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When is the best time to visit Zambia?

Zambia has two distinct seasons - the dry winter season and the summer wet season - and they play a crucial role in determining the best time to travel to Zambia.

Dry Season in Zambia (May to October)

The dry season is the best time for safaris in Zambia. The prime wildlife viewing starts in June but really comes alive from July to October, as the country’s waterways begin to dry up and animals are lured out to the main riverbanks. The remote North Luangwa National Park also opens from around June to October, allowing visitors to access Zambia’s unspoiled wilderness.

The rains have usually retreated by May, leaving the country illuminated in gorgeous fresh greenery which tapers into golden hues as the arid weather sets in. The cooler temperatures are perfect for walking safaris, particularly in South Luangwa, the mecca of bushwalks.

July to September is the best time to see the iconic Victoria Falls, as the thundering flow is in full source, visibility is excellent and you can take a dip in Devil’s Pool, go white water rafting and visit Livingstone Island.

October is still a great month for wildlife viewing, but it is the hottest month and temperatures can get quite unbearable. If you can handle daytime temperatures above 40°C, you’ll see some incredible predator action as big game battle it out for food and water by the river banks.

Wet Season in Zambia (November to April)

The wet season can be a difficult period as the heavy rains make roads impassable and many lodges close. It’s a poor time for wildlife viewing as animals intersperse back into the forests, hiding in the dense vegetation.

It’s a fantastic time for bird watchers as many migratory species return in full force and the breeding season begins in December. You’ll also have the chance to see newborns as most mammals give birth from December to March.

Although most of the country becomes inaccessible, some lodges offer a fly-in safari option and can take you out on some wonderful boating safaris.

November marks the start of the rains, although wildlife enthusiasts may still like to catch the two great migrations of up to 40,000 wildebeest from Liuwa Plain National Park and an estimated 10 million fruit bats from Kasanka National Park.

The Victoria Falls dry up from around October and although you can still swim in Devil’s Pool and visit Livingstone Island, you won’t see the full thundering spectacle on the Zambian side. The falls begin to flow again around January, as the Zambezi River fills up from the rains.

Call us on 0117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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Month-by-month guide to travelling in Zambia

Example Zambia Trips

Zambia Travel Inspiration

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