At a Glance:
- Best time: May-September
- Best weather: April-May, September
- Worst weather: October (hot), December-March (wet)
- High season: July-October
- Low Season: November-April
When planning your Zambia safari, it’s best to aim for the dry winter season from May through October
, when temperatures are relatively lower, wildlife viewing is better, and there is almost no rain. While you might be able to find much lower rates during the wet summer season from November through April
, you will also find that it is harder to spot wildlife, some camps are completely closed, and it’s possible that your safari can get delayed or even canceled based on the weather.
The Dry Season
Traveling in the dry season offers optimal wildlife viewing since drier temperatures and less vegetation force the wildlife to congregate around waterholes. This makes it extremely easy for safari guides to predict the animals' whereabouts, giving you a better viewing experience. You may worry about overcrowding because the dry season is the high-tourism season, but there’s no reason to, other than Victoria Falls, you won’t really notice the larger crowds. During the dry season, you’ll additionally enjoy clear skies and fewer mosquitoes. As long as you pack warm winter clothes for the cold morning game drives and nights (especially if you’re traveling from June-July), you will be comfortable.
The Shoulder Season
If you travel during the shoulder season from November-April, daily rain showers might come late in the afternoon but rarely continue for more than a few hours. This is also a more colorful time of year for the scenery as the vegetation grows thicker; unfortunately, this also means that the animals (no longer forced to the sparse waterholes) are harder to spot. Additionally, the gorgeous plant-life offers amazing photo opportunities. If you’re an avid bird watcher, this is also a great time to see and photograph rare migratory birds. Be aware that with the heavy rains, some dirt roads are impassable, which causes some of the more remote camps and parks to close.
Best time to See Victoria Falls:
The worst time to See Victoria Falls:
October - December
Although the Victoria Falls are generally considered to be in Zimbabwe, they’re actually mostly in a no-mans land that acts as a natural border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Between June and August is the best time to visit Victoria Falls.
This is the best time because there’s plenty of flowing water, little rain, moderate temperatures, and it coincides with the dry season making going on a safari afterward the ideal trip. Even though the Zambezi River reaches its peak between March and May
, the Victoria Falls has a surplus of water which brings in a lot of mist that ends up obscuring a majority of the falls, making the timing not ideal. The worst time to see the Victoria Falls is between October and December
because the water level in the Zambezi River is at it’s lowest, resulting in much weaker waterfalls.
Best time to Visit Kafue, Zambezi, and South Luangwa National Parks:
The worst time to Visit Kafue, Zambezi, and South Luangwa National Parks:
If you’re interested in going on a safari in Zambia, contact our travel experts at Adventure Life
! They’ll help you make the perfect trip at the time of year that coincides with your schedule.