobewhere)
The best time for trekking in Nepal is usually autumn, because of the weather and the best views, but at the same time, it's the peak season. However, there is a second best season less busy. Read on for more details:
March - May
The second best time for trekking here at Annapurna. April often provides clear blue skies and spectacular views to the snow capped mountains. It's mildly warm, wild flora blooming especially rhododendron but sometimes haze can obscure the mountains in May.
June - August
Heavy rainfall, monsoon season: Some tour operators offer guided trips at this time of the year. It's the low season, few hikers trek here but trails are slippery, leeches are in abundance along the trails. Due to the enormous amount of precipitation, you may be forced to rest for days.
Mid-September - November/Mid-December
Definitely the best time and the most popular trekking season with stunning mountain views, clear skies, and moderate temperatures. The downside is that during peak season, especially in October and November, flights and hotels are sometimes fully booked and rates are the highest. The trails can be busier as well. However, this isn't necessarily the case. Trekkers in October often report that they didn't have any problems getting beds at the guesthouses without reservations.
December - February
Clear skies, but mornings can be foggy. Also, snow is possible at higher altitudes, and it's getting freezing cold at night. Recommended for trekking at lower elevations only. The advantage: More solitude, as only very few others, are on the trails. Anyhow, you need a very good equipment; high fabric winter jacket and sleeping back as well.
Please keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable as the Himalaya creates its own climate, regardless of the season.