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Month-by-Month Guide for Travelling to Zambia

Planning a trip to Zambia? With diverse landscapes and excellent year-round wildlife viewing, Zambia offers fantastic safaris and adventures no matter when you visit. However, the best time to visit Zambia varies slightly depending on your interests. Use this month-by-month guide to help decide when to go to Zambia to maximize your experience.

Zambia provides an authentic safari destination that is more affordable and less crowded than many other African countries. Read on to learn more about Zambia's seasons, weather patterns, and the pros and cons of visiting each month. From Victoria Falls spectacles to peak wildlife viewing, find out the best time of year for your ideal Zambian holiday.

best time to visit Zambia

Overview of Zambia's Seasons

Zambia has three main seasons that impact travel:

  • Green season - December to March. Increased rain leads to lush vegetation and flooded plains.

  • Emerald season - April and May. Moderate temperatures and rainfall.

  • Dry season - June to November. Cooler temps, prime game viewing, and Victoria Falls at its fullest flow.

The dry season from June to November is considered the best time to visit for most tourists, with July to October being the peak safari season. However, the green and emerald seasons both have advantages too depending on your interests.

Month-by-Month Travel Guide to the Best Time to Visit Zambia

Here is a detailed month-by-month breakdown of weather patterns, events, and the best things to do in Zambia:


January and February fall in the middle of Zambia's green, rainy season. Rains start tapering off a bit by February.

Pros: Emerald greens and raging rivers. Abundant birdwatching. Fewer tourists and lower prices.

Cons: Difficult road conditions. Occasional wash-outs.

Best for: Birders, budget travelers, off-the-beaten path adventures


In March, the rains start to ease and temperatures remain high. Wildlife is dispersed due to rains.

Pros: River rafting and flows at their peak. Low season rates.

Cons: Still a lot of rain expected. Mosquitos.

Best for: Adventurers, budget travel


April is one of the best times to visit Victoria Falls as flow is still heavy, but rains begin decreasing. Temperatures cool slightly.

Pros: Great views of Victoria Falls. Moderate crowds and prices. Comfortable temps for activities.

Cons: Some areas may still have rain.

Best for: Victoria Falls, adventure, budget travel


May marks the start of Zambia's dry season. Days are warm, nights are cool. Wildlife starts congregating around water sources.

Pros: Great time for safaris. Low chance of rain. Great views of the falls.

Cons: Slightly cooler temperatures. Busier than previous months.

Best for: Safaris, Victoria Falls, photography


June is the start of Zambia's peak tourist season with excellent weather and ideal conditions for game viewing.

Pros: Dry weather perfect for safaris. Wildlife abundant. Moderate temps and low crowds early in month.

Cons: Cooler temps than previous months. Tourism starts increasing.

Best for: Safaris, wildlife photography, solitude


July through October are the most popular months to visit Zambia, especially for safari goers. Dry conditions allow for excellent game viewing. Days are warm, nights are cool and fresh. Wildlife concentrates around the river and waterholes. From August to October, you can catch the spectacular zebra migration in Liuwa Plains National Park. September and October are the busiest months.

Pros: Prime safari viewing. Mostly clear, sunny days. Some migratory animals.

Cons: Peak tourism leads to higher rates and crowds. Cooler mornings and evenings.

Best for: Safaris, wildlife photography, dry season activities


November still offers good safari viewing before rains start. Temperatures rising with a mix of weather towards the end. One of the best times to visit to combine Victoria Falls and safari.

Pros: Moderate crowds and rates. Increasing temps. Vibrant wildlife action.

Cons: Possible rain by late November. Hotter than previous months.

Best for: Safaris, Victoria Falls, combo trips


In December, the humidity and temperatures climb rapidly as the rains start approaching. Wildlife disperses with the onset of the wet season. Victoria Falls flow increases.

Pros: Rising water levels at the falls. Low tourism early in month. Festive ambiance.

Cons: Very hot, humid weather. Rains start mid-month. Safari viewing declines.

Best for: Victoria Falls, holidays, beaches

In Summary: Best Time to Visit Zambia

  • Dry season (June-Nov) - Best for safaris

  • June - Excellent wildlife, not too crowded or cool

  • July-Oct - Peak safari viewing, great for photography

  • Nov - Combine safaris, falls, wildlife migration

  • Green season (Dec-March) - Great for budget travel

  • April - See Victoria Falls at its fullest flow

  • Jan-Feb - Low rates, lush landscapes

  • Year-round - Hiking, culture, tours

Zambia offers wonderful safaris, scenery and adventure all year round. Use this guide to help decide the best time visit Zambia to match your interests whether it's budget travel, photography, waterfall spectacle or peak wildlife viewing.


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