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Tonga

Tonga

Papua New guinea Mount Hagen Sing Sing

Tonga

A collection of tropical islands in the southern Pacific Ocean (Polynesia) between Fiji, Samoa, and the Cook Islands is known as the Tonga Islands (Pule’anga Tong). The British Commonwealth includes these islands, which are constitutional monarchies. When Europeans first arrived in 1616, they found these Polynesian-populated islands. The islands were initially discovered in 1521 by two Dutch ships under the command of Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire. Abel Tasman, the Dutch captain, visited some of the archipelago’s islands in 1643. The archipelago was visited by English captain James Cook twice, in 1773 and 1777, and he named them Friendly Islands after the kind people he encountered.

As well as the three main archipelagos (Tongatapu, Ha’apai, and Vava’u) and many smaller islands (Niuatoputapa, Nioufo’ou, and Tahi), the state of Tonga consists of around 150 smaller islands. They rise from the Tonga Trench, the second-deepest ocean chasm after the Mariana Trench (-10,882 meters). Tongatapu (260 sq km) is the largest and densely populated of the Cook Islands. Its capital is Nuku’alofa. The islands of Vava’u, ‘Eau, Lifuka, and Foa are also significant.

The majority of the islands are flat coral atolls. Several islands in the archipelago are volcanically active, including Kao, Tafahi, Niuafo’ou, Late, and Tofua. As well, there are several underwater volcanoes like the 33-meter-deep Curacoa. The Metis Shoal and the Fonualei, which appeared in 2006, are more examples.

The island’s economy is based on agriculture, producing cassava, bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, and vanilla. Additionally, there’s fishing and animal husbandry (including pigs, cattle, and horses). Tonga’s economy relies heavily on tourism.

TONGA HIGHLIGHTS

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 Time and Weather

Tonga has a tropical marine climate. There are two different seasons in the islands’ climate: a colder one from May to November with less rain and a warmer one from December to April with more showers. The average maximum temperature in Nuku’alofa’s capital is 29 degrees Celsius from January to August, while the average minimum temperature ranges from 23 degrees Celsius from February to 18 degrees Celsius from August.

Between December and March, the rains are at their heaviest. The rainiest months of the year are here: March and February. Tongatapu and the Haapai islands receive an average annual rainfall of 1,600 millimeters, whereas Vava’u and Niuatoputapu receive 2,200 millimeters and 2,600 millimeters, respectively. There is no true dry season on the islands. Rain falls between 10 and 14 days a month on average in Nuku’alofa’s capital. Nuku’alofa has a tropical climate. The yearly average humidity is around 75%.

Tropical cyclones are most likely to hit the islands between December and April. Hurricanes are more likely to hit the islands located closest to the equator in the northern hemisphere.

Tongatapu’s surrounding seas have temperatures ranging from 23°C to 27°C.

The best time to visit

In the South Pacific, Tonga is an archipelago of more than 170 islands. One of the best ways to see Tonga’s marine life and historical sites is to go snorkeling, of course. However, when is an ideal time to travel there? Some times of year to visit Tonga are better than others, depending on your goals!

If you want to save money, it is best to avoid visiting Tonga during June and August if you wish to explore the country’s highlights on a shoestring budget. As a result of the influx of tourists from North America and Europe looking for a tropical getaway, the South Pacific has increased in price. It’s also a good idea to avoid the January vacations in Australia and New Zealand. If you visit Tonga outside of the busiest travel seasons, you’ll get the most for your money and have a better time.

If you’d want to do scuba diving or snorkeling, you may do it here. You may see a wide variety of marine life up and personal while diving or snorkeling in Tonga. The most incredible season to go snorkeling is from June to October, when the weather is less rainy and has greater visibility. To view southern humpback whales during these months, go diving or snorkeling! We do ask that guests stay a safe distance from the aquatic creatures they see for their safety as well as yours.

In Tonga, there is no optimum time to go surfing or kayaking. Whether you choose to spend an early morning learning to surf or heading out on the kayaks, there is no wrong time. Kayaking and surfing are great year-round activities. As a bonus, the perfect place to surf is on Tongatapu’s main island’s narrow peninsula, Ha’atafu!

You’ll need wind to go sailing or kite-boarding, but you’ll need it steadily to accomplish these sports. If you’re interested in kiteboarding or sailing in Tonga, the ideal time to go is between May and October when the wind isn’t too strong.

Sightseeing Tours Are Available For Those Who Wish To Go Tonga’s neighboring countries, Fiji and New Caledonia, are also more beautiful places. However, although it is a relatively unknown destination, it is rich with natural splendor and fascinating Polynesian structures and landmarks worth seeing!

