Zambia is home to some of Africa’s most beautiful, most exciting walking safaris as well as one of the largest waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls. Whether you choose to travel for the game and the ‘Big Five’, a close-up glimpse of the spectacular waterfall, or the abundant nature and birdlife, Zambia won’t disappoint. And there’s something to do and see all year round. With such an impressive list of attractions, there are plenty of things that you draw you in during wet or dry season and some of our favourite highlights include the 22,500 square kilometre Kafue National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park on the North bank of the Zambezi River and South Luangwa National Park which lies South of the Luangwa River.
Geography and Climate
Though a landlocked country, there are three great rivers to provide fertile land for its people and great watering spots for animals alike, making it a wonderful destination with a varied landscape to suit every kind of safari goer. Travellers to Zambia may face some challenges when it comes to getting around though; compared to its neighbouring African destinations, Zambia in comparison does not have the most advanced road networks and connections, making it a logistical nightmare for those who are not prepared. But because of the country’s off-the-beaten-path appeal and the laid back crowds, anyone who travels here will find the experience to be utterly rewarding. Zambia lies within the tropics but because of the country sitting on a plateau, the weather rarely becomes unbearably hot.
Dry Season: May to October
May or October is the winter season in Zambia and is the driest time of year to travel. Game viewing is better due to there being less vegetation and the predictability of animals gathering around waterholes. Expect the skies to be clear, no rain and very few mosquitoes. This is also the best season for seeing Victoria Falls; in particularly June to September when the water is relatively low, meaning that spray back won’t obstruct your view or create photographic challenges.
What to pack: If you are visiting Victoria Falls, be sure to pack waterproof layers for the spray and keep camera equipment wrapped up in waterproof material. For game safaris, be sure to pack a selection of both warm and cool clothing.
Wet Season: November to April
This is a great time to travel if you are after lower rates and smaller crowds. The wet season (November to April) is the ideal time for bird watching as migratory birds will be visible. Even though this is the wet season, rain showers are usually very short and will not interrupt the activities of your day. But one thing to keep in mind is that whilst the Victoria Falls flow all year round on the Zimbabwe side, in Zambia the water flow can come to a halt during the months of October to December. If you are planning to see the waterfall in Zambia, be sure to plan your trip from January onwards.
What to pack: Pack light waterproofs for rain showers.