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When to Go on Safari in Zimbabwe

Wet, dry and shoulder seasons

If you are going to Zimbabwe for a safari, then there are three 'safari seasons' to consider - the dry season, the wet season, and the in between/shoulder season.

The Dry Season

The dry season between June and October is deemed to be the best months to be on safari in Zimbabwe. With ground surface water drying up, the wildlife congregate around the waterholes and rivers, making game viewing easier for the guides to find the animals when they head out on the morning and afternoon game drives with their eager guests.

Temperatures rise rapidly over these months, reaching their peak in October and the first rains may arrive towards the end of this month, bringing a new freshness to everything but increasing the humidity levels in the air.

The Wet Season

During the main wet season - December through to March - some lodges are closed in Hwange, and all the lodges in Mana Pools are closed as the rains make the roads in the Park almost impossible to drive. The advantage of being in Hwange over this period, however, is that you can take advantage of both the low season rates offered by most lodges and enjoy the peace and quiet, as fewer visitors definately come duing these months.

The grasslands are lush and green, making for a wonderful background to any safari photo. Many species give birth once the rains come. Migratory birds also arrive around January to March, so this is perfect if you are an avid bird-watcher.  Whilst the animals are more dispersed throughout the Parks due to the amount of surface water now readily available, your guide is experienced enough to still know where to head to give you a memorable safari stay.

The Shoulder Season

Not surprisingly, these are the inbetween months - so April/May and November.

April/May are 'transitiional' months between the wet and dry season. Occasional afternoon thunderstorms will be accompanied by rain, but not as much as during the previous months.

November may also have some sporadic rain so you do need to be prepared for this, but it will not spoil your safari enjoyment as the rain tends to come in the form of afternoon thunderstorms again, which clear the air nicely in terms of the humidity levels. The grasslands start to turn from dry brown to green.

Visiting the Victoria Falls

You can read more about when is the best time to visit the Falls here.