There is no ideal time to see Tonga’s attractions since traveling is enjoyable throughout the year! Among the must-see attractions are the Ha’amonga Maui Trilithon, the Hufangalupe Natural Land Bridge, and the Ancient Royal Tombs of Lapaha, to name a few.

The Month of June in Tonga is ideal if you love attending festivals and other special events. Emancipation Day is celebrated on June 4th. In contrast to many other South Pacific nations, Tonga has never been colonized; therefore, this national festival honors that reality. The Heilala Festival, the year’s most significant event, begins at the end of June and runs until July 4th. This event celebrates King Tupou VI’s birthday with cultural dancing, mouthwatering traditional cuisine, a beauty contest, and fire-dancing competitions! For a week every year, the Ha’apai Tourism Festival honors the local gastronomy, natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage of the Ha’apais! Tonga’s June is a time for celebration and learning about the culture.

Choosing the best time to visit this Polynesian paradise is the first step in making your trip a reality. Traveling to Tonga with New Paths Expeditions will provide you the chance to stay in authentic Tongan huts along the beach, enjoy whale watching, and learn about the local culture all at the same time! Reserve your spot today!

Wildlife

Traveling is about more than just taking in the scenery, getting to know the people, and soaking up some sun. It’s a rare chance to see some unusual wildlife, such as colorful birds and massive whales. Tonga is also home to large fruitbats, a bewildering diversity of coral and fish, and stunning birds.

Swimming with whales, Tonga’s most well-known wildlife encounter, is an extraordinary and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Swimming with whales in Tonga is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up and personal with some of the world’s largest mammals during the humpback whale migration season, which runs from June to October each year.

In Tonga’s warm tropical waters, snorkeling and scuba diving are must-do activities because of the stunning seascapes and the abundant marine life. The underwater world of Tonga is home to hundreds of different kinds of fish and coral, including turtles, reef sharks, big pelagic fish, manta, and eagle rays, to name just a few. Tonga’s island groups offer excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities.

It is possible to see the endangered Pacific flying fox near the town of Kolovai on Tongatapu, Tonga’s largest island. You may observe this giant bat species in colonies hanging from trees around the hamlet on the eastern side, designated sanctuary.

While Tonga’s marine life gets all the attention, the country also has a diverse population of birds worth seeing. Among the most incredible sites to go bird watching is on the northern Vava’u Group’s Maninita Island. Around 19 bird species, including the rare Tongan whistler, may be seen on a boat excursion from Mounu Island Resort or Mandala Island Resort.

The ‘Eua National Park, Tonga’s largest national park, offers additional opportunities for bird viewing. Here on Tonga’s oldest island, the rainforest shelters many unusual land birds such as red dazzling parrots, Pacific pigeon, red-crowned fruit-doves, Polynesian triller, and wattled honeyeater.

Also, the south coast of ‘Eua contains another birdy hotspot. Laku Fa’anga Cliffs are home to many seabirds, and a self-guided tour will let you see several of these seabirds in flight, such as brown boobies, brown and grey noddies, and white terns.

Pigs are everywhere in Tonga, whether they’re in the wild or just crackling on a spit roast. However, the Fishing Pigs of Mu’a are the most well-known. They may be seen dipping their heads in the water to «fish» for food on the mudflats of this hamlet on Tongatapu’s eastern side.

Our Tonga Expeditions

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Guest Comments

“Great experience booking an Antarctic cruise with this company. we got to see a lot of wildlife very close, the crew was very nice and the whole experience was perfect. Highly recommended!”

– Dimitar Barfonchovski, NY

“Life-changing experience. The expedition staff, the house staff, and the crew were amazing. Thanks to everyone for working so hard to make our experience the best possible”

– Derrick, CO

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

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Fiji

Papua New guinea Mount Hagen Sing Sing

A series of islands commonly referred to as Paradise are only four hours away from Australia’s east coast. To be precise, we’re in Fiji, the idyllic volcanic archipelago that’s mesmerized Australian families for generations. Embrace the enticing island lifestyle that flows according to ‘Fiji time’ by spending your vacation in that magical spot between golden dunes and sun-dappled seas.

The friendly and giving attitude of the Fijian people drives the yearly stream of tourists to their gorgeous island group, exceeding all expectations of the ideal island vacation (think luxury resorts, palm-fringed coastlines, and colorful reef systems). As a result of its lush rainforests, world-renowned surf breaks, and flowing waterfalls, Fiji is an adventurer’s paradise, but visitors will also have plenty of time to get to know the locals and experience life at the slower pace of the South Pacific.

The kava welcoming ceremony and meke dance introduce visitors to Fiji’s colorful history and rich culture. Participate in colorful Fijian festivities, meet village leaders, and explore historic shelter caves used by tribal warriors. Fiji has plenty to offer everyone, whether you’re looking for a relaxing tropical vacation or a trip filled with exhilarating activities.

Mamanuca Group ‘Tropical paradise’ may be a tired cliché in travel literature. Still, the Mamanuca islands live up to it, with crystal-clear waters and white-sand beaches that might be starring in their own right. The Mamanuca island group is one of Fiji’s most famous vacation spots because of the combination of romance, leisure, and the abundance of great resorts on offer.

FIJI HIGHLIGHTS

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

 Time and Weather

Fiji has something for everyone to relax under a palm tree, drink drinks by the pool, or go on an exciting excursion.

The year-round maximum temperature ranges from 26°C to 31°C, making it ideal for wearing thongs and shorts. The weather is perfect for getting a tan, sailing the crystal-clear seas, exploring the local reefs, and learning about the rich history and culture of the area, which is readily available in the markets.

The ideal time of year to visit Fiji is between the end of March and the beginning of December, when bright days and a mild tropical environment make visiting the archipelago’s sandy white beaches and rolling highlands an option.

As a result of a cooling southeast trade breeze, even if you’re hiking up a village stroll or ripping through the desert on a 4WD trip, you won’t be overheated.

Fiji does have a rainy season from November to April, but these brief, intense downpours are confined to a small area of the country. The rainfall varies from 2000mm to 3000mm per year in the most prominent islands, but it may reach 6000mm per year in the highlands. Smaller islands get less rain; therefore, they’re better if you want to avoid it.

A tropical island, Fiji’s climate is dominated by the rainy season, which contributes to the country’s beautiful landscape and diverse plant life.

Fiji is prone to cyclones, although they only occur during the rainy season.

For the most part, Fiji is divided among rainy and dry regions, with the scenery changing from lush rainforest to grassy, worn peaks.

Divers will find the coral reef waters most apparent from May to October, but the moderate water temperatures allow other water sports to be enjoyed year-round.

The best time to visit

The archipelago’s beautiful beaches, amazing underwater sights, lush interiors, and intriguing culture should not be rushed, so set your internal clock to «Fiji time.» Here’s a summary of what’s going on in Fiji month by month, as well as what type of weather you might expect.

Fijians take part in a wide range of festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Although the exact dates change from year to year, the government’s website posts them well in advance. Here are the ideal dates to visit Fiji based on everything from surfing conditions to the cost of lodging.

June to September, December, and January are peak seasons.
Most convenient for people who must adhere to school schedules.
Australian and New Zealander school holidays overlap with the peak seasons. Prices rise by 10% to 20%; expenses reach their highest point in June and July. Both June and July have pleasant temperatures since they are the coolest and driest.

May and October are considered to be the shoulder seasons.
The best time of year to experience cooler temps is during the spring. «Fijian winter» or dry season (May to October) is included in the shoulder season. This time of year has lesser rainfall and humidity, warmer temperatures, and fewer tropical cyclones. Off-peak prices and discounts are more common than during peak times.

The low season is from November through April when temperatures are at their lowest and Budget tourists’ best bet.
Fiji’s rainy season lasts from November to April, when it rains a lot and is quite humid. Fiji has fewer visitors, which means lodging prices are lower.

 

Wildlife

Fiji is well-known for its island getaways and white sand beaches. However, if you dive into the crystal clear seas around the islands or into the center of any wooded island, you’re bound to come across some fascinating and mysterious creatures. Fiji is home to various animals, including reptiles, birds, insects, and other creatures, but people come to Fiji mostly to see the underwater world. To be immersed in crystal-clear waters when Snorkeling or diving among coral reefs is like being transported to another planet. Snorkeling or diving among the coral reefs in clear blue oceans will transport you to another world. Snorkeling or diving amid the coral reefs in crystal blue seas will take you to another planet. Marine life is abundant in Fiji’s waters, from colorful tropical fish to magnificent sharks and giant manta rays. This Fiji wildlife guide will go through the most frequent animal species to search for when traveling the islands, as well as a few interesting facts about Fiji’s most fascinating critters. Fiji has something for any nature enthusiast, whether you like to fish, birds, or trees.

There are six different species of fruit bat in Fiji, including the Fijian monkey-faced flying fox, one of the island’s most primitive bat species. Fiji has no other native mammal species. The Fijian land fauna is completed by iguanas, notably the endangered crested iguana and their close cousins, the snakes, and geckos. Fiji has 55 distinct terrestrial species, over half of which are unique, making bird viewing in the jungle a popular tourist attraction. In densely populated regions along the shore, land animals are almost exclusively kept as pets. Rats and other invasive pests were deterred by introducing mongooses to the island.

