"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: