When to visit Victoria Falls and what to do there!

1 February 2019

We’ve included in this post, a month-by-month travel calendar for the best time to visit Victoria Falls, including weather information, the flow of the Falls and what seasonal activities are running.

December - March

This is the height of summer and the rainy season. You can expect dramatic thunderstorms in the afternoons, especially during hot and humid days, and the rain showers are a welcome break from the sweltering 30+ degree heat. The Zambezi River is low in December but steadily rises as rain water arrives with a vengeance from upstream. Game viewing in the National Parks and in Chobe (Botswana) can be limited, with animals moving inland and to more remote areas, due to the abundance of water. Visibility can be reduced because of the lush, thick bush.

Weather: hot (over 30 degrees), with intermittent rain showers
Malaria watch: peak season for mosquitos, ensure you are well-covered and carry strong repellent. Malaria medication is a must
River levels: low in December, swelling and becoming more spectacular into the new year
Rafting: the season closes in February due to high water levels
Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool: often closed in January and February due to high water levels
Game viewing: thick bush can hinder game viewing and animals are more spread out

Photo credit - Africa Geographic

Victoria Falls in January

 

April - June

Despite the rainy season ending, this is peak high water season, and the volume of water coming over the Falls is at its largest. Prepare to get drenched as you wander through the rainforest (a plastic mac is an absolute must), and visibility can be limited at some of the lookout points. This is the best time to take a helicopter ‘flight of angels’ for a birds-eye (and dry!) view of the Falls. 

Weather: very pleasant, with average temperatures of 25-30 degrees
Malaria watch: still a popular time for mosquitos, ensure you are well-covered and carry strong repellent. Malaria medication is a must
River levels: the Zambezi River is usually in flood and at its highest level
Rafting: the season is usually still closed (sometimes opens in late June)
Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool: closed due to high water and strong currents
Game viewing: thick bush can hinder game viewing and animals are more spread out

Photo credit - Trek Earth

Victoria Falls in April

 

July and August

The most popular time to visit Victoria Falls and the town can get busy with tourists. Visibility from the lookout points in the rainforest is excellent and, despite being winter, the days are beautifully warm and sunny - the rains long gone. This is the best time for game viewing as the bush thins out and animals come from the dusty interior, to drink from waterholes and rivers.

Weather: very pleasant, with average temperatures of 22-28 degrees
Malaria watch: fewer mosquitos, but ensure you are well-covered and carry strong repellent. Malaria medication is a must
River levels: Zambezi River is lower, calmer and serene
Rafting: the season opens as soon as water is at a safe level
Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool: open as soon as water is at a safe level
Game viewing: at its best as the animals congregate around water points and rivers

Victoria Falls in August

 

September - November

Some say September is the best time to view the Falls and the photography opportunities are at their best. The cliff face is exposed and the amazing geological formation is clear to see. The spray is less, the days are blue and clear and there are fewer visitors. During late October and November, the Falls may almost dry up completely which is a unique view in itself. The perfect time to hike down into the gorge for a different perspective!

Weather: days are warming up, from 30 degrees in September to almost 40 in October and November
Malaria watch: the mosquitos are increasing, so ensure you are well-covered and carry strong repellent. Malaria medication is a must
River levels: Zambezi River is at its lowest
Rafting: peak white-water rafting season
Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool: open
Game viewing: at its best as the animals congregate around water points and rivers

Image credit - Africa Geographic

Victoria Falls in October

 

Read our linked blog post What to do in Victoria Falls, for details of popular and less well known activities to enjoy during your stay in Africa’s adventure capital! For families, see our suggestions for Family-friendly activities in Victoria Falls.

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