There are 2,600 plant species in Fiji. Fiji, New Zealand, and other surrounding island nations are well-known for the wide variety of ferns that grow in these locales. According to the author’s research, Fiji has 303 fern species; however, 71% are imported from the surrounding islands. Numerous orchid species may be found in the tropical rain forest’s epiphytes, which grow on tree branches high in the canopy. Fiji has one of the most extensive coral reef systems in the South Pacific underwater. Wildlands Studies, an environmental program connected with California State University — Monterey Bay Extended Education, estimates that 10% of Fiji’s natural plant life is unique and cannot be found anywhere else.

Our Fiji Expeditions

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Guest Comments

“Great experience booking an Antarctic cruise with this company. we got to see a lot of wildlife very close, the crew was very nice and the whole experience was perfect. Highly recommended!”

– Dimitar Barfonchovski, NY

“Life-changing experience. The expedition staff, the house staff, and the crew were amazing. Thanks to everyone for working so hard to make our experience the best possible”

– Derrick, CO

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recommended Expeditions

Tonga

Papua New Guinea

Papua New guinea Mount Hagen Sing Sing

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the Asia-Pacific region’s most varied and least explored country. This British Commonwealth territory, which earned independence from Australia in 1975, was formerly a German colony and has always piqued the interest of tourists and explorers. By 2011, it had become the world’s sixth fastest-growing economy, owing primarily to its extensive mining and natural resource industries.

PNG has approximately 600 islands and over 800 distinct ethnic groups, each with its own dialect, art, music, dance, dress, and architecture. Over 95 percent of the nearly 6 million people are Christians; however, many also practice indigenous animism. Until 1933, seashells were the official money. PNG is less than a tenth the size of Australia, yet it contains the same number of animal species. This is a location where kangaroos dwell in trees, and marsupials abound.

PNG has lush rainforests, flooded deltas, virgin highlands, dense jungles, active volcanoes, and stunning mountains (the highest peak is 14,793 feet). Military historians will enjoy seeing different places where severe battles occurred during World War II, particularly in and around Rabaul. Among the locations are Alotau, the Sing Sing festivals at Mount Hagan, Goroka, world-class diving in Madang, Simbai/Kaironk Valley, Ambunti, canoe trips on the Sepik River, and the capital Port Moresby.

The difficulty for this country, which has been independent since 1975, has been to unify 750 formerly separate tribes into one nation. The diversity of historical peoples and customs, however, is part of the appeal for guests.

Experience the world-famous Mount Hagen Cultural Show, a piece of spectacular tribal music, dance, and pageantry display. Sail on a cruise ship on the Karawari, a remote tributary of the mighty Sepik River. Take an excursion to the secluded villages of Black Water Lake and enjoy a picnic on the river’s banks, watching as local men gather on their clan’s bench, children paddle canoes to school, and women fish with hand lines. Meet the Tari Highlanders, who use body adornment and face painting, as well as beautiful wigs, flowers, and moss. Drive through beautiful farmland and coffee farms in the shadow of majestic mountain peaks, past pristine rainforests, sparkling lakes, and a spectacular assortment of colorful, unusual birds.

With a 40,000-year history and customs that have stayed untouched for generations, the time to visit Papua New Guinea is now. We can customize your expedition travel to Papua New Guinea – a growing tourist destination but still a genuinely wild and exciting travel location! A journey to Papua New Guinea will provide you with an authentic, off-the-beaten-path adventure. PNG is a wildlife and natural history paradise, as well as a fantastic place for diving vacations.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ulaanbatar
  • Hustain Nuruu National Park
  • Hovsgol Lake
  • Gun Galuut Nature Reserve Gobi
  • Yol Valley National Park
  • Naadam Festival
  • Moltsog Els
  • Flaming Cliffs

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

 Time and Weather

Throughout the year, the climate of Papua New Guinea is hot and humid at the beaches and in the plains, becoming increasingly cooler and eventually colder as one ascends in height. There is no dry season in much of the nation, which is covered in dense rainforests to speak about equatorial climate, but there is a comparatively dry season from July to September in certain inland valleys and along the south coast; thus, the weather is tropical.
The monsoon circulation influences the climate: the northwest monsoon reigns from December to April, and the southeast monsoon from May to October. Usually, each monsoon delivers rainfall to the exposed slope, but it rains throughout both monsoons in many locations, making it rain all year.

Temperatures on the coastlines are high and constant throughout the year in the north, hovering about 30°C/86°F during the day. In the south, being farther from the Equator, they drop slightly during the winter season, from June to September.

PNG is an island country comprised of the eastern half of New Guinea (the western half belongs to Indonesia) and a few smaller islands (including New Britain, New Ireland, Manus, and Bougainville).

The islands (including New Ireland, New Britain, and Bougainville) to the east of the eastern section of New Guinea, which forms the majority of the nation, are also highly wet throughout the year. Rains are most plentiful from December to April in general, although not everywhere: at Lae, facing southeast on the Huon Gulf, rains are most abundant in July and August when more than 500 mm/20 in fall every month.

