If you are looking to travel to Africa for an amazing vacation then the time of year is an extremely important factor to take into consideration. Of course, if you are planning to include visits to multiple locations spread over numerous countries in an organised safari tour or solo multi-country adventure, planning the perfect time to visit all is near impossible. With that said though, one such destination to think about with more thought is when to visit Victoria Falls. That is why I have made the best time to visit Victoria Falls blog and tried to give you as much travel advice as possible to assist you and your planning.
The best time to visit Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls climates
Victoria Falls is situated around 900m above sea level with a subtropical weather climate that basically consists of two different seasons throughout the year, which are commonly referred to as the dry and wet seasons. The dry season generally runs from mid-May to mid-August while the wet season occurs from mid-November to the middle of March. The time between the changing of the dry to wet season in the months of Sept and November is known as the build-up and this is often when the hottest temperatures occur throughout the year and is certainly not the best time to visit Victoria Falls for most people.
The dry season in Victoria Falls
During the dry season, which as mentioned runs from between the months of May and August, the days are usually dry and mild with cold temperatures experienced throughout the night. Even though it is referred to as the winter season you can expect the day time temperature to be a comfortable 25-30º at the start of the season and still a respectable 20-28º in the months of July and August.
The wet season in Victoria Falls
The wet and wild weather produces some spectacular thunderstorms and periods of potentially hard rain. This occurs often overnight and can make for a period of humid conditions especially if staying in accommodation, best valued accommodation option in Victoria Falls, without air conditioning during this time. The daily temperatures can exceed well over 30º and often shady areas can become your best friend when the middle of the day hits.
The best time to view Victoria Falls
With the above information taken into account, most people will quickly choose the dry season as the best time to visit Victoria Falls. They are not generally wrong, as this is the most comfortable weather conditions to visit. It is commonly agreed upon that between July and August is the peak tourist season and is known as the best time to visit Victoria Falls.
Before just automatically choosing to travel to Victoria Falls between the months of July and August though we should look at some other important facts. As it is the end of the dry season during this period, the waterfalls themselves are running at a lower rate with some dry spots now occurring across the 1.7km wide edge. This time of year is also not guaranteed to produce the amazing “rainbow” that appears above the waterfall when the mist spray and the sunshine collide. Another important factor could include the white water rafting option in the Zambezi River and if you want to experience this. July and August are the months that this is just beginning to start up again, as the high water levels from the wet season are beginning to ease.
Pros and Cons for each time of year
December to March:
- Can witness some amazing lightning and thunderstorm shows
- During this middle period is generally best to view the waterfalls
- White water rafting is still operating until February
- The “rainbow” over Victoria Falls is at its best
- Devils Pool can be closed from January
- The weather is hot and humid
- Can get caught in thunderstorms
- Not recommended to be camping in a tent this time of the year
April to June:
- “Rainbow” appears often throughout the day
- The beautiful daily temperature of between 25-30º
- Best time to do a helicopter scenic flight
- Game viewing in nearby Chobe National Park is great
- Peak high water season and Victoria Falls can be impossible to see other than via a scenic flight
- Rafting season is usually closed due to high water levels
- Devils Pool is closed
July and August:
- The peak season for tourists (maybe a con)
- Excellent visibility of the waterfalls
- “Rainbow” is still possible
- Game Viewing is at its best at Chobe and nearby National Parks
- Rafting season starts
- Devils Pool is open
- Temperature between 20-28 degrees
- The peak season for tourists (maybe a positive)
- Nighttime temperature can be cold
September to November:
- You will likely be one of the few tourists visiting the area
- Excellent viewing of the falls on the Zimbabwean side
- The peak season for the white-water rafting
- Fantastic game viewing along the banks of the Chobe River
- If there when the rains first hit you can witness the change from dusty dry land to a green oasis
- Devils Pool is open
- The waterfall is at its lowest and dries up completely in some sections
- Most likely not going to witness the “rainbow” over Victoria Falls
- Extremely hot temperatures at times going over 40 degrees
- Too hot and humid to camp to camp for most people
Conclusion on when to visit Victoria Falls
In the end, it will ultimately come down to the activities you want to achieve when you are visiting Victoria Falls and possibly the other destinations you also want to include on your trip. If your sole purpose is to ride the wildest white-water rafting circuit in the world then September to November is the perfect time for you. Whereas people looking to combine a trip to the falls with the best time to complete game viewing drives then July and August might be the best. If you want to see the waterfall at its most powerful from the air via helicopter then make sure you plan to be there at the end of April or May.
