• Cheetah running, Zimbabwe

The best time to go to Zimbabwe

The best time to visit Zimbabwe is dependant on the wildlife you'd like to see as generally speaking, Zimbabwe is a year-round destination. You should consider what your main focus is to ensure we create the ideal itinerary to accommodate your plans. The incredible wildlife of Zimbabwe that includes zebra, antelope, the ‘Big Five’ and wild dogs can also be seen all year, although they are easier to spot during certain times.  As an emerging destination, peak travel months are still much less busy than other popular safari locations in Africa.

The climate in Zimbabwe is subtropical with long hot summers with temperatures averaging a high 30°C or 87 °F and cooler winters, when the temperature at night can fall considerably. 

The temperatures can vary highly within the destination itself, and from day to night.

Zimbabwe Mana Pools

When to go by season

August – November

Zimbabwe’s main dry season, this is an ideal time for those looking for more active pursuits around the falls such as white water rafting on the Zambezi… from September to November the prolonged dryness means ideal game viewing, but this does mean peak travel times, with busier accommodation and these months are particularly hot in northern areas such as Mana Pools.

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December – April

This is generally a time of humidity, rainfall and thunderstorms, the latter usually arriving in the afternoon hours and clearing.  Whilst not ideal for all travellers, the rainy season does offer interesting and unique wildlife and scenery, with western areas receiving less rainfall overall.

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May – July

This marks a period of much cooler weather overall, and this can be much more pleasant for some of the more adventurous activities.  It is a much more verdant time, with the ground starting to dry out into July, and temperatures in the higher altitude areas start to fall.

Read more on the following pages:

Big Cave Camp, Zimbabwe

When best to see wildlife in Zimbabwe…

Huge Elephant Herds: The dry season from May to October sees herds of elephants congregating around the waterholes often right in front of your lodge

Victoria Falls: You can visit Victoria Falls year round, to see it at its highest you need to be there between February and May.

Wild dog pups: June to August – The wild dogs will be denning and the pups will start to make their way out into the world in Hwange and Mana Pools.

Young Animals: Through November to April the rain arrives and the bush comes alive with plenty of young animals.

Vultures in tree, Zimbabwe

When to go by experience


Toward the end of the dry season animals congregate around the water sources, meaning fantastic game viewing, so if this is your main aim we would recommend visiting then. During the wetter months, you have the opportunity to see animals with their young, creating some unique and rewarding sightings.

Victoria Falls

The optimum time to experience the might of this natural spectacle is just after the rainy season during the months of April and May, but the spray may impede your views somewhat.  By contrast if you visit at the end of the dry season from October to December, you can enter the low level rock pools and peer over the edge of the falls!


With such a unique and diverse culture, there are many celebrations across the country to witness and enjoy, although we recommend observing from a respectful distance, unless otherwise invited.  Combining music, arts, drama and theatre, Harare International Festival of the Arts is highly popular throughout May and June.  Chimanimani Arts Festival is also a three-day cultural festival in the heart of the eastern highlands.

Zimbabwe elephants at Ruckomechi Camp

When to go to Zimbabwe if you want to experience...

Helicopter Flight Over The Victoria Falls: All year round, if you want to see the full force of the falls and spray then February to May. If you want to see the whole width of the falls not obscured by spray then August & January is best.

Kayaking Safari in Mana Pools: Best during April – October when you will be joined by plenty of animals along the banks of the Zambezi

Tracking Black & White Rhinos in Matobo Hills: Best during the cold dry winter months of April to October

Victoria Falls Adrenaline Rush: Mid-July to Mid-February is the best time to experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the Zambezi River. Bungee jumping over the river available year-round.

Walking Safaris: The winter months provide the best walking conditions, cooler days with clear skies. Also, the bush is thinner meaning visibility is better

Zimbabwe lion drinking from a pool

Your Next Steps

View our Zimbabwe safaris, or talk to one of our specialists for more details on travelling to Zimbabwe. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.