The best time to visit

The ideal season to visit PNG is between May and October, when the weather is dry, and most festivities are held.
Lowland and coastal areas are hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 24°C/75°F to 35°C/95°F. In the highlands, temperatures range from 12°C/54°F to 28°C/82°F, with much lower humidity.

Clouds generally emerge in the afternoon, and rain falls in the late afternoon and evening. PNG is reported to have dry (June to September) and rainy (December to March) seasons; however, rain is predicted throughout both. There is plenty of sunshine and little rainfall throughout May, June, and July, making these typical travel months.

The ideal time to visit Port Moresby, the capital, is from June to September, when it is also the least hot, with maximum temperatures about 29-30 °C/84-86 °F), rather than the 31-32 °C/88-90 °F reported the rest of the year.

Wildlife

With 781 bird species, 190 mammal species, hundreds of reptile species, and thousands of insect species, PNG boasts abundant indigenous biodiversity. However, most of this biodiversity is situated in isolated places and is sometimes impossible to locate without the aid of an expert.

The Tari Basin and Tari Gap are world-renowned birding destinations, with a great diversity of species due to the height range of 1700m to 2800m via various habitats. Tari is especially endowed in birds of paradise, such as the King of Saxony and the Blue Bird of Paradise. Sir David Attenborough visited the region when filming his documentary Attenborough in Paradise (1996), which helped to popularize the location among twitchers. The ideal time to observe these birds is between July and October when their plumage is peak.

The Port Moresby Nature Park is located at the northern end of Waigani Dr, near the University of Papua New Guinea. More than 2 kilometers of paths weave beneath and through the rainforest canopy, with well-kept gardens showcasing indigenous and exotic plant species, including native and hybrid orchids. Fruit bats scream in the trees, while animal displays include tree kangaroos, hornbills, cassowaries, and an immense aviary with parrots and birds of paradise.

Most visitors come to view a microcosm of PNG’s fantastic flora and animals, such as birds of paradise, cassowaries, and tree kangaroos. Still, the true star is ‘Agro,’ the massive and primarily inactive saltwater crocodile. The habitat includes around 3000 square meters of recreated rainforest inside a walk-through aviary and a variety of smaller cages. Unfortunately, everything is in disrepair, with falling pathways and abandoned cages. It has seen better days.

Our Papua New Guinea Expeditions

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Videos and more

Guest Comments

“Great experience booking an Antarctic cruise with this company. we got to see a lot of wildlife very close, the crew was very nice and the whole experience was perfect. Highly recommended!”

– Dimitar Barfonchovski, NY

“Life-changing experience. The expedition staff, the house staff, and the crew were amazing. Thanks to everyone for working so hard to make our experience the best possible”

– Derrick, CO

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recommended Expeditions

Tonga

Mongolia

Mongolia

Mongolia is a great nation of stark beauty that dazzles with its vast open grasslands, the friendly and proud people, and the legend of one of the world’s greatest civilizations that still reveres Genghis Khan (conqueror of most of the known world from his Mongol fortress). It is the size of Western Europe, has less than three million inhabitants, and is the most sparsely inhabited country globally; it also has one of the fastest expanding economies.

Mongolians have historically been nomadic herdsmen, and half of the population still is, living in circular felt tents called gers that are moved from place to place regularly. The capital city of Ulaanbaatar, with its fine restaurants and stores, stands in stark contrast to the rest of the country, which adheres steadfastly to its traditional culture.

Mongolia’s various features include huge canyons, vast plains, lush steppes, sparkling lakes, and snow-capped mountains. With communism and Soviet influence long gone, democratic Mongolia today provides access to its Buddhist history. There are temples such as the Erdene Zuu monastery, Mongolia’s earliest Buddhist monastery, and the Bogd Khaan Palace. Among the many ruins are the famed Karakorum (Genghis Khan’s old capital of Mongolia), Khitan, and Ongiin Khiid. Mongolia’s natural world will wow you with its richness. Fishing, camping, and lengthy excursions on horseback or camel are just a few of the activities available to the visitors.

Mongolia’s scenery is stunning and rough. Along the journey, you’ll meet Mongolian herders and learn firsthand about an old and rapidly endangered way of life.

Discover this magnificent country’s ancient history and extreme natural beauty with New Paths Expeditions, contact an adviser now expeditionadvisor@npexpeditions.com , and start planning this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

MONGOLIA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ulaanbatar
  • Hustain Nuruu National Park
  • Hovsgol Lake
  • Gun Galuut Nature Reserve Gobi
  • Yol Valley National Park
  • Naadam Festival
  • Moltsog Els
  • Flaming Cliffs

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

 Time and Weather

Mongolia is not the world’s coldest and most isolated country, as commonly believed. There are four different seasons; however, winter lasts from November to March, with temperatures as low as -30°C/-22°F for one month from mid-December to mid-January. Except in the bitterly cold northernmost portion of the nation, winter temperatures ranges from 1°-10°C/30°-50°F.

