Leopard on safari in Masai Mara

INSPIRE ME

Where to go on holiday in August

As summer stretches across the UK, with balmy days and picnics the norm, our thoughts are often drawn away from UK climes to visit the places on our travel wish-list. 

Children grow restless for adventure, workplaces resemble graveyards, staffed by skeleton crews hoping to transition to a place of relaxation to revive their flagging spirits.

August holidays bring amazing opportunities to see the world, from family safari holidays to desert island atolls, whose waters teem with marine life waiting to be discovered.

Take this as your opportunity to explore Africa’s greatest wildlife displays as their winter settles across the salt pans and savannahs of Namibia and Kenya, attracting the Big 5 to ever-decreasing watering holes.

Canada and the USA are now in full bloom, offering dazzling weather from the Florida Gulf Coast to the bays of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Some of the greatest whale-watching encounters can be experienced here.

Amid the dramatic, wide-open vistas of Jordan, cosmic events will have you gazing to the stars, allowing you to discover more of this enchanting and fascinating country than first realised when planning a trip to the Middle East. So sit back and enjoy the beauty of the British summertime - but remember there's a whole new world just waiting to be explored in August.

 

Cycling along the Seawall and Stanley Park, Vancouver

Best holiday destinations in August

Botswana

Dry season it may be, but pack some layers, too. Safaris in Botswana in August provide breath-taking game viewing, but, depending where you visit, night time temperatures become chilly overnight. During the day, however, there are over 10 hours of sunshine to catch a healthy tan. Temperatures rise to 28°C but don’t expect any rainfall - this is rare during August, so your safari camp will be pristine and dry. Plan your visit according to the type of safari you’re taking, whether this is water and land-based, land-based or totally water-based. August is the perfect time to venture into the Okavango Delta as floods will have passed through the region by this stage. This is one of the world’s greatest inland deltas, as waters flow into the Kalahari creating pools and channels, transforming the landscape and attracting a wealth of animals, too. Bird-watching is highly recommended during this stage, so expect bee-eaters, herons and storks to be captured by your camera lens. Explore these wetlands by water-adapted 4X4 vehicle, or by mokoro canoe safari gliding through the shallows or even by horse riding safaris, providing you with a high vantage point to spot wildlife. However you travel, you will be immersed within Botswana in August – one of Africa’s best kept secrets, displaying its natural treasures at this perfect time of year.

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Jordan

Visit Jordan in August and you'll enter a fascinating Arabian adventure, exploring the capital Amman and its Citadel Hill, listening to the sirocco whispering in desert castles or immersing yourself in the Bedouin culture of Wadi Rum, famed for their hospitality. If you’re a keen astronomer, however, then the opportunity to stargaze might well be the highlight of your stay. Explore the desert by jeep or camel, making camp and marvelling at stunning sunsets cast against magnificent sandstone formations. When night falls in this inspiring wilderness, let the August lightshow begin. The Perseid Shower turns this region into one of the finest celestial observatories in the world. Stargazing has always been a cornerstone of Arab culture, so the opportunity to view one of the most breath-taking meteor showers should not be missed. On peak night, you can expect as many as 100 flashing cosmic debris per hour. Combine this experience by floating serenely in the Dead Sea, or visiting the ancient Nabatean city of Petra, with an overnight desert camp in Wadi Rum to count shooting stars. Jordan is our top tip for a heavenly August holiday.

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Masai Mara – Kenya

August is peak season on the Masai Mara for good reason: the Great Annual Migration begins its crossing of the Mara River, their most serious of obstacles inhabited by crocodiles, as the herd continues its north-eastern trek, swinging across the plains of Kenya for watering holes and fresh grasslands for grazing. The short rainfall and low humidity provide ample opportunity to see an endless herd of wildebeest, accompanying zebra and gazelle stretching as far as the eye can see. Visitor numbers may be high at this time of year, but there are still plenty of ways to avoid being caught in a 4X4 vehicle traffic jam. Ask our Africa Destination Specialists for advice for planning a safari to Kenya in August. Average temperatures on the Masai Mara will hover at 26°C while at night it may fall to as little as 10 degrees. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing for early morning game drives.

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Passikudah Beach

Sri Lanka – east coast

As an alternative to other rain-affected destinations in the Indian Ocean at this time of year, we would highly recommend the north-east of Sri Lanka in August to experience a very pleasant weather window. Resorts such as Pasikudah benefit from some of the best coral reefs in the country, in this case a shallow fringing coral reef just off shore that creates ideal conditions for snorkelling in calm and clear waters. Along the coast, a holiday to Trincomalee on the north-east shoreline will reveal palm-clad red sand beaches. Head to Nilaveli beach, and you’ll find it one of the most picturesque strips of sand on the island. Meanwhile, during August, nature-lovers will jump at the opportunity to embark on boat cruises to spot pods of dolphins and blue and sperm whales on their migration routes as Sri Lanka continues to build a reputation for being one of the best places to view these amazing creatures. Inland, coconut groves teem with wildlife while cultural tours to the Koneswaram Temple provide spectacular sea views at this clifftop shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. With temperatures in this region averaging 29°C, plus more favourable exchange rates than other islands in the Indian Ocean, we’re confident a holidays to the east coast of Sri Lanka in August offer many exciting possibilities.

