What is the best time to visit Zimbabwe? Our destination experts share an overview.
The cool dry season (May- August) is considered the best travel time for Zimbabwe travel. During the day, pleasant temperatures are around 68°C. By night, temperatures drop, especially in the higher regions, to freezing point. In low-lying areas, you can expect an average of about 41°C. June and August are considered the best months for safaris in Zimbabwe.
This is the rainy season in Zimbabwe, and while conditions are lush and green and make for some great photographic opportunities, do note that some of the camps and lodges can be closed.
- This is a good time for birdwatching with the migratory birds making their presence felt
This is usually low season in Zimbabwe. With all the rain and the lush greenery, spotting wildlife can be difficult, but birdwatching is ideal at this time.
- With the Zambezi in spate, The Victoria Falls are full of water, affording a truly dramatic spectacle
Expect frequent afternoon thundershowers and hot and humid conditions around this time. Wildlife viewing isn’t great at this time, so do factor that in should you plan to visit now.
- Head for a dramatic viewing of the Victoria Falls
The rains are abating and most of the lodges and camps start reopening at this time. The air feels fresh and clean and the landscape is green after the rains!
- This is the last month to catch the migratory birds in all their glory across the various camps and lodges
- Explore Matopos National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
This is the start of the cool dry season, though you can expect a few sporadic showers on and off through the month. Wildlife viewing conditions gradually improve through the month.
- Visit the private game reserve of Matetsi where you will find the rare sable antelope
- Take a helicopter flight over the mighty Victoria Falls
Make sure you carry plenty of layers as this is the time temperatures start dropping! Early mornings and nights especially can get very cold. The dry conditions mean the animals start flocking to the waterholes, making this a potentially great time to embark on a safari!
- Embark on a safari in the wildlife sanctuary in Matapos
- Head for a lush green safari in Matusadona National Park, on the edge of Lake Kariba
This is the start of peak season in Zimbabwe. It is pleasant during the day, though nights can get cold (carry plenty of layers!) and the dry conditions make it ideal for animal viewing.
- Experience rich wildlife on canoe safaris at Mana Pools National Park
- Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Great Zimbabwe
Excellent conditions – pleasant days, cold nights and great wildlife spotting opportunities – make this one of the most popular months to visit Zimbabwe, so book well in advance!
- Large elephant and buffalo herds await you during your driving safari in Hwange National Park
- Head for a guided bush walk in Hwange where you could witness lions, cheetahs or leopards at close range!
The cold, winter season is coming to end around this time and daytime temperatures gradually begin to rise.
- Look forward to huge elephant herds, buffaloes and predators on your safari in the Gonarezhou National Park
- Visit the tea country of the Eastern Highlands
- This is also a good time to visit Hwange, where the annual game count takes place around this time
This is the hottest month in Zimbabwe, expect temperatures to sometime hit 110 and more! Game viewing is best early morning and late afternoon to avoid the searing heat.
- Nyanga National Park is a perfect spot for trekking enthusiasts
- Explore the Old First of Masvingo and head to the nearby Kyle Game Resort to spot its white rhinos
This is the start of the rainy season, so expect thundershowers especially in the afternoons, that help reduced the temperatures.
- Visit the bustling city of Bulawayo and explore several nearby attractions
Expect a rainy month! It’s not the ideal time for wildlife viewing and several parks and lodges can be closed. This a good time for birdwatching though, with the migratory birds arriving in hordes.
- Enjoy the vibrant and breezy capital city of Harare where there’s much to see
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Best time to visit Zimbabwe by season
The hot dry season (September–mid-November) brings temperatures around 104°F during the day and high humidity. If you do not mind the heat, this is a great time for Zimbabwe safari trips. The animals gather around the remaining watering holes, and the grass is dried up and trampled down so that you have particularly good visibility.
The rainfall of the Emerald season (Mid November – April) brings a refreshing cooling effect for humans and wildlife alike. Temperatures vary between 77°F and 85°F during the day and remain pleasant even at night. The country’s foliage flourishes, which has a very special charm. The emerald season is the best time for bird watching.
The climate of Zimbabwe can be divided as follows:
Cool drying time: May – August
Hot dry season: September – mid-November
Rainy season / Emerald Season: Mid November – April
What to Pack
The season you travel to Zimbabwe will determine what you need to pack. Based on the time you choose, here is a list of things you should ideally carry: Rain gear including waterproof jacket and shoes, mosquito repellent especially during the rainy season, light clothes for day time and a jacket for cooler evenings, layers of clothing including warm jacket / fleece or jumper, gloves, socks and a scarf, light cotton or linen clothing with natural colors, light shoes and sandals, sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, swimsuit, light jumper for cooler evenings, long sleeved shirts and long trousers are useful for protection from the sun during the day and mosquitoes at night.
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The Eastern Highlands are a combination of three ranges – the tea country of the Nyanga range, the granite peaks of Chimanimani and the green coffee estates of Bvumba.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Great Zimbabwe is one of the best preserved stone cities in sub-Saharan Africa!
One of the very best travel experiences I have ever had. We even got updates once at 3 am! He also made one change in one day’s itinerary to accommodate our wishes which was very wonderful. For business, I have traveled to Europe, Russia, all over Asia and South Africa but was blown away by all the beautiful sites in Argentina and Chile.
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