Spring offers somewhat higher temperatures from March through May, but the blizzards and dust storms that accompany the rising temperatures make this a less pleasant time of year to visit.
Summer, which lasts from mid-May to mid-September, is typically warm, with average temperatures ranging from 18°-26°C/60°-80°F.

Short showers occur in July and early August, accounting for 70% of the annual precipitation, although they are scarcely a nuisance in this relatively dry region. It is, nevertheless, prudent to avoid rivers during summer storms, as there may be flash floods. At this time, the Gobi Desert is the warmest, with average temperatures of about 30°C/85°F and occasional surges up to 40°C/100°F.

Winds are a common occurrence in Mongolia, and there is seldom a day without a gentle wind. Cool winds blow primarily from the northwest and west throughout the summer, providing some reprieve from the heat. However, the unexpected clash of warm and cool air masses might result in severe rainfall.

The best time to visit

The summer season, which lasts from mid-June to late August, is ideal for visiting Mongolia, with bright days and enough rain to maintain the lush and verdant countryside. It’s a lovely time of year, albeit only the southern Gobi is scorching.

The country’s landlocked location results in an extreme continental climate, with long, harsh, and dry winters and summers that are brief but pleasant. In the summer, summer temperatures can reach 73°F in the summer but hover around 3°F in the winter, with temperatures routinely dropping to -22°F and lower across the nation.

Due to the harshness of the winter months, travel to the areas around Ulaanbaatar is only possible between May and October. On the other hand, the Trans-Siberian Railway may be used by you to go to Mongolia at any time of year.

Wildlife

Mongolian wildlife excursions see various natural environments, such as the Siberian Taiga forest, undulating steppes, the Gobi Desert (the world’s fourth-biggest desert), and the Altai Mountains. Mongolia is located at the crossroads of Central and East Asia, and as a result, it has developed some distinctive flora and fauna.

The most sought-after animal species in this isolated area are Snow Leopard, Pallas’ Cat, Mongolian Marmots, Argali, Siberian Ibex, Przewalski’s Wild Horse, and Mongolian Gazelle. It also provides some delectable avian species for the avid birdwatcher. To mention some of the more notable bird species, you have Altai Snowcock, Daurian Partridge, Demoiselle Cranes, Cinereous, Bearded, and Himalayan Vultures.

There are Saker and Amur Falcons, as well as Upland Buzzards, for raptor enthusiasts. Oriental Plovers, Pallas’ Sandgrouse, Henderson’s Ground Jay, Kozlov’s Accentor, Grey-necked, and Godlewski’s Buntings can also be found. You may also combine your birdwatching with a chance to learn about Mongolian culture and the nomadic tribes of the region.

Mongolia’s wildflowers are a must-see for skilled botanists. The region’s natural beauty encourages a varied flora with many intriguing species to study and photograph.

Our Mongolia Expeditions

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Guest Comments

“Great experience booking an Antarctic cruise with this company. we got to see a lot of wildlife very close, the crew was very nice and the whole experience was perfect. Highly recommended!”

– Dimitar Barfonchovski, NY

“Life-changing experience. The expedition staff, the house staff, and the crew were amazing. Thanks to everyone for working so hard to make our experience the best possible”

– Derrick, CO

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Tonga

Morocco

Morocco

Morocco is a crossroads between Europe and Africa and one of the world’s most inspirational countries. This lovely region is a melting pot of cultures, flavors, and landscapes, with many things to discover.

There are several ways to genuinely experience this nation, from lunching with locals in Moulay Idriss to climbing across the High Atlas Mountains.

Morocco is a dynamic combination of spectacular scenery, spiritual centers, and metropolitan cities. Tangier, the country’s northernmost city, is rich in history and located on the northern coast. This port town, known as «The Door of Africa,» has changed hands hundreds of times and was once an international espionage hotspot. Nowadays, the city is a melting pot of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions. Tangier used to be a popular hangout for artists like Delacroix and Matisse and Beat writers like Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg. Today, the ancient Kasbah is alive with innovation, with busy marketplaces and casual eating locations.

Casablanca, Morocco’s most populated city, has a thriving cultural scene. The city’s streets are dotted with various intriguing architecture, ranging from Art Deco to more contemporary designs. Casablanca is an excellent site to learn about Moroccan art and culture, with sections of the city designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s also a culinary paradise, with a plethora of fantastic restaurants and traditional farmers’ markets. Rabat, Morocco’s capital, is also a lovely city with a central beach, ancient kasbahs, and an exquisite walled medina.

