Best time to visit Zimbabwe
There is no bad time to visit Zimbabwe and it can be considered a year round destination, but a general guideline is that wildlife viewing is best in the drier months – June, July and August are considered peak times. It’s often chilly at night and mornings are fresh during this time, but it soon warms up as the day progresses.
Zimbabwe’s generally high altitudes mean the country has a moderate climate with higher temperatures from November to April (summer) and lower temperatures from May to October. Temperatures rarely fall below 7°c or rise above 35°c., although nightime temperatures can fall below freezing.
The rainy season usually lasts from November to March and provides most of the annual rainfall. Days tend to be sunny with a dramatic afternoon or evening thunderstorm. The end of the hot, dry season lasts from August to October. The best months to visit are April and May and August to September.
Dry Season in Zimbabwe
(April to October)
These months are traditionally seen as the best months to come for wildlife, especially from June to October, as the land is drying out and grasses die down making it much easier to see game. There is virtually no rainfall during this time and with low humidity the climate is pleasant. Waterholes and rivers become busy and well visited by wildlife as other water resources start to dry up.
- April and May signify the end of summer and temperatures start to drop. They will probably just hit double figures in the mornings and high 20s at the height of the day. You may get some showers in April but by May these will have stopped. Food is plentiful for wildlife at this time of year and temperatures are pleasant with low to no humidity. If you are visiting Victoria Falls, April to June sees them at their highest water levels.
- June, July and August have cold starts to the day of about 5 to 6 degrees, this makes for chilly morning game drives, so be sure to wrap up. Afternoons reach pleasant temperatures in the mid 20s. August and September are the best time for fishing in Zimbabwe, particularly if you are after a Tigerfish.
- September and October are where temperatures start to increase, reaching their peak in October. Temperatures can reach the mid 30s and rising humidity can make this a little uncomfortable. This is an excellent time for game viewing. Water sources are drying up so the wildlife tends to congregate around the waterholes. September to November is the best time for fishing in Zimbabwe, particularly if you are after a Tigerfish.
- The first rains can begin in late October/early November and this brings welcome relief from the hot, dry conditions.
Wet Season in Zimbabwe (November to March)
- November sees often unpredictable weather. Some afternoons will see rain and the temperatures reach the mid 30s. The parks at lower altitudes may be even hotter.
- December to March is when most of the rain falls. Afternoons often see torrential rain and sometimes it can rain for several days but rain is always interspersed with sunshine. Thunderstorms are not uncommon at this time. Mornings are a pleasant 18 degrees and afternoons peak around 30 degrees, but the high humidity can make it feel hotter. Now is the time the landscape is lush and green and bursting with life.