With mild temperatures, virtually no rain and a low malaria risk, the dry May to October winter season is generally seen as the best time to visit Zimbabwe for game viewing, although September and October are extremely hot and dry months. The best time to travel to Victoria Falls is at the end of the summer rainy season, when the Falls are in full flood, between April and May for the most dramatic viewings.
Month by Month Climate Guide for Travelling to Zimbabwe:
Traveling to Zimbabwe from January to March
January is a rainy month and wildlife is harder to spot at this time of year in the dense bush, but you can take advantage of lower rates and fewer crowds – keeping in mind that this is low-water season for Victoria Falls.
February is rainy and wet. The water level of the Zambezi River is high, which means that Victoria Falls is in full flow but due to the amount of mist and spray, it may obscure views of this majestic landmark. If you do decide to visit then, consider a helicopter ride or a microlight flight to truly appreciate the sheer size of the Falls.
If you’re planning to visit Zimbabwe in March you can expect warm, humid weather with frequent afternoon thundershowers – these are usually short bursts that last a few hours. Water levels are perfect for viewings of Victoria Falls, especially seeing the gorges that surround this phenomenal attraction as well as the famous spray rainbows.
Visiting Zimbabwe in April & May
When planning to visit Zimbabwe in April, there are fewer rain showers overall and a general cooling of temperatures, leaving behind lush greenery across the game parks. It can be unpredictable weather, so it’s best to pack lots of layers and waterproof clothing.
If you want to see Victoria Falls when the water is still high and have a good safari, then you should aim for May. May is considered peak season in Zimbabwe and rates will be higher, so it’s best to book up to a year in advance for this month.
Traveling to Zimbabwe in June & July
June is considered the best time for a safari because game viewing is spectacular in the dry season – the natural waterholes dry up and huge herds congregate at lakes, rivers and man-made waterholes. June is where to go in Zimbabwe for rhino tracking at Matobo Hills, and for seeing giant herds of elephant in Hwange National Park.
The weather turns colder at night in July as winter has set in. Pack extra layers of clothing because the temperature can drop dramatically during the night and be nippy on game drives in the early morning. Wildlife viewing is excellent, and this month is pegged as the perfect time to go on a canoe safari.
Visiting Zimbabwe in August & September
The days are bright and clear in August with barely any clouds in the sky, an ideal Zimbabwe climate for wildlife sightings. The camps in the game reserves are usually full during this time, as August is the heart of the dry season and one of best months for a Zimbabwe safari. This is also regarded as the best time to go white-water rafting at Victoria Falls. It’s the start of low-water season and the volume and speed of the water are reduced, and rapids are more exposed.
The annual game count in Hwange National Park is a big event on Zimbabwe’s calendar in September. Hwange is the largest game park in the country and the park is home to a rich variety of vegetation and wildlife species. This game count takes place once a year and gives those visiting Zimbabwe the unique opportunity to spend time with the local Hwange rangers as they stake out watering holes to count the number of animals passing through.
Visiting Zimbabwe from October to December
In October the days begin to heat up, making it the hottest month of the year. The dry season is ending, but wildlife sightings are still good for anyone visiting Zimbabwe in October. This is the best time to view elephants on a game drive as the herds spend most of their time gathering at watering holes.
The Zimbabwe climate is unpredictable in November. It’s spring and if the rains arrive late, the dryness and intense heat of October could carry on into this month, if the rains arrive ‘on time’, it can be very wet. The country is quiet during this period, but this is the best time to visit Zimbabwe for birdwatching, as thousands of migratory birds arrive with the rain. There are expert guides on hand at many safari lodges in Zimbabwe to introduce visitors to all the migrant and resident bird species, some claiming that you will see over 50 species before breakfast!
December enjoys plenty of summer rain, lush landscapes, and is a great time for birdwatching. We don’t recommend Victoria Falls at this time of year because it is reduced to a trickle. One of the major benefits of visiting Zimbabwe over this period is that most of the lodges and game parks are quieter, meaning you can enjoy a more intimate, less crowded safari.
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