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Vancouver

There are multiple reasons to want to explore the beauty and cultural excitement of Vancouver, but when the summertime is underway, the positives really stack up. Visiting Vancouver isn’t just about taking strolls through Stanley Park, exploring the vibrant district of Gastown, shopping in Granville Island or cycling the epic seawall by electric bike - though these should all be on your travel wish-list. Vancouver is also your gateway to amazing wildlife encounters, including grizzlies, black bears, elk, and sea eagles soaring high, while dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and humpback whales all lead acrobatic lives in the inlets and bays here. Temperatures are moderate in Vancouver at this time, offering 22°C during the day time and falling to 13°C at night. Find clear skies during this month and you could well be greeted with busy sightings of the Perseid Meteor Shower, a stargazing event not to be missed on anyone’s travel calendar. Take in an outdoor movie in Stanley Park, enjoy free concerts in Shipbuilder’s Square, cheer the Vancouver Canadians as they play baseball or participate in an session of free yoga at Dude Chilling Park. After all of this, satisfy your hunger pangs with a tasty bite to eat at the Vancouver Food Truck Festival. August is also the perfect time to explore the winelands around Kelwona in the Okanagan Valley, surrounded by picturesque vineyards, sampling the bumper harvest produce of this rich and fertile region.

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Zambia

During August Zambia offers clear skies, warm days, easy access to animals drinking at watering holes and the perfect time to see leopards on the prowl. With average daytime temperatures of 26°C, while night time temperatures may drop to 12°C; be sure to take warmer clothes because wildlife viewing is excellent during this month. There is also very little rain during this month making safari lodges a dream option. Combine your safari with a visit to the Smoke that Thunders Mosi-oa-Tunya, (aka Victoria Falls) and you’ll find this also one of the best times to visit this iconic natural sight. Lower rainfall levels means less spray and therefore better opportunity to see the actual formation of the falls. This is rafting season, too, so thrill-seekers will jump at the opportunity to experience Livingstone Island, seen from the best vantage as you crest it, paddling through the whitewater on your amazing African adventure.

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Japan

August can see temperatures across the islands of Japan vary from 20-30°C. This is ideal for hiking through the spectacular beauty of Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido to see volcanic Mount Asahi, and to discover an enchanting landscapes when rare flora is in full bloom. Book well in advance to get that perfect ryokan experience you’ve always dreamed of to complement your stay in Hokkaido, which experiences cooler temperatures, especially in alpine regions. August also sees an incredible array of Japanese festivals, so plan well in advance, otherwise your stay may clash with locals also enjoying their holidays. Choose your destination based on the experience you want to encounter, whether that’s the Ueno Summer Festival in Tokyo, (mid-July-mid August), the spectacular Sansa Matsuri Festival of Dance in Morioka City to the north, the lantern festival of Nebuta Matsuri (2-7 August) with its illuminated floats or the Peace Ceremony (6 August) to the south in Hiroshima.

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Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland & Labrador is a dream escape to dramatic northern climes, discovering tranquility found among the epic wilderness. Situated on Canada’s far eastern edge, this a landscape of rich wildlife treasures and lively people who relish the summer months, when colour erupts and hibernation is a distant memory. A great alternative for those who wish to avoid the heat of southern climes, the weather in peak season during mid-august rarely climbs above 30°C. This natural habitat will thrill wildlife spotters, offering spectacular coastlines, sweeping beaches and rocky headlands. During this time the coastal waters are visited by capelin, small fish that gorge on plankton, who are followed in turn by migrating whales, adorable puffins and a host of other bird life including hawks, falcons, ospreys, and owls. Inland, the warmer weather makes trekking a pleasure. Time your visit to coincide with the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival (9-11 August) at the start of the month for insights into the remarkable culture found in this remote corner of the world.

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Sossuesvlei, Namibia

Namibia

Summer in the UK means the dry season in many parts of Africa, including Namibia. Game viewing is at its peak, with a wealth of wildlife gathering around waterholes, offering breath-taking animal encounters. Head to Etosha National Park and you’ll find an arid landscape of awe-inspiring beauty. Wildlife lovers and budding photographers flock to the dunes and salt pans, hypnotised as they spot desert-adapted animals shimmering on the horizon. Expect daytime temperatures of 27°C, becoming chillier with an average of 10 degrees at night. Namibia is one of the brightest countries in the world with an average of 300 hours of annual sunshine. There are several regions to consider when visiting, the Central Highlands, the Namib and Kalahari, the Caprivi Strip or the Atlantic Coastline. We recommend Etosha National Park as the focus for August safaris. Temperatures in the Kalahari region can be too challenging, falling to 0°C at night in some places. Every month offers its own appeal for travellers to Namibia. For days of uninterrupted sunshine, August, though slightly cooler will provide the best game viewing experiences; just be sure to pack your favourite sunglasses.

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