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Weather & climate

Zimbabwe: Weather & climate

The best time to visit Zimbabwe

"When is the best time to go to Zimbabwe" – a question many travellers ask, and the answer to this is often complex. It depends on many factors, including why you're travelling, exactly where you want to visit, and your personal interests. The 'best time to go' varies from person to person!

Below is a broad guide to the weather and climate of Zimbabwe; this comes from records and our experience. Please bear in mind that Africa's weather patterns are becoming more and more unpredictable, possibly due to global warming; unexpected weather conditions are no longer a rarity – we're seeing rainstorms in the middle of deserts, and dryness when rains should be falling.

In Zimbabwe, the rains come principally in December, January, February and March; the further north you are, the earlier the precipitation arrives and the later it leaves. Zimbabwe's higher eastern areas usually receive more rainfall than the lower-lying western ones.

By April and May most of the rain is gone, leaving a verdant setting, which is starting to dry out. Especially in more southerly and higher locations, the night-time temperatures start to drop.

The nights in June, July and August become much cooler, so don't forget to bring some warmer clothes, in case you want to spend a night outside; the days are still clear and warm. For Zimbabwe, this is the start of the 'peak season'– days are often cloudless and game sightings continually increase.

Into September and October the temperatures rise once again: Zimbabwe's lower-lying rift valley – Mana Pools – can get very hot in October. During this time, you'll see some fantastic game, as the Zimbabwe's wildlife concentrates around the limited water sources.

November is unpredictable; it can be hot and dry, it can also see the season's first rainfalls – and in this respect it's a very interesting month, as on successive days, you can see both weather patterns.

Weather in other African countries

For comparison, see similar climate charts and information for our other African destinations:

Botswana climate – Very similar weather pattern to Zimbabwe.
Kenya climate – Different weather pattern from Zimbabwe.
Malawi climate – Very similar weather pattern from Zimbabwe.
Mozambique climate – Quite similar weather pattern to Zimbabwe, but a bit wetter.
Namibia climate –Similar weather pattern to Zimbabwe, but generally drier.
Rwanda climate – Completely different weather pattern from Zimbabwe.
Seychelles climate – Completely different weather pattern from Zimbabwe.
Cape of South Africa climate – Totally different weather pattern from Zimbabwe.
Tanzania climate – Different weather pattern from Zimbabwe, with a longer rainy season.
Zambia climate – Very similar weather pattern from Zimbabwe.
Zanzibar climate – Weather follows a different pattern to Zimbabwe, with a longer rainy season.
<b>Januray</b>: the rain is heavy trough the whole month.
<b>February</b>: the bush is green and lush; great time for bird watching.
<b>March</b>: end of the rain season.
<b>April</b>: a very fresh, green month; some rain but also clear weather.
<b>May</b>: the landscape is beautiful and green, the air is very clear with some rain around.
<b>June</b>: land dries out and nights can be very cold.
<b>July</b>: nights can be close to freezing, but during the day it warms up quickly.
<b>August</b>: a clear and dry month.
<b>September</b>: temperatures warming up; great time for game viewing.
<b>October</b>: it can get very hot with little rain possible.
<b>November</b>: an unpredictable month; can be hot an dry- can be the first rain of the season.
<b>December</b>: one of the wettest months of the year as the rainy season starts.

Januray: the rain is heavy trough the whole month.

February: the bush is green and lush; great time for bird watching.

March: end of the rain season.

April: a very fresh, green month; some rain but also clear weather.

May: the landscape is beautiful and green, the air is very clear with some rain around.

June: land dries out and nights can be very cold.

July: nights can be close to freezing, but during the day it warms up quickly.

August: a clear and dry month.

September: temperatures warming up; great time for game viewing.

October: it can get very hot with little rain possible.

November: an unpredictable month; can be hot an dry- can be the first rain of the season.

December: one of the wettest months of the year as the rainy season starts.

Our top picks for holidays to Zimbabwe

We'll always tailor-make your safari for you. Here are some of our favourites to inspire you.


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Nyala Safari

10 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A superb luxury safari in iconic Hwange and Mana Pools national parks, staying in a pair of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe, with a grand finale at Victoria Falls

US$10,150 - US$15,050 per person

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Ground Hornbill Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

This Zimbabwean odyssey explores Hwange National Park from two small camps, renowned for their great guiding, before ending with insights into cultural history, a little luxury and first-class rhino tracking in the Matobo Hills.

US$5,270 - US$8,560 per person

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Buffalo Safari

9 days • 3 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Combining Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools and Hwange national parks with stays at intimate six-tent safari camps offering excellent walking, canoeing and game drives. Superb wildlife viewing and a real wilderness-focused experience.

US$8,040 - US$11,910 per person

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Grysbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

Discover three of Zimbabwe’s iconic destinations in style, flying between Hwange, Mana Pools and Lake Kariba on this varied safari adventure staying at authentic yet luxurious camps.

US$8,990 - US$14,380 per person

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Pied Kingfisher Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.

US$7,000 - US$10,780 per person

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Klipspringer Safari

8 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

An outstanding-value Zimbabwe safari exploring Victoria Falls and two contrasting locations in western Zimbabwe – Hwange and the Matobo Hills – giving you a real feel for Zimbabwe, its people and wildlife.

US$2,890 - US$3,570 per person

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Lion Safari

7 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

The classic Expert Africa Zimbabwe safari. Combining two of our favourite independent camps, each run by celebrated guides, exciting game drives, world-class walks and canoeing in premier wildlife watching destinations.

US$6,950 - US$9,830 per person

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Bat Hawk Safari

7 days • 2 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO JOHANNESBURG AIRPORT

Explore two areas revered by safari enthusiasts with some of Africa’s best walking and some superb guiding – even by Zimbabwe’s high standards – for a varied and wonderfully immersive wilderness experience.

US$7,880 - US$9,130 per person

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Great Egret Safari

12 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

This wonderfully varied adventure combines Botswana's Okavango Delta and a live-aboard houseboat safari on the Chobe River, with big game in Zimbabwe's dry Hwange National Park and the stupendous Victoria Falls.

US$9,250 - US$17,160 per person

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Side-striped Jackal Safari

6 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Get an in-depth experience of Zimbabwe’s colossal Hwange National Park, staying at two experience-focused camps with excellent guiding in contrasting areas. An adventurous safari for the real enthusiast.

US$3,480 - US$5,460 per person

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

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