The travel-industry has its own seasons of the year, which are divided into three seasons:
- peak season; the time of year when a lot of people travel and prices are usually at their highest (roughly mid-June through August and holidays)
- shoulder season, a travel period between peak and off-peak seasons (April through mid-June and September through October)
- off-season, a period of time when travel to a particular place is less popular and prices are usually lower (November through March excluding some holidays such as… Christmas, New Years and Thanksgiving)
If you’re wondering when to travel to Africa and what the safari high and low travel seasons are, know that winter is normally considered high season because of the game-viewing factor. Winter is usually the driest time of the year, so game is easier to spot during this time.
“Summer” in South Africa extends from November through February. Be aware that temperatures can creep up to 100°F in January and February. This is perceived as high season since this is the period when South Africans take their vacations.
Low Season is in the “winter” months, July and August. This is when fewer tourist visit African game lodges. Temperatures can dip down to the freezing point during July in Kruger National Park.
In East Africa, ideal game viewing settings occur during the dry months of July through October and January through March. Kenya’s “small” rainy season is from November through mid-December. Light rain normally precedes sunshine, making this season a superb lesser-known window of opportunity for verdant foliage game viewing and dramatic landscape. (When to Travel: Safari High and Low Seasons in Southern and East Africa, 2005)
Dubai & The Middle East
The best time to visit Dubai is from November to March. During the winter months, the city sees blue skies and primo beach weather. However, this is also peak tourist season, so expect plenty of company on Jumeirah Beach. You can escape the crowds if you visit during the summer months, but be prepared for triple-digit temps and high humidity levels.
November-March Daily highs range from the upper 70s to the low 80s, making Dubai's winter season the perfect time to sprawl out along the Persian Gulf's pearly white sands. But you won't be alone: Sun-seekers from around the globe flock to Dubai to take advantage of the emirate's desirable weather, so you should plan on making hotel reservations months in advance to ensure availability. Beach bums should also note that January to March is Dubai's rainy season. You can expect a few drops here and there, but showers are short-lived.
April-October is low season. It shouldn't surprise you that Dubai bids adieu to its tourists during the summer months. During this time of year, highs are in the 100s, and although rainfall is scarce, humidity levels often rest around 90 percent or higher. Weather like this makes any outdoor activity – including a day at the beach – unbearable. To protect yourself from heat stroke, avoid spending too much time outside (especially mid-day), wear plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water. The good news is that you won't have to worry about finding a spare hotel room. Prices will generally be lower than they are during the high season, but not by a significant amount.
November through February is peak season, when the weather is cooler and drier than the rest of the year. It also happens to coincide with the western winter; all the more reason for tourists from the other side of the world to plan their trip to Southeast Asia during this time.
March through May, for all intents and purposes, is shoulder season in Southeast Asia. It’s the hottest time of the year there, with temperatures often hovering around 100 degrees. It’s also insanely humid, with occasional rain.
June through October is generally considered to be low season – prime time for monsoon rains. It’s not uncommon for the rain to start a month earlier. In an attempt to drum up more business during the off season, many hotels and guesthouses lower their rates – sometimes by as much as 50%.
The wet season is the wet season for a reason: it rains almost daily. And rain is not exactly ideal for travel, which makes this time Southeast Asia’s off season. Starting in May, like clockwork you can expect a mid-to-late afternoon shower that ends almost as soon as it begins, and brings with it some cool air to curb the hot, humid weather. But since the rain is so predictable, it’s actually very easy to plan around it: (Lindsay, 2013)
When to visit the Caribbean may be based more on budget than weather. Prices can vary as much as 40 percent between high and low season.
High season generally extends from December 15 through April 15. Daytime highs hover in the mid-80s, and strong summer winds general calm down to a refreshing breeze. During this time, prices are at peak and rooms can even be difficult to reserve (especially during the holiday season). Prices soar during Christmas week.
After the holidays, package prices (although sometimes not room rates) drop during January. They rise again by February and remain high until mid-April.
Low season covers the summer and early fall months, for two reasons. First, these are the warmest months in the Northeast, the area of the country that often flees to the sunny Caribbean during the chilly winter months so demand is down. Second, this is hurricane season. Within low season, the lowest of the low comes in September and October, the peak weeks of hurricane season. Booking mid-October to mid-December travel to the warm tropics can save you money, and the threat of hurricanes has mostly passed. (Curley, 2017)
*Remember that Bermuda is not part of the Caribbean, so high season falls during the summer months on that island (starting in mid-April at some resorts, mid-May at others). Winter marks Bermuda’s low season when prices (and the temperature) falls.
High season is June-August. Summer is a great time to travel — except for the crowds and high temperatures. Sunny weather, long days, and exuberant nightlife. It is recommended to get a rail pass to see famous sights in Italy and Austria. Prices are at their highest during this time for hotels and airfare
Low and Shoulder Season is September, October & early November & April – mid-June during this time the weather isn’t hot but it also isn’t cold. A light jacket is all you should need as you get closer to summer but it can be chilly nearer to winter. The prices are still low during this time. Hotels aren’t completely booked during this time, but there are more people during this time than in the low season.
*Many Europeans take their vacations in August. Most Europeans get 4+ weeks of vacation and they take them all at once. Shop owners will close their shop for the entire month. Certain attractions could close early or be closed during this time do to the lack of tourists.
Low season is September and October, they are the wettest months and the least popular for visitors.
June to August, is the shoulder season. It’s not quite as wet as early fall, generally brings more rains than other times of year but showers are usually brief and they're proceeded and followed by abundant sunshine and fresh clear air. This season is aptly referred to as the "Green Season" and offers the advantage of fewer tourists. Keep in mind that regional micro-climates create attractive travel opportunities throughout the year.
December-March is high season - typically dry, and offering a break from the cold in the northern latitudes.
Seasons in southern South America are reversed from North America. In northern South America, straddling or close to the equator, the temperature is less variable year-round and is much more dependent on altitude.
Chile and Argentina are cool to cold from May-September.
The best time to visit Patagonia is October-May when it is relatively warmer, drier and less windy. The best time to visit the Brazil Pantanal is May to September in the dry season when roads are more accessible and nesting and migrating wildlife concentrates around water areas.
If you want to see bears in the likes of Yellowstone National Park, March, April and May are great, as are the autumn months, particularly in Alaska when they come out to catch the migratory salmon. For polar bear watching in Churchill, Canada, October and November is key time, or March when cubs come out of their dens for the first time.
For Alaska, the best times are generally mid-May until mid-September. The wildflowers are wonderful in May.
February, March and April are top times for seeing the Northern Lights up in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
Hurricanes do happen in the southern states between June and November, including Florida.
For serious hiking in the famous USA canyons such as The Grand Canyon or Bryce, the heat in July and August can be extreme and dangerously high. So, avoid the height of summer if you can, unless you are with experts. Consider visiting them in winter, when they are dusted with snow and devoid of tourists. (unknown, n.d.)