I personally visited Victoria Falls at the end of November start of December and found that the best time to visit Victoria Falls for me. I was able to do all of the activities I wanted, had great game viewing trips in Chobe National Park and the wet season had started upriver from Victoria Falls meaning the falls were flowing with a good amount of water and I was able to witness the “rainbow”.
The best activities to do while at Victoria Falls
Now you know when to visit Victoria Falls depending on what your interests are when visiting but you may not know exactly what to do while there. It offers some amazing day trips, overnight excursions and half-day adventures depending on your wants and desires. I have made a list of two options varying on if you are after some “adrenaline activities” or something “tamer or family-friendly”. They cover 9 of the best activities to do in each category in more detail. Below is a sneak peak of the activities mentioned in each list.
- Bungee Jumping at Victoria Falls
- Devil’s Pool – Swim on the Edge of Victoria Falls
- Helicopter & Microlight Flights over Vic Falls – Flight of Angels
- White Water Rafting on the Zambezi River
- Zambezi River Canoeing Trips at Vic Falls
- Victoria Falls Canopy Tours
- Abseiling at Vic Falls
- Tandem Skydiving at Victoria Falls
- High Wire Activities – Zipline, Gorge Swing & Flying Fox
Tame and Family Friendly Options
- Zambezi River Sunset Boat Cruises above Vic Falls
- Cultural boma dinner & village tour
- Chobe National Park Safari
- Half-day Zambezi Canoeing Trip
- Vic Falls Helicopter Flight of Angels
- Wildlife Safaris at Vic Falls & Chobe Day Trips
- Horse-riding Safaris at Vic Falls
- Visit Victoria Falls waterfall
- Traditional Village Tour
These are 18 of the most fun and interesting activities on offer in Victoria Falls but by no means the only ones. Everyone is different but Victoria Falls will most certainly have activities that will interest you while your visiting. If you looking for any more advice on restaurant suggestions, accommodation recommendations or visa requirements I have a full resource of informative blog posts to assist you with Victoria Falls and the wider African region.
Organise Your Trip: Travel Advice and Tricks I Personally Use
Book Your Flight
Heading to either Skyscanner or Momondo are my methods of choice for this. They are my favourite as they search for flights from different companies all over the world. You can filter the results to suit your needs and ensure you land the best price every-time.
Book Your Accommodation
This is an important part of any holiday you’re going on. Read all the reviews and get the right accommodation via TripAdvisor. They even show you the best prices available at the time for that room from suppliers like Booking.com.For booking a hostel your best bet is to start with HostelWorld or possible even use CouchSurfing if you’re on a real budget.
Recommended Accommodation in Victoria Falls:
- The best-valued accommodation option in Victoria Falls is without a doubt Shearwater’s Explorers Village
- See other top-rated hotels in Victoria Falls
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is a must these days so you have a piece of mind you’re covered for anything that could go wrong while on your trip. I now never go on a trip away without travel insurance. I’ve been using World Nomads for the past few years.
My favourite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (little more expensive but covers everything)
- SafetyWing (cheaper option to just cover you for health issues)
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
As I have been travelling frequently over the last few years I’ve learnt some great tools to use for saving money when travelling. I have a travel resource page that lists all the trusted companies I personally use and rely on. I think you will find them good as well.
The Best Place To Book Your Tours
If you are someone you likes to have the best tours in one place and read reviews from other travellers about their personal experiences of each different tour then the best platform to use is GetYourGuide.
They offer the best tours, have money-back offers in case your trip is cancelled and ensure the price of each tour is the lowest possible.
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