If you’re planning a trip to Victoria Falls, you’ll first want to consider the best time to visit. Just after the summer rains, between February and May, is ideal. This is when you’ll see the waterfall at its best, a spectacular sight when the water is at its peak volume, although you won’t be able to enjoy certain activities such as swimming in Devil’s Pool and other areas where there are whitewater rapids as it will be too dangerous. Unfortunately, when Victoria Falls is at its most impressive, popular places nearby for viewing wildlife such as Chobe National Park in Botswana and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe won’t be at their best for watching the animals. Aim for May, the start of the peak wildlife-watching season, if you want to marvel at the falls and enjoy a safari. The worst time to visit Victoria Falls is toward the end of the dry season, October and November when the water level will be at its lowest. While it can vary year to year, on the Zambian side, which makes up about a quarter of its width, the falls may be entirely dry with only the bare rock face visible.
January marks the middle of summer in Victoria Falls, bringing hot temperatures with average highs at 85 degrees Fahrenheit while afternoon thundershowers are frequent. This is the wettest time of year to visit Victoria Falls as the summer rains cause the Zambezi River to rise, resulting in a substantial amount of mist and spray at Victoria Falls. Although wildlife viewing isn’t optimal now, this season offers excellent opportunities for bird-watching enthusiasts with many migratory birds spotted now. Another pro for January is that this is the low season, which can work in your favor as you may find attractive discounts on lodging and all-inclusive packages.
February brings a combination of rain and heat to the region. While most days are accompanied by rainfall, showers tend to pass quickly, revealing clear blue skies and abundant sunshine. If you’re looking to witness the raw power of the Zambezi River cascading down the gorge, this month is ideal, however, keep in mind the mist and spray can be so heavy, it might hinder your ability to enjoy a panoramic view. February is also a great time for birdwatching, although wildlife sightings might not be as frequent. As this is the low season, or “green” season, accommodation rates are often discounted.
March brings more warm weather, accompanied by frequent afternoon thundershowers. Daytime temperatures average 88 degrees, while the summer rains mean that the Zambezi River will be brimming with water, leading to the powerful flow of the falls. Prepare yourself for a captivating display with abundant mist and spray. It’s an incredible sight, although, like February, it can partially obstruct your view. For bird lovers, March continues the excitement with migratory species still found in the national parks and the trees surrounding the falls. This marks the end of the “green” season, the last chance to take advantage of more affordable hotel rates, for now.
April marks the conclusion of the rainy season, presenting a significant shift in weather conditions as compared to March. It’s considerably drier, while daytime temperatures are uncomfortably warm, hovering around 68 degrees. This is an ideal time to marvel at Victoria Falls as the Zambezi River reaches its peak, resulting in an impressive display, but once again, part of the falls can be obstructed by the powerful spray. To truly appreciate its splendor, a helicopter tour offers the best vantage point. April also presents a unique opportunity to observe migratory bird species, as it’s the final month before they venture to the dry winter plains.
In May, the onset of the dry winter season brings a noticeable change. Rainfall becomes scarce, and temperatures take a dip, with nighttime lows reaching a brisk 52 degrees. It is advisable to pack warm clothing for the evenings and early mornings during this time. This month boasts delightful weather, characterized by sunshine and clear blue skies. April is a prime time to visit Victoria Falls for avoiding the sweltering heat and rainfall, allowing you to relish pleasant, cooler winter conditions. It’s also ideal for witnessing the astounding spectacle of a tremendous volume of water cascading down the gorge with a deafening roar.
In June, Victoria Falls experiences a dry and cool climate with nighttime temperatures that drop below 50 degrees. However, daytime temperatures remain mild, usually reaching the upper 60s. You’ll need to pack warm clothing for nighttime activities, early morning hikes, and game drives. This month is bustling, with numerous visitors at Victoria Falls, thanks to the spectacular views. While the falls are still quite powerful, they have less spray compared to earlier months, thanks to the decreased water level in the Zambezi River, but that means you can enjoy a panoramic vista. Plus, wildlife viewing will be much better in the surrounding national parks.
July is the heart of winter at Victoria Falls and the coldest month of the year, with nighttime temperatures plummeting to 45 degrees, while daytime temperatures still hover around 68. As with June, pack warm clothing for nighttime and early morning game drives and activities. With the river not at its peak, the mist and spray are reduced compared to earlier months, offering picture-perfect panoramas. July is an excellent time for game viewing in both Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia. If you come now, expect many other visitors, thanks to the clear blue skies, abundant sunshine, and views.
It’s still winter in August, another dry month, although the temperatures are increasing with daytime highs hovering around an average of 84 degrees, while nights cool down to about 50 degrees. This is one of the busiest times to visit Victoria Falls, although it’s ideal for witnessing the grandeur of the falls and taking part in exhilarating whitewater rafting adventures. Towards the end of August, the renowned Devil’s Pool usually becomes accessible for refreshing dips in the natural infinity pool. The typically sparse vegetation this month allows for exceptional wildlife sightings, as animals congregate near the Zambezi River to quench their thirst.
September ushers in a wave of warmth, officially marking the arrival of spring in the Southern Hemisphere with daytime temperatures soaring up 91 degrees although nights are pleasantly cool at around 59 degrees. Rainfall is a rarity during this time, and it also brings a great opportunity to visit Victoria Falls which remains resplendent on both sides of the border while activities like wildlife viewing and whitewater rafting are in their prime. However, it’s important to note that the many benefits of September make it a popular month for visitors, translating into higher rates for accommodations while making reservations a necessity.
Known as the “Heatwave Season,” daytime temperatures rise to an average of 93 degrees Fahrenheit in October and it’s not uncommon for the mercury to rise above 104. The region experiences an extended dry spell, leading to a decline in the Zambezi River’s water levels. In some years, the falls on the Zambia side may even completely dry up by the month’s end. However, as the dry season reaches its climax, October becomes optimal for observing wildlife at the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia. Still, the intense heat means October is a month to avoid for many.
A refreshing change arrives as summer showers make their appearance, providing respite from the intense heat that persisted throughout October, although the weather is still sweltering. The Zambezi River reaches its lowest point, causing Victoria Falls on the Zambian side to potentially dry up entirely but the falls in Zimbabwe continue to flow uninterrupted throughout the year. It’s not an ideal time to witness the falls in their full majestic glory, but whitewater rafting can be ideal with the low water level creating more challenging rapids. Migratory bird species also flock to the area during November, marking the start of the birdwatching season.
December brings a subtle drop in temperature but it’s still scorching with average daytime temperatures reaching 88 degrees. This is the second wettest month of the year after January, bringing afternoon thundershowers on most days. The river still runs low, diminishing the grandeur of the falls, and again, the Zambian side may be dried up completely. With the rain, vegetation flourishes, transforming landscapes into a lush green paradise so it’s not the best time for wildlife viewing, other than birds with many migratory species here while residents boast colorful plumages. This is a low season, which means more affordable rates on packages and hotels.
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