When to go on safari in Zambia: Quick reference

Sarah Kingdom
By Sarah Kingdom

In my experience, the overall best time to go on safari in Zambia is between May and June.

This is the tail-end of the rainy season and the ground can still be muddy, but there will be few other tourists around and the seasonal camps and lodges will be beginning to open again. You may be able to secure low season prices.

Victoria falls zambia

Finding a good time for safari in Zambia and seeing Vic Falls can be tricky but not impossible

July to October is dry season and is peak safari season in Zambia, with visitor numbers at their highest. The vegetation has dried out, making it easier to spot animals and, as water sources dry up, wildlife tends to concentrate along rivers and permanent waterholes, making them easier to find.

As an added bonus, the temperatures are milder, and bugs are few, making your trip a little more pleasant. This is also the best time for walking safaris, with the bush being drier and easier to navigate on foot.

The weather heats up in October, restricting game drives and walking safaris to the early morning and evening to avoid the soaring temperatures.

Rainy, green, or ‘emerald’ season begins in November and extends until April. This is low season: many of the parks and lodges are shut and washed-out roads can make travel difficult. But you can get some great deals on accommodation, there are fewer tourists, and the animals never disappear, they’re just more challenging to find. If you’re an avid birder then January, February and March are the time to visit, as the bird-watching is superb.

The best time to go on safari in Zambia AND see Victoria Falls

The two most popular activities in Zambia are safaris and seeing Victoria Falls. Unfortunately the best times to do each differ, but there is a small window when you can see them both at their best. Generally, for the best wildlife viewing in the main parks visit in the dry winter months (July to October). The best time to get great photos of Victoria Falls at their fullest is June to August. So, if you want to do both, July and August are the best months to visit Zambia!

About the author

The best time to go on safari in Zambia

Sarah Kingdom

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to Africa at the age of 21, Sarah Kingdom is a mountain climber and guide, traveller, yoga teacher, trail runner, and mother of two. When she is not climbing or traveling she lives on a cattle ranch in central Zambia. She guides climbing and trekking trips worldwide, including taking climbers up Mount Kilimanjaro numerous times a year.

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