April is a month of hope and awakening, exploding with bright new beginnings. It’s a time to admire the majesty - and quirkiness - of Mother Nature. From the Galapagos Islands to the Canadian wilderness and the hi-tech cities of Japan, nature is putting on quite a show.

In the Northern Hemisphere, spring is bursting into bloom, hibernation is ending, and newborns are stumbling wobbly-legged into the world. In the Southern Hemisphere, blue-footed boobies are dancing for love, giant tortoises are hatching, and whale sharks are flocking to coral reefs.

Here are ten amazing natural events that happen across the planet in April. We hope they make you smile and help to put a spring back in your step.

See wild poppies bloom across the USA | Travel Nation

1. Cherry blossom season explodes across Japan

Cherry blossom (sakura) season is one of spring’s most iconic events. All over Japan, cherry trees explode into blossom, forming fairy-tale canopies of fluttery blooms. Peak sakura season usually falls in late March to mid-April, although the first blossom appears in Okinawa in January, and the last on Hokkaido in early May.

Of course, Japan isn’t the only place to see cherry blossom in its full beauty. New York, Washington DC, and Taiwan all boast gorgeous displays. Here in the UK, our cherry and apple trees are pretty dazzling too, so go get an eyeful of blossom – it’s good for the soul. 

See deer under the cherry blossom in Nara, Japan | Travel Nation

2. Bolivia’s salt flats form a perfect mirror

Easily one of the most surreal landscapes on the planet, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni has to be seen to be believed. It’s a place where the salt meets the sky, and the horizon stretches on forever. The vastness of Uyuni is broken only by cactus-studded islands and bright pink flamingos, taking the magical atmosphere up another notch.

April is the perfect time to get the full effect, as the salt flat becomes a flawless mirror for the sky after the rains. The reflection, like the landscape, is out of this world.

Take a journey across the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia | Travel Nation

3. Grey whales migrate along the Pacific Coast of the USA

With the longest-known migration route of any mammal, grey whales are often on the move. Every year, they make a 12,000-mile round trip between their winter calving lagoons in the warm waters of Mexico and their summer feeding grounds in the cold Arctic seas. 

In April, you can catch them migrating in northwards in large numbers along the Pacific Coast of the USA, between Oregon and California. It’s a wonderful time to see whale calves with their mothers, as they stay near to the coastline.

Spot grey whales off the Californian coast | Travel Nation

4. Rhododendrons run riot in the Himalayan foothills

Nepal’s Himalayan foothills become a flower-filled natural playground in April. Native rhododendrons burst into blossom all over the lush green hills, providing splashes of bright colour against a backdrop of snow-tipped peaks. It’s an enchanting sight and a great time to trek in Nepal.

See rhododendrons in bloom in Nepal | Travel Nation

5. Bears clamber out of hibernation in Canada

The Canadian wilderness is home to 60% of the world’s bears, from spirit bears and black bears to polar bears and grizzlies. Around mid-April, as the snow begins to melt, the black and grizzly bears of British Columbia start to wake from their long winter slumber, with toddling cubs in tow. It’s a heart-warming harbinger of spring.

Look out for bears on Vancouver Island | Travel Nation

6. Blue-footed boobies get frisky in the Galapagos

As the rainy seasons fizzles out in the Galapagos Islands in April, the wildlife gets ready to party. Giant tortoises hatch and green sea turtle hatchlings make daring moonlight missions from their nests to the sea. Perhaps best of all, April is the perfect month to see the clumsy dance of the blue-footed boobies, one of the most quirky and charming courtship rituals in the animal kingdom.

See blue-footed boobies dance in the Galapagos | Travel Nation

7. Multi-coloured wildflowers carpet the USA

Beyond the bright lights of the iconic cities, the natural landscapes of the USA leap into life in April. Bluebonnets carpet the endless prairies of Texas, poppies appear by the thousand across the Mojave Desert, and the Great Smoky Mountains become bejewelled with a mix of bright wildflowers.

See the California poppy super bloom | Travel Nation

8. Victoria Falls swells to full volume after the rains

In April, Victoria Falls reaches peak majesty, swelling to full volume after the rains. It’s the largest curtain of falling water on the planet, and it’s sure to make you feel tiny. At full flow, the thunder, spray and power of Victoria Falls are utterly overwhelming. It’s a perfect perspective-giver, and a gorgeous sight rolled into one.

See rainbows bounce off Victoria Falls | Travel Nation

9. Yellowstone hosts an adorable baby boom

As spring spreads across Yellowstone National Park, all kinds of new-born creatures come out to play. Baby bison, moose, and shaky-legged elk appear on the grasslands, while bear cubs emerge from the forests, scampering behind their mothers. Not all of Yellowstone is open in April, but it’s a golden opportunity to watch the wildlife awakening, without the crowds.

See ground squirrels in springtime in the USA | Travel Nation

10. Whale shark season gets going at Ningaloo

If swimming with whale sharks is on your wish list, Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is the place to make it happen. In April, up to 400 whale sharks arrive to release their eggs and sperm amongst the coral. Aside from whale sharks, Ningaloo Reef throbs with incredible marine life that ranges from manta rays to humpbacks and dolphins to dugongs. It’s a place that celebrates all things ocean.

Swim with whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef | Travel Nation

Good times are coming

Better, brighter days WILL come and, goodness knows, we'll all deserve a holiday. Whenever you're ready, we're here to help you to plan your trip of a lifetime. We'll get through this, and the other side will be packed with life-affirming adventures.

Have your considered working your way around Australia? | Photo credit: Greg Snell

Month by month: the ultimate road trip route planner

Bryony Dunn

Content Marketing Specialist
at Travel Nation
Rail travel is a fantastic way to cross Australia

On the right track: round the world in great rail journeys

George Mirabelli-Montan

Marketing Manager
at Travel Nation
Rainbow-coloured Favela Santa Marta in Rio | Travel Nation

Rainbow planet: 17 of the most colourful places in the world

Bryony Dunn

Content Marketing Specialist
at Travel Nation
Request a quote