Tours & Safaris
Zambia is a wilderness adventure destination that encompasses rugged terrain, diverse wildlife and the world-renowned Victoria Falls. Voted as the "Safest Country in the World to visit in 2018", Zambia boasts a wide range of adrenalin activities including scenic helicopter flights, white water rafting and walking along the edge of the Falls. A visit to Victoria Falls in Livingstone combines perfectly with a safari experience in one of twenty national parks. Ranking amongst the finest game parks in the world, Zambia offers unforgettable game drives, river safaris, and walking safaris in a remote part of Africa.
Find out when is the best time of year to visit Zambia
January and February mark the peak of the rainy season and many lodges and camps in the surrounding game parks are closed. Some camps however in the Lower Zambezi, Kafue, and South Luangwa parks stay open during this period and love to offer reduced accommodation rates because it is a quieter time of the year. Providing great value for money and a more exclusive safari experience, the month of January can be a very appealing time of the year for travellers on a specific budget. It is the best time to visit Zambia if you are a keen birder, with incredible sightings of various migratory birds. When the banks of the Luangwa River burst, a number of pools and lagoons form, attracting a number of waterbird species. It is the start of the calving season so it is a wonderful time to see newborn animals.
February may not the best time to visit Zambia for a safari, as it is known for its rainfall and thunderstorms that result from the hot and humid weather conditions experienced during the day. Temperatures average around 30°C (86°F) during the day and 20°C (68°F) in the evenings. It is however still considered the low season in Zambia so many lodges and camps in the surrounding parks will continue to offer reduced accommodation rates. Lochinvar National Park is a hidden gem in Zambia, accessible throughout the year. It is a photographer and birding paradise, with migratory birds arriving from the north. Game viewing is better during the dry season but animals can still be seen in the park during the peak of the rainy season. Victoria Falls is in full flood and the spray of the falls can be quite dramatic, often making it impossible to view the falls properly. The afternoons generally bring with them a thunderstorm which lights up the sky and leaves behind the most magnificent rainbows and gorgeous sunsets.
March is the best time to visit Zambia for a safari experience, with many camps in the surrounding parks still offering reduced accommodation rates and boating excursions. It is still an incredible time of the year for bird watching and Victoria Falls which is in full flood is often inundated with local visitors who take advantage of two public holidays that fall in the month of March. The rain has eased off but the spray of the falls is still very powerful, often obscuring the view of the falls. Nyika Plateau National Park is a great place to visit all year round but during the summer months of November to March, the park is lush and colourful with rolling carpets of shrubs and flowers. The park offers great bird watching opportunities throughout the year but various migratory birds are seen during the wetter summer months.
It is now the best time to visit Zambia as the rainy season is over and many lodges and camps in the surrounding parks reopen. Kafue National Park offers incredible wildlife sightings from April to October, with animals such as elephant, wildebeest, zebra, hippo, and buffalo seen regularly on game drives and walking safaris. The traditional Kuomboka festival often falls in the month of April but the exact dates are determined by when the water of the Zambezi River floods the plains of the Western Province. The dry season in South Luangwa National Park begins and animals return to the region in large numbers, congregating around the various waterholes.
The camps and lodges in the surrounding game parks are steadily opening up as the rain subsides, but walking safaris are still a little difficult because the grounds are wet and slippery after the rainfall. The water of the Zambezi River is flowing steadily over Victoria Falls, causing a mist of spray to form when the water belts to the bottom. This can often obscure your view of the falls so we recommend taking to the air on a helicopter excursion that offers unhindered views. The month of May is the best time to visit Victoria Falls if you wanting to attend the Livingstone International Cultural Arts Festival or the Alliance Motor Rally. South Luangwa experiences warm sunny days and cooler evenings as the dry season kicks in. The bush starts to thin out, making it easier to spot wildlife. Animals do tend to gather around sources of water during the dry season. In South Luangwa, the dry season is the best time to spot the more elusive animal species.
June is the best time to visit Zambia for a safari adventure as the ground has dried up considerably in the surrounding parks, rivers are still flowing at a good capacity, and all of the lodges and camps are now open and offering walking safaris. It is also the last month of the shoulder season before the peak season starts, offering great value for money. Temperatures begin to decline in June, averaging around 10°C(50°F) in the early mornings and around 23°C (73°F). It is advisable that travellers bring warm clothing along for the early morning and evening game drives. South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi Parks will experience hotter weather conditions due to the lower altitude. Travellers looking to escape the winter can enjoy a getaway in Lake Kariba which lies in the southern parts of Zambia. Lake Kariba is a nature lovers dream, with fishing and canoeing on the lake, and incredible wildlife viewing in Matusadona National Park which is home to the Big Five and 240 species of birds.
