Best time to visit Zimbabwe & Botswana
on 22 Jan 2016
Weather for Zimbabwe and Botswana is different to South Africa which mirrors our weather. When it’s summer here, it’s summer in South Africa - unless of course you go to the Drakensburg where you'll have to rug up, year-round.
In Zimbabwe, the rains come principally in December, January, February and March. The further north you are, the earlier the precipitation arrives and the later it leaves. Zimbabwe's higher eastern areas usually receive more rainfall than the lower-lying western ones.
By April and May most of the rain is gone, leaving a verdant setting - which is starting to dry out. Especially in more southerly and higher locations, the night-time temperatures start to drop.
The nights in June, July and August become much cooler, so don't forget to bring some warmer clothes, in case you want to spend a night outside; the days are still clear and warm. For Zimbabwe, this is the start of the "peak season" – days are often cloudless and game sightings continually increase.
Into September and October the temperatures rise once again. Zimbabwe's lower-lying rift valley – Mana Pools – can get very hot in October. During this time, you'll see some fantastic game, as Zimbabwe's wildlife concentrates around the limited water sources.
November is unpredictable; it can be hot and dry and can also see the season's first rainfalls – in this respect it's a very interesting month, as on successive days, you can see both weather patterns.
My suggestion is July-September - the best time to go weather-wise for either Zimbabwe or Botswana.
You don’t want to be at Victoria Falls when it is a dry as a bone, but you don’t want to be there when it is flooded out to the point where your zoom lens is continually misted over. You'll get nothing but rubbish photos!
Go December through March and you’ll need a set of floaties and a life buoy!