Featuring truly enormous elephants and the world’s second-largest lake, the safari parks of Zimbabwe are breathtakingly good.
Best time to visit Zimbabwe
Wild, remote, untouched… Zimbabwe is a destination for clients looking to stay away from the crowds and get off the beaten track. Victoria Falls is at its best (full spray) between February and July, but Zimbabwe safari peaks from June through to October. High temperatures can be a little unbearable in October, but then the rains arrive from November, and camps and lodges start to close in Mana Pools due to accessibility. The early part of the year is often mixed, with thunderstorms and rain yet also incredible birding and photography opportunities. For a month-by-month guide of the best time to visit Zimbabwe, do take a look below.
January - Mixed month to visit Zimbabwe
- January falls in the middle of Zimbabwe’s wet season, and signals the start of the main rains, where days are wet with thunderstorms common in the afternoons.
- The wet conditions tend to attract fewer travellers, making for quieter safari tours. January is low season, so it’s a good-value time to visit.
- Wildlife viewing is dispersed since there is more vegetation and therefore animals no longer rely on a small number of waterholes for quenching their thirst.
- This is an excellent time for birdwatching, with various waterfowl and cranes constructing their nests.
- The roads in some places can be a problem, and many camps around Mana Pools National Park are closed.
Max temp 30 C
Not great wildlife spotting
February - Mixed month to visit Zimbabwe
- February is a mixed month for visiting Zimbabwe. It is humid and very wet, with thunderstorms common in the afternoon.
- Depending on the severity of rainfall, dirt roads can sometimes be impassable because of flooding. Many camps in Mana Pools are still closed.
- The water levels of the Zambezi river are high this month, meaning that the falls might be obscured by mist and spray. It’s a good month to consider taking the helicopter ride over Victoria Falls.
- Huge storm clouds provide a spectacular backdrop for photographs.
- Camps and lodges are cheaper during the wet season, with usually good availability.
Max temp 30 C
Dramatic photo ops
Great rafting month
March - Good month to visit Zimbabwe
- March in Zimbabwe sees a lessening of rainfall, but it remains wet so landscapes are lush – this month is the end of the rainy season.
- This is an excellent time to visit Victoria Falls, as you can see the famous spray rainbows and the water is at the perfect level for viewing the gorges.
- Rates are low and Zimbabwe national parks are still relatively quiet, making it a good time to consider travelling.
- Many camps around Mana Pools are closed during the low rainy season.
- There are wonderful opportunities for wildlife photography, as it is calving season for many herbivore species.
Max temp 30 C
Great Vic Falls month
April - Good month to visit Zimbabwe
- Approaching dry season, April in Zimbabwe brings fewer showers overall and a general cooling of temperatures.
- Game viewing in April can be challenging due to dense vegetation, but wildlife highlights include rhino and elephant.
- The Devil’s Pool and white water rafting at Victoria Falls aren’t available at this time because the water is so high and dangerous, but you can get good views of the falls' spray.
- Availability of camps and lodges is good, especially as properties in Mana Pools re-open.
- It’s a great time to see young animals in the bush.
Max temp 29 C
Great Vic Falls month
May - Good month to visit Zimbabwe
- May is a dry-season month in Zimbabwe and heralds the beginning of amazing wildlife viewing as the vegetation starts to thin.
- This is a popular time to travel, so safari areas, national parks and accommodation are starting to get busier.
- At this early stage of the dry season, temperatures are comfortable, as they start to drop.
- Days are likely to have clear blue skies, making for beautiful landscape photographs.
- The high water levels at Victoria Falls are ideal conditions for viewing the world’s largest waterfall. However, Devil’s Pool and white water rafting are not available.
Max temp 27 C
Good month for Vic Falls
Wildlife viewing peaks
Blue skies & green landscape
June - Best month to visit Zimbabwe
- Due to exceptionally good wildlife viewing throughout the month, June is peak season for a safari holiday in Zimbabwe.
- As it is a popular time to travel, properties can book up quickly and prices in some camps start to increase.
- June is one of the best times to visit Victoria Falls too – water levels are still high after the rainy season, but the spray doesn’t obstruct your views.
- Canoeing in Mana Pools is at its best, with cool temperatures and lots of wildlife gathering along the banks.
- Wildlife highlights: Matobo Hills for rhino tracking, Hwange for elephant, and Matusadona for crocodiles bathing on the river banks.
Max temp 25 C
Wildlife viewing month
Excellent Vic Falls views
July - Best month to visit Zimbabwe
- July is peak season in Zimbabwe, featuring sights such as huge herds of elephant and masses of animals around the few remaining water sources.
- Make sure to book your safari well in advance to secure your first-choice accommodation. As it is peak season, parks are busier and properties are more expensive.
- This month sees impressive concentrations of wildlife cluster around scarce water sources.
- You can expect to see big herds of elephants in Hwange National Park as they return from Botswana.
- It can be chilly at night and first thing in the morning, so we recommend layers for when you’re enjoying early morning and night game drives.
Max temp 25 C
High rates and low availability
Peak wildlife viewing
August - Best month to visit Zimbabwe
- August in Zimbabwe is peak season for safari, with immense concentrations of wildlife clustering around scarce water sources.