Marrakech, Morocco’s colorful city, attracts visitors from all over the world, and with good reason. Marrakech is encircled by a medieval red-walled medina, with towering gates leading through to meandering alleyways. Morocco’s artistic scene comes to life here. From aromatic spices to lamps and ceramics, vibrant souks and artisan marketplaces sell everything. The city’s pulsating center is the bustling market square Jem el-Fnaa, which hosts storytellers, musicians, and entertainers every week. Charming riads, opportunities to learn about rich Berber culture, and Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle are highlights.

Fes, Morocco’s second-biggest city, is often regarded as its cultural and religious capital, and it’s simple to understand why. Fes el Badi, Fes el Jdid, and the Ville Nouvelle are the three districts that make up the city. Fes’ streets are steeped in history, with all three communities established between the 9th and 20th centuries. Donkeys and hand-pulled carts make you feel like you’ve gone back in time at Fes el Badi. The enormous Royal Palace is located in Fes el Jdid (or ‘New Fez,’ whereas the Ville Nouvelle is one of Fes’s most trendy neighborhoods.

Morocco has world-class scenery in addition to sophisticated cities and cultural centers. The Atlas Mountains, which span Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, are a rough natural wonder between the rich Mediterranean coast and the enormous Sahara desert. The High Atlas, the most spectacular part, is located in central Morocco. The incredible Toubkal, which rises over Marrakech at 4,167 meters, is one among these breathtaking peaks (13,671 feet).

The Sahara, the world’s biggest scorching desert, also occupies a significant portion of Morocco. This arid terrain blankets northern Africa from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, passing through eleven nations. Morocco’s Sahara region, located south of the High Atlas Mountains, is incredibly romantic, with oceans of never-ending rolling golden dunes taking center stage. Camel herds are tended here by nomadic blue-scarfed Berbers, whose culture has been preserved for over 4000 years.

Morocco’s coast is peppered with quiet fishing villages and coastal lagoons. Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast, is a relaxed port town slightly under three hours from Marrakech. Once a cosmopolitan melting pot turned hippy haven, Essaouira’s bohemian atmosphere continues in intriguing galleries and boutiques. Sandy beaches run in all directions from town, and near-perfect winds make the months of April through August ideal for wind and kite surfers. It is nice to visit Essaouira and see its argan tree plantations, wineries, and breathtaking coastline from March to October.

Oulidia, a tranquil coastal village, is about 200 kilometers north of Essaouira. Oulidia’s setting could not be more beautiful, overlooking a seaside lagoon teeming with migratory birds. The crescent-shaped lagoon is surrounded by golden sandy beaches with colorful fishing boats scattered amid the waves. The lagoon, shielded from the ocean, is ideal for kayaking, swimming, and canoeing.

Predictably, the seafood is outstanding, with the calamari, lobster, shrimp, and oysters being among the finest in Morocco. In Oualidia, visitors may enjoy panoramic views of the coast from a ruined kasbah or tour the fortress at El Jadida. While there are lots to do, part of the appeal of visiting this seaside town is the ability to rest for a few days.

MOROCCO HIGHLIGHTS

  • Casablanca
  • Meknes and Volubilis
  • Fes
  • Cross the Middle Atlas to Midelt
  • Explore The Sahara
  • Agdz crossing the Anti Atlas
  • Ourzazate and reach Ait Benhaddou
  • Explore Ourika Valley, Marrakech and Essaouira
  • Cross the High Atlas to Ourika

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

 Time and Weather

Much of Morocco’s weather is characteristic of a four-season climate, with summers sweltering with little rain, winters being rainy, snowy, and humid with milder conditions, and the shoulder seasons of autumn and spring behaving normally with moderate to mild temperatures.

A frequent misunderstanding about Morocco is that it is only desert and that it is always hot. Yes, the Sahara covers a significant portion of inland Morocco, and many locations are hot in the summer. Still, the temperature varies depending on where you are in the nation and when you visit.

Northern coasts, such as Tangier, have a warmer Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and cold winters, but not too much extreme weather on either side. Temperatures in coastal cities and towns are typically cooler throughout the year, seldom exceeding 30°C/86°F on a hot day. The deeper you go inland, the drier the climate becomes, and elevation becomes more critical. Temperatures in deserts and arid zones can go well beyond 40°C/104°F. Mountainous places, such as the High Atlas, have similar patterns, although nights may be very chilly, so don’t be fooled by the harsh sun-kissed landscapes.

Tangier, Morocco’s northernmost point, has a more Mediterranean climate with moderately hot summers, rainy and mild winters, and coastal winds blowing inland to mitigate the heat at various times of the year. It receives more rain than much of Northern Africa but receives almost no rainfall in July and August.

