Weather and Climate

"When is the best time to go to Zimbabwe?"

- a question many travellers ask, and the answer to this is often complex. It depends on many factors, including why you're travelling, exactly where you want to visit, and your personal interests. The "best time to go" varies from person to person!

Below is a broad guide to the weather and climate of Zimbabwe; this comes from records and our experience. Please bear in mind that Africa's weather patterns are becoming more and more unpredictable, possibly due to global warming; unexpected weather conditions are no longer a rarity – we're seeing rainstorms in the middle of deserts, and dryness when rains should be falling.

Zimbabwe Month by Month

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 the Zimbabwe's wildlife concentrates around the limited water sources.

November is unpredictable; it can be hot and dry, it can also see the season's first rainfalls – and in this respect it's a very interesting month, as on successive days, you can see both weather patterns.

When to go

Zimbabwe is an all year round destination. However there are certain seasons for special interest groups to take note of:

For high adventure enthusiasts, white water rafting is most exciting when the Zambezi waters are low, generally from August to December.

Best botanical months to visit the famous Vumba Botanical Gardens are December - May when the vegetation is lush and green, and also when most plants are in flower.

Zimbabwe's popularity as a destination is gaining in leaps and bounds to the extent that seasonal differences are not as marked as in previous years. Traditionally, however, peak season is from July - October and middle season is from May - June. Note that availability is at a premium during these seasons so you will need to book in advance. These are the most comfortable times for travelling, but it is during the wet summer, from November - April, when the landscapes are a striking, fresh green. However, the abundance of water means that it is less certain that wildlife can be seen at perennial water holes.

  Victoria Falls Harare
Month Average Daily ºC
Max - Min
Rainfall
(in mm)
Relative Humidity
(%)
Average Daily ºC
Max - Min
Rainfall
(in mm)
Relative Humidity
(%)
Jan 29/19 142 51 26/16 196 57
Feb 29/18 109 52 26/16 178 53
Mar 29/18 84 48 26/16 117 52
Apr 30/15 18 39 26/13 28 44
May 28/11 10 33 23/09 13 37
Jun 25/07 3 33 21/07 3 36
Jul 25/07 0 29 21/07 0 33
Aug 28/10 0 26 23/08 3 28
Sep 32/15 5 24 26/12 5 26
Oct 34/19 20 26 28/14 28 26
Nov 33/19 81 41 27/16 97 43
Dec 31/19 122 49 26/16 163 57