13 ACTIVITIES AT VICTORIA FALLS
There’s a wide range of exciting experiences & adventure activities to enjoy at Victoria Falls. Here are 13 of the best.
Zimbabwe’s climate differs depending on the region. It is hard to pinpoint a ‘best time’ to visit this diverse country. Across the board, there are two distinct seasons in Zimbabwe: the wet summer and the dry winter. The most popular time to visit is in the dry season from April to September. With fresh mornings and a slight evening chill, the dry season also sees a thinning of flora which makes the wildlife viewing excellent. April and May are special times to go on safari as just after the yearly downpour, the wilderness is left verdant. In southerly and higher locations, the night-time temperatures start to drop, and the vegetation begins to dry. This pivotal point between the wet and the dry seasons is a fantastic time for wildlife excursions and trekking as the animals are joined by a lush emerald setting.
At the other end of the season, from September to October temperatures begin to rise. The further north you are, the earlier the precipitation arrives and the later it leaves. Lower-lying rift valleys such as Mana Pools can get very hot in October and weather begins to get unpredictable. The wet season takes place from November through to March. Despite being harder to spot animals, with the rain comes an excellent opportunity for bird watchers as thousands of migratory birds appear in the trees. Zimbabwe’s higher eastern areas usually receive more rainfall than the lower western ones, however the climate here is more temperate. From November to March temperatures can soar up to 40˚C during the day, and barely drop past 20˚C in the evenings, but in the dry season, temperatures drop to near freezing overnight with July and August as the coldest months.
Characterised by heavy rainfall and humidity, January is one of the wettest months in Zimbabwe. Large thunderstorms roll over the landscape daily. Due to the ongoing downpour the Zambezi riverplains further east swell and flood the surrounding areas, restricting travel. National Parks such as Mana Pools and Matusadona, and camps on Lake Kariba are subsequently closed at this time of year. The remaining safari destinations are damp and crawling, and views of wildlife can be obscured by the density of the vegetation. It is a time where patience is needed to catch glimpses of animals, but it can be highly rewarding. It is in January that new-born wildebeest and zebras can be spotted, and it is a great month for birdwatching as migratory birds are in abundance all over the country.
The Victoria Falls are dramatic and fast flowing and inundated with misty spray – viewing can be difficult. With the river at its low level beneath, white water rafting is in full swing and a ride on the rapids can be exhilarating.
With rainy days and thunderstorms common in the afternoon, the temperature is hot and humid - reaching 30˚C during the day and failing to fall below 16˚C in the night. Nevertheless, the waterlogged season is colourful and impressive.