Farther down the coast, Casablanca has a more oceanic sub-mediterranean climate and, unexpectedly, weather patterns comparable to Los Angeles! Casablanca is located in the cold Atlantic Canary Current route, which helps regulate temperatures throughout the year.

The Atlas Mountains stretch throughout most of northwestern Africa, passing through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The High Atlas in central Morocco is the highest point of this range, with high height allowing for dry summers and snow in the winter. The upper portions of the High Atlas, where some peaks climb to over 4000 m, are understandably colder, but, farther south, the climate is more affected by the Sahara, with scorching desert temperatures dominating the most of the year.

Marrakech is about three hours south of Casablanca, and because it is inland, the weather may be hot. It has a semi-arid climate, but because it is north of the Atlas Mountains, it cannot be classified as a desert city. But it feels like that at times!

July has the most daily sunlight hours, with an average of 10.8, while November has the most rainfall, 40.6 mm. Temperatures have reached over 50°C (122°F) in the summer, so if you’re planning a trip, be prepared for hot weather.

The best time to visit

Morocco is best visited in the spring (mid-March to May) or fall (September to October). Unlike the frigid temperatures and snow of winter or the blazing summer heat, the weather is mild yet comfortable.

The coastal regions are open all year. They are delightfully moderate in the winter and bask in temperatures in the upper 21°C/70°F in the summer.

The High Atlas Mountains are also open all year, but it does become chilly in the winter. Summer may still be too hot for long-distance walks, but if the heat doesn’t bother you, conditions are acceptable from April and October. Outside these months, the summits are covered in snow, making trekking riskier but providing some beautiful views.

Wildlife

Morocco is still teeming with animals despite millennia of being inhabited, farmed, and grazed — a monument to sustainable traditional methods and careful resource management passed down through generations. Morocco’s 40 distinct ecosystems now provide a home for many unique species, including flora and wildlife found nowhere else. While efforts are being made to construct wildlife reserves for Morocco’s endangered species, tourists may help to conserve natural ecosystems by keeping on defined pistes (unsealed trails) and removing garbage.

Coastal Animals

Away from the urban development of port cities and resort complexes, there are extensive sections of rocky Moroccan coastline where large bird populations and marine animals such as dolphins and porpoises outnumber people. White-eyed gulls, Moroccan cormorants, and sandwich terns may be seen along the beaches. Seabirds and freshwater birds coexist in preserves like Souss-Massa National Park, where you may see endangered bald ibis and ducks and waders that come here from Europe for the winter.

Desert Ecosystems

The Sahara may appear harsh, but it is home to a variety of species, including some fuzzy, cuddly ones: fluffy gerbils; long-eared, spindly-legged, comical jerboas; and the desert hedgehog, the world’s tiniest hedgehog, weighing between 300g and 500g. The adorable fennec fox has fur-soled paws and enormous batlike ears to keep cool in the Saharan heat; puppies resemble chihuahuas, only fuzzier. This desert fox is nocturnal and secretive, but if you’re traveling by dromedary and camping overnight in the desert, you could catch a glimpse of it.

While most people become lethargic in the desert heat, many desert animals are graceful and quick. Dorcas gazelles are plentiful, and you may also see a rare, reddish Cuvier’s gazelle. Skinks and spiny-tailed lizards are among the reptiles you could see racing through the desert, as is the devilish-looking (but not particularly deadly) horned viper. The most frequent predator in the Sahara is the golden jackal; however, a few desert-adapted cheetahs may still exist in the more isolated regions of Western Sahara.

Wildlife in the Mountains

Forested mountain slopes are Morocco’s richest animal habitats, with friendly Barbary macaques (also known as Barbary apes) quickly spotted in the Rif and Middle Atlas, particularly around Azrou. Mountain gazelles, lynx, and the endangered mouflon are more difficult to trace (Barbary sheep). The mouflon is currently protected in a High Atlas refuge near the Tizi n’Test, where its main predator is the severely endangered Barbary leopard – North Africa’s last leopard population.

Golden eagles fly in Atlas mountain updrafts, while High Atlas excursions may present you to red crossbills, horned larks, acrobatic booted eagles, Egyptian vultures, and black and red kites. In the spring, butterflies such as the crimson cardinal and the bright-yellow Cleopatra flourish in the highlands.

Our Morocco Expeditions

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Learn about MOROCCO

Articles about TANZANIA

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Videos and more

Guest Comments

“Great experience booking an Antarctic cruise with this company. we got to see a lot of wildlife very close, the crew was very nice and the whole experience was perfect. Highly recommended!”

– Dimitar Barfonchovski, NY

“Life-changing experience. The expedition staff, the house staff, and the crew were amazing. Thanks to everyone for working so hard to make our experience the best possible”

– Derrick, CO

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recommended Expeditions