April Travel Experiences-

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April brings life bursting back to life in the Northern Hemisphere with epic springtime festivals after the long winter highlighted by the largest display of flowers in Holland and the flamboyant displays of cherry blossoms in Tokyo.  Many of the world’s largest and most sacred pilgrimages occur at this time of year in Israel, Japan, Nepal and India.  Many of the iconic national parks in America have perfect weather and there are some pristine hikes through Lebanon and South Africa that are not to be missed.

Best Animal Experiences

  • India – Tiger Safari from the back of an Elephant: The end of the dry season drives these elusive creatures out of hiding to find food. As they say, “You don’t find them, they find you,” but riding an elephant gives a unique opportunity to cut through the brush to find them.
  • Xi’an, China – Volunteer at a Giant Panda Reserve:  Sign up as an intern at the Louguantai Wild Animal Breeding and Protection Center near Xi’an and find yourself nursing rare endangered species back to life.
  • Brazil/Bolivia – The Panatel Wetland Wilderness: This massive protected wetlands area is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet. Mostly submerged in the wet season, April brings one of the two short dry seasons to this area.

Best Treks

  • Nepal – Climb Mount Everest: If you don’t have $50,000, climb to the Everest Base Camp. Journey through Nepal’s Khumbu district to the base camp. The loop gives you views of four of the highest peaks in the world and offers a rich blend of natural and cultural experiences, taking you past glaciers, rivers, swing bridges, prayer wheels, and Buddhist monasteries, sleeping at friendly Sherpa villages.  Trek to Everest Base Camp
  • Lebanon – Hike the Lebanon Mountain Trail: Hike or bike in upcountry Lebanon, the 270-mile trail winds through over 75 traditional villages with sheer gorges so deep you cannot see the bottom.  You can even ski at the largest ski resort in the Middle East.
  • California, USA – Hike the Redwood Forest: These towering trees are so big you could drive through the middle of them (Literally).  The views from the ground are dizzying, and April brings the blooming rhododendrons.
  • South Africa – North Drakensberg Traverse : The Drakensberg is the highest mountain range in South Africa and the rustic trail takes you up shaky chain ladders to the Amphitheater and Cathedral peak, the hike passes basalt cliffs, and massive caves with mysterious petroglyphs, waterfalls, and communities of Sotho herdsmen.

Best Natural Phenomena

  • Zambia – Ghostly Moonbows: Victoria falls highest water flow in April, and it is spectacular! The ground shakes and the spray creates eternal rainbows. At full moon, a unique and ghostly phenomenon called moonbows emerge.
  • Holland – Keukenhof Gardens in Full Bloom: Keukenhof is the world’s largest flower garden with over 7 million bulbs. The event attracts around 800,000 visitors, so get there late March or early April to see the exploding blooms before the crowds arrive.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – Grand Canyon: See up close what two billion years of erosion can do to a flat desert.  One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the most stunning way to experience the grandeur of this place is on a helicopter tour. How to photograph the Grand Canyon at sunrise
  • Hunan, China – The Hanging Peaks: These gravity-defying peaks look like they are straight out of the movie Avatar. Zhangjiajie national forest in Hunan, China offers a plethora of once-in-a-lime time photo opportunities.
  • Utah, USA – The Vermillion Cliffs of Paria Canyon and : The colorful swirls of these unreal cross-bedded sandstone formations in Utah offer scenic views of towering cliffs and deep canyons. The Coyote Buttes are world-renowned for wilderness backpacking and photography retreats.

 


Best Cultural Experiences

  • Jerusalem, Israel – Witness the Miracle of the Holy Light: Experience Easter week at the place where it all started. The miracle of the holy light occurs at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Lavish celebrations of Palm Sunday highlight the holiest week for Christians.
  • Korea – Stay in a Buddhist Temple: Immerse yourself in Korean Buddhism and discover how to live in harmony with nature. This unique temple stay experience includes courses in Zen meditation and traditional arts.
  • Tunisia – Visit the Troglodite Villages: See what it feels like to live on another planet.  The otherworldly scenes in Star Wars were filmed in this remote and otherworldly area of Tunisia.  The Troglodite villages still remain, many still standing exactly as they were when they found the big screen.
  • Antigua, Guatemala – Semana Santa: Guatemala is ferocious about celebrating Catholicism, and the best example is the Easter celebration in the charming colonial city of Antigua. Flamboyant parade goers in the most extravagant masks reenact the crucifixion and resurrection throughout the entire town.
  • Kyoto, Japan – Spot a Geisha: The mysterious subculture of geishas is still alive and well in the back alleys of Kyoto, Japan.  You have to know where to look to spot a geisha on her way back home from a performance.  How to Spot a Geisha in Kyoto
  • North Korea – Behind The Wall: Perhaps one of the most taboo tourist destinations, April is one of the best to see behind the walls of this isolated country.

