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What's the best time of year to travel to Zimbabwe?

by Catherine Carey | July 11, 2023
Elephants in Zimbabwe best time to travel zimbabwe

Do you want to see in real life wild animals like elephants, zebras or baboons? Do you want to know the rich history of one of the most beautiful countries of Africa? Then you should travel to the wonderful Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is located in southern Africa and shares with Zambia the Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you desire to discover a green paradise, full of rainforests, mountains, archaeological sites of ancient civilisations and some of the best national parks in Africa, then Zimbabwe is your next destination. 

To travel to the country you will need to have the Zimbabwe eVisa. With travel agent Visagov,  you can apply for the Zimbabwe visa fully online with a simple form. Then you will receive your visa directly in your email in a matter of hours or a few days. You can also get more information about how to apply for a visa to Zimbabwe with our detailed guide.

General Climate in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has two seasons: the rainy/ wet one and the dry one. The country experiences the rainy season with high temperatures from October to March and the dry season with low temperatures from June to August. 

It is important to note that there is almost no rain during the dry season and wildlife concentrate around waterholes and rivers. After the dry and cold season, the average temperature of the country ranges between 15°C and 25°C.

Overall, Zimbabwe enjoys a temperate climate and its parks are warm year-round with 28º C. The Mana Pools, Matusadona and Gonarezhou can get hot, with temperatures soaring to 35°C.

Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

When is the best time in Zimbabwe?

You will have the best time in Zimbabwe during the dry season and more specifically from May to October. This is Zimbabwe’s winter season and it is considered the best season due to the fact that since the natural waterholes in the parks dry up and huge animal herds congregate at the lakes and rivers. It is the peak season for animal sightseeing. They are also good months to travel to Zimbabwe because there is a low malaria risk and no rain.

Even though during those months you will have the best time in Zimbabwe, you must consider that  September and October are extremely hot and dry months. Also bear in mind that the best time to travel to the Victoria Falls is at the end of the rainy season, between April and May.

From June to September: dry season

The dry season is the season to go to the Mana Pools that open each April. This is a World Heritage national park famous for its walking safaris, where you can see elephants, elands, buffaloes, impalas, waterbucks, baboons, monkeys and more animals. 

As the rainy season leaves behind luscious landscapes, you will enjoy fresher and brighter days, that will turn into quite cold nights as winter sets in. We recommend being prepared for temperatures that can be freezing. 

It can also be a fantastic time to explore the life of a Hwange ranger. You can join the park rangers at the annual game count as they check the animal numbers passing through Hwange National Park.

From October to May: wet season

If you want to avoid the peak tourist season, you can explore Zimbabwe from November to March. This is the season for exploring the country’s rich cultural history and observing migratory birds. The days are warm, with potential rain in the afternoons, but this can clear as fast as it arrives. 

This is the perfect season to observe Victoria Falls and their famous rainbows. Sightseeing these waterfalls together with the rocky outcrops in the Matopos region will allow you to dive into Zimbabwe's culture.

Herd of deers

Best festivals and Events in Zimbabwe

Africa Day

This day celebrates the creation of the Pan-Africanist Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on the 25th of May of 1963. In 2001, the OAU was replaced by the African Union. Special events are held to remember the goal of African Unity since it has not been materialized completely.

Shoko festival

The Shoko Festival in September is one of the most popular and longest-running cultural festivals in Zimbabwe. It features urban artists of the country perform and showcase their talent to the local and international crowd. 

Independence Day

This is celebrated every 18th of April. In 1980 the country got its independence after several decades of fighting. To celebrate this there are military parades, white doves released and flying displays.

The Bulawayo Music Festival

This festival is presented by the Zimbabwe Academy of Music every two years in May. Musicians play from pop to jazz, and gospel and it is one of the best platforms for artists to showcase their talent. 

Harare International Festival of Arts

This festival is held annually in April and it features local and international acts in the genres of music, theater, and visual arts. There is also a great arts and crafts market.

Day of National Unity

This is on the 22nd of December and commemorates the signing of the Unity Agreement by Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo in 1987. To celebrate this festivity, there is a football championship, whose winner is awarded the Unity Cup. In addition, there are concerts with popular music.

What to pack and tips

  • It is not recommended under any circumstances to wear military or camouflage clothing as this is considered to be only for the local army.
  • You should wear long-sleeved shirts that offer protection from the sun and mosquitoes.
  • Although during the dry season there is not much rain, you should always pack a lightweight waterproof jacket in case of rain.
  • You must be careful with the sun. Many tourists suffer from sunstroke or burns, so always carry sunscreen, and ideally a hat or light, long-sleeved clothing.
  • In addition to long-sleeved clothing, you should consider packing comfortable walking shoes and insect repellent.
  • Homosexuality is prohibited, as in much of Africa. It is a crime and is punishable by law. It is not advisable to show any affection in public.
  • It is advisable to take a first aid kit on your trip, due to the lack of medical resources.
  • It is recommended not to participate or go near any political demonstration, and it is not allowed to photograph military or government buildings.