July marks the beginning of the peak tourist season in Zambia and is regarded as the best time to visit Zambia for a rewarding safari experience and a visit to Victoria Falls. River cruises and fishing expeditions on the Lower Zambezi, along with wildlife watching in South Luangwa are the biggest draws to the region during this time of the year. Many travellers like to also visit Kafue National Park for a more remote safari experience. Temperatures are on the rise but the early mornings and evenings are much colder, averaging around 10°C (50°F). In South Luangwa, daytime temperatures are pleasant with temperatures reaching a high of 25°C (77°F). The Zambezi River is flowing steadily over Victoria Falls and producing less spray, affording the most spectacular views. It is also a great time to go river tubing which is only offered twice a year when the river level drops.
The month of August is the best time to visit Zambia for a hot balloon experience on the Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park. It is also a great time to experience a host of traditional Zambian ceremonies. The earlier part of August is usually windy and dusty, but as the days go by, temperatures begin to rise steadily, with South Luangwa reaching a high of 28°C (82°F) during the day. The hot weather and drier bush afford incredible walking safari opportunities, making it the ideal time of year to combine game viewing in one of the national parks and Victoria Falls. Devil’s Pool is also generally open around mid-August, offering you the opportunity to swim in an infinity pool at the edge of the Falls. Kafue National Park is a great place to visit during the drier months as you have a greater opportunity of viewing the rare and elusive blue and yellow-backed duiker, sitatunga and lechwe. Kafue is also regarded as one of the best places in Africa to view leopard.
The month of September is the best time to visit Zambia if you are looking to escape the winter, with daytime temperatures reaching a high of 29°C/84°F. Wildlife sightings are incredible in the surrounding game parks, with large numbers of animals gathered at rivers and waterholes that have not yet dried up. This is also when beautiful carmine bee-eaters arrive and build nests along the riverbanks. The Victoria Falls is not as dramatic but remains a spectacular sight to enjoy. There are a number of adventure activities to enjoy, including white water rafting. It is a great time of the year to also consider extending your trip with a visit to the northern reaches of Zambia, visiting Lake Tanganyika which offers incredible scuba diving, walking safaris in the Nsumbu National Park, and hiking up the Kalambo waterfalls.
October isn’t the best time to visit Zambia if you can’t stand the heat, as temperatures soar into the mids 30°Cs and animals seek shelter from the sun. Game drives and walking safaris are therefore operated in the early mornings and late afternoons to ensure better wildlife sightings. The parks are incredibly popular during this time of the year as animals gather in large numbers around rivers and waterholes. Many animals also give birth to their young before the rain sets in, and migratory birds are present in huge numbers. In the latter part of October, Livingstone hosts its White Water Festival, whilst in Lake Kariba there’s a big international tiger fishing tournament. Livingstone Island and the famous Devil's Pool at the edge of the falls are also still open, offering travellers a once in a lifetime experience.
November marks the beginning of the rainy season in Zambia, which means national parks see fewer visitors due to some roads becoming inaccessible and the dense vegetation making it more challenging to spot animals whilst on safari. It is the start of the Green Season and although many camps and lodges close, those who remain open generally offer reduced accommodation rates. The rain, which usually arrives in the later part of the month, are generally experienced at night or late afternoon. Although the days are hot and humid it is still a good time to visit, with a greater chance of seeing newborn animals and plenty of birdlife. It is the best time to visit Zambia if you are keen to witness the annual bat migration which happens in Kasanka National Park in Central Province. Each year, Kasanka sees around five million bats move into the area for a short period of time to feed on the wild fruits of the forest.
The rain continues in the month of December but it is the best time to visit Zambia if you wish to witness the wildebeest migration and spot predators such as lions and the endangered wild dog in Liuwa National Park in the Western Province. Rains fall regularly causing the rivers to flood, the bush to thicken, and animals to spread themselves more widely within the parks. The lodges and camps are a lot quieter during the Green Season, so other than offering a more exclusive safari experience, travellers can often enjoy reduced accommodation rates. Many camps and lodges close for the rainy season so the choice of accommodation is restricted. During game drives, baby animals are more visible, predator action is at a high, and birdlife it at its best. Unfortunately, the Zambian side of Victoria Falls dries up, so if you are looking to experience the falls then it would be best to consider the Zimbabwean side.
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