 


Best Pilgrimages

  • Kyoto, Japan – Kumano Ancient Trail: Travel through a time when a brutal Samurai culture was in perfect balance with devoted religious beliefs. This pilgrimage route winds through traditional villages and ancient shrines on the mountainous Kii Peninsula. The supernatural powers of these mountains have attracted nobility seeking salvation for over 1300 years.
  • Tibet – Mount Kailash Pilgrimage: Mount Kailash is considered the holy center point of the earth by three major religions.  It is said that the 3-day to trek the trail will erase the sins of a lifetime, and it takes 108 times around to reach nirvana
  • Bhutan – Jomolhari Trek: Travel across remote valleys and high mountain passes, but some of the most remarkable sites are of the traditional Buddhist and Himalayan culture: the Dzongs (Bhutanese fortresses), museums, local homes of yak herders, and the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
  • Shikoku Island, Japan: 88 Temple Circuit: This 750-mile loop around the island can take over a month to visit all of the official Buddhist temples and shrines believed to be founded by the monk Kūkai. Copious amounts of incense and chants of sacred mantras greet pilgrims at each site.

Best Adrenaline Rushes

  • Malaga, Spain – Hike the Caminito Del Rey: Not for the faint of heart, the most dangerous trek in Europe has you pinned against sheer cliffs on decrepit walkways of long abandoned mining operations.  This is the time to go, because as rumor has it, a new building project will turn this into a tourist attraction complete with handicapped access.
  • Imola, Italy – Train to Race a Lamborghini:  Want to learn to race an exotic sports car from the people who make them? The Lamborghini factory offers the unique experience to learn to drive one of the fastest and most expensive cars in the world.
  • Bangladesh – The World’s Deadliest Honey: April 1 honey hunting festival in buri goalini.  Blessing against tiger attacks.  Uninhabitable.  Sundarbans worlds highest concentration of tigers.
  • Red Sea, Egypt – Kite Surf like an Egyptian: One of the best places in the world to kite surf is in Egypt, and April has great weather to do that.
  • Panama – Darien Gap: This dangerous and wild region is only for the adventurous, but it offers one of the most pristine jungle experiences left on this earth.  This is the only place so wild that they have not yet been able to pave the great Pan American highway. 

Best Festivals

  • Leuven, Belgium – Zythos Beer Festival: Belgium’s largest beer festival is held in Leuven each spring. While you’re there, check out the Delirium Cafe, the bar with the world’s largest beer selection and Cantillon, one of the oldest lambic producers in Belgium.
  • Tokyo, Japan – Cherry Blossom Festival: Seasons in Japan have intense spiritual and metaphysical meaning, the reminder of the precariousness and preciousness of life, to enjoy the precious moment while they last. For a fleeting moment in April, cherry trees burst with the magical sight of pink blossoms raining on spectators.
  • New Orleans, USA – JazzFest: JazzFest is the musical embodiment of what has defined New Orleans as the cultural melting pot of Cajun, Southern and French cultures. This festival highlights the best performers in this area while staying true to it’s roots by celebrating traditional back-alley acts that have made this city famous.
  • Zurich, Switzerland – Sechselauten: Every third Monday in April, Swiss businessmen march through the city wearing traditional costumes.  At 6pm, they set fire to a giant Böögg, or snowman, who meets his end in a fiery explosion.

Best Epic Competitions

  • Algeria -Tuareg Camel Races:  Algeria, Tassili n’Ajjer, Djanet, camel race commences at dusk during the Sebiba (Tuareg Festival) in a land that comprises 80% desert.  The forest of rock at the edge of the mighty Sahara desert hold some of the most important cave paintings ever discovered, over 15,000 paintings describing ancient life in 6000BC.
  • North Pole – North Pole Marathon: Billed as the world’s coldest marathon.  The marathon is held on April 9 with several days of briefings and a flight to the north pole camp.
  • Seychelles – Sail the Seychelles: April and May bring the clearest water and the best conditions in these unreal islands.  A sailboat is the best way to see the most remote islands and beaches framed by granite spires.

Other Great April Travel Experiences

  • The Great Wall of China, Beijing; Water Splashing Festival, China; Shetland Folk Festival, Shetland Islands;

This article is only publisher's viewpoint.

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