- It’s one of the busiest months to visit Zimbabwe, so consider booking early to avoid disappointment in availability.
- It’s a great time to visit Victoria Falls, as the spray won’t obscure your view.
- This is peak season for bushfires. The haze in the sky produces stunning sunsets – and some wonderful photo opportunities.
- Daytime temperatures start to increase throughout the month, but early mornings and evenings can still feel chilly.
Max temp 26 C
Dramatic photo ops
Perfect Vic Falls views
September - Best month to visit Zimbabwe
- Another peak month, September in Zimbabwe is a great time to travel, but it is also a busy time.
- September is fantastic for seeing big elephant herds in Hwange National Park – and Hwange’s annual game count takes place this month too.
- Fishing on the Zambezi river or Lake Kariba is highly recommended this month, as the rivers and lakes are cleaner in the dry season than in the wet season.
- It’s a fine time to enjoy white water rafting and other wet-and-wild activities in Victoria Falls because the waters of the Zambezi river are low.
- Gold and red landscapes with sparse vegetation are a superb subject for photography, as is Vic Falls this month.
Max temp 34 C
YZ favourite month
Vic Falls activities
Epic wildlife sightings
October - Best month to visit Zimbabwe
- October falls at the end of peak season, and due to extremely hot temperatures, it might get too uncomfortable for some travellers.
- Wildlife viewing is exceptionally good as the heat wave prevails. The first half of the month remains dry, so wildlife still congregates around waterholes.
- The water level at Victoria Falls is at its lowest, so it might not be as dramatic as it is during other times of the year.
- As the peak season is coming to an end, availability of accommodation begins to improve.
- When the rains do arrive, they bring some much-needed relief from the hot temperatures that can reach into the late 30s and even early 40s at times.
Max temp 35 C
Vic Falls Devil's Pool
Jacaranda trees bloom
November - Best month to visit Zimbabwe
- November in Zimbabwe heralds the start of the rains amidst green vegetation. The weather is unpredictable, where humidity can be high and rain can go on for days.
- November is not the best time to visit Victoria Falls, as the Zambezi river is at its lowest water level.
- Mana Pools access is limited during the wet months, between mid/end November and March.
- Wildlife can be more difficult to spot – the vegetation is thicker and animals no longer need to rely on waterholes.
- As it’s low season, there’s good availability of camps, lodges, and hotels, and rates are relatively low.
Max temp 32 C
Short and heavy showers
Great birding month
Low season rates
December - Good month to visit Zimbabwe
- A green-season month, December in Zimbabwe sees plenty of rain, lush landscapes, and brilliant birdlife.
- Some travellers might not enjoy the rain when it goes on for days and the high humidity can feel uncomfortable.
- Zimbabwe national parks and accommodations are much quieter during the rainy season and prices are not as high as peak season.
- Heavy rainfall can make some of the roads impassable, disrupting safari activities, and many lodges in Mana Pools are closed.
- The thick vegetation and lush scenery makes wildlife harder to spot.
Max temp 30 C
Scenery is lush and green
The top national parks to explore on your Zimbabwe safari
Hwange National Park
A wildlife haven, Hwange is home to huge herds of elephant and over 108 species of mammal. It is also Zimbabwe’s largest park.
Mana Pools is located in the north of Zimbabwe, alongside the beautiful Zambezi River and is one of the finest parks in Africa for a walking safari.
Lake Kariba and Matusadona
A serene wildlife haven with a total volume of 185 cubic km, Lake Kariba is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world!
Zimbabwe luxury safari lodges and camps
Our portfolio includes some of the best lodges in Zimbabwe, ranging from great value, classic, to luxury, for you to explore.
A luxury camp within a private concession in the east side of Mana Pools, Wilderness Chikwenya provides a comfortable base from which to enjoy lots of activities!
Hwange Bush Camp
Hwange Bush Camp is semi-permanent camp, taken down every November and put up again in readiness for the beginning of May.
Wilderness Little Makalolo
Known affectionately as ‘Little Mak', Wilderness Little Makalolo is a great option for travellers who have an interest in Hwange’s cultural aspects as well as its amazing wildlife!
Top Zimbabwe safari ideas
All of our Zimbabwe holidays are tailor made, designed entirely to suit your needs and budgets. The sample trips below are intended to give you inspiration for what is possible for your safari holiday.
Victoria Falls and a taste of safari
This is the perfect introduction to Zimbabwe – it combines Victoria Falls and Hwange, one of Zimbabwe’s best-known parks. With Victoria Falls offering a range of activities from sunset cruises to bungee jumping, and Hwange offering more than just standard game drives, this is the perfect trip for those looking for an action-packed week!
Guide Price £3,274 per personView trip details >>
Zimbabwe's famous close elephant encounters
Zimbabwe is known for its exceptional close encounters with elephants. Mothers regularly bring their babies to drink from swimming pools (there tend to be less predators!). Adding Victoria Falls to the trip offers something a little different to your usual safari, the wealth of activities on offer at the Falls means there is something for everyone!
Guide Price £4,153 per personView trip details >>
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