Zambia has distinctive wet and dry seasons, providing visitors with very different experiences.
The dry season lasts from May to November. This is the easiest and most comfortable time to travel, with June – August being the coolest months.
The highest temperatures come just before the rains, and October is Zambia’s hottest month, with temperatures of over 40ºC.
Zambia’s wet season starts in mid November, and lasts until April. It is characterized by heavy tropical storms. The storms usually don’t last long and often you will experience heavy downpours and brilliant sunshine in one day.
Many of Zambia’s dirt roads become almost or totally impassable at this time of year, and therefore safaris in the more remote destinations are limited.
When to Visit
Game viewing in Zambia is excellent throughout the Dry Season, and at its best (which is superb) in September and October when game gathers around perennial water holes and along rivers. During the Wet Season vegetation is lush and wildlife scattered making it harder to track and sight game.
Bird watching in Zambia is superb during the Wet Season.
The Victoria Falls are truly magnificent at any time of the year. However for the best views of the Falls, plan your trip for midway through the dry season, from July to September, when the water level of the Zambezi River is low.
Immediately after the rainy season in April and May, the Falls are again spectacular, although the heavy spray can absolutely drench you and obscure your view.
White Water Rafting
Rafting on the Zambezi is generally not safe throughout the rainy season (December – March), when the river is in flood. The rapids are at their most dramatic towards the end of the dry season when the lower river water plunges through the gorge. “Amateur” rafters can experience up to Grade 5 rapids at this time.