Where to holiday in October depends on the experience you are after. Wildlife viewing is spectacular in Peninsula Valdes, Argentina, where penguins, elephant seals and southern right whales can all be spotted. In Churchill, Canada, polar bears can be seen returning from their summer habitat; crossing back into seal-hunting territory in icy Hudson Bay. The Okavango Delta, Botswana provides unbelievable game viewing at this time of year, and the Moremi Game Reserve – known as the ‘predator capital of Africa’ – provides accommodation where dramatic predator scenes can be viewed from your lodge deck. Meanwhile, Diwali is celebrated around the end of October (or sometimes the start of November), and is best experienced in India. It’s generally the cooler period in the country too, so a great time to enjoy this festival of lights. Lastly, head to Romania and Bran castle for a spot of Dracula festivities during Halloween.
Egypt can see some high temperatures, so it is best to visit in October when the average warmth is around the low 20s. Cairo and the Mediterranean coast are cool at this time, and although Luxor and Aswan have slightly higher temperatures, it is still pleasant to visit. In particular, a main highlight in October is the Sun festival, held at Abu Simbel. Built by Ramses II, Abu Simbel was constructed so that the internal chamber is lit up by the sun twice a year, once in February, and the other in October on his birthday. Visiting before sunrise allows you to see the light poking through and slowly bathing the statues of Ramses, Amun and Ra in beams of sunshine. This impressive feat of engineering is celebrated outside with traditional dances and music performances.
October spells the end of the cool, dry season, meaning it’s one of the best times for wildlife spotting. At this time, vegetation is generally sparse, and animals gather around watering holes – meaning wildlife viewing is superb. As the largest park in Zimbabwe, Hwange is home to more than 100 types of animal, including giraffes, lions, hyenas and painted dogs. However, the main draw for travellers are elephants – and with more than 40,000 of them living in the park, October is the best time to see these amazing creatures gathering together.
With October brings the dry season, lasting until May. It’s also autumn, which means that the weather is still warm and balmy. As the wet season has just ended, the countryside is a stunning, luscious green; and the air is clear and crisp. Views of the Himalayas are at their very best, so it is one of the best times to go trekking. Meanwhile, the colourful Dashain festival normally falls in October. Held to celebrate the symbolic triumph of good over evil, celebrations bring communities together and create a joyous atmosphere. Expect to see local fairs, kite flying, bamboo swings and sales in the shops – it is tradition to wear new clothing during Dashain.