When to go
If you want to see big game, the season is from July to mid-November. The best time is in the really hot dry months from September to November when game concentrations increase at water sources - Luangwa River, the Zambezi River, Kafue River, springs and waterholes.
Bear in mind that the temperatures in the Zambezi and Luangwa Valley can be uncomfortably hot during our "suicide months" of October and November. The game tends to disperse in the rainy season and the bush becomes thicker making game viewing more of a challenge. Birdlife is generally good all year round - we see a wide variety of summer visitors from September to April.
The rainy season from mid-November to mid-March can make some roads impassable. Canoe Safaris on the lower Zambezi aren't always the best fun if we have a few days of solid rain - this is very unusual though, the normal pattern is to have short and very dramatic thunderstorms followed by good weather. Most of the walking safaris and canoe safaris run throughout the year. Some of the Lodges close during the rainy season. The east of Zambia and higher areas usually receive more rain the lower lying regions like the Zambezi Valley.
For fishing safaris, nutrient levels largely dictate yields, so fishing tends to improve with a rise in lake level and fresh inflow on the Zambezi river from November to June. The hot months are the best for tiger fishing. Temperatures at night generally mirror those of the day - hot in the day, hot at night. From April onwards, night time temeratures start to drop making it easier to sleep but start to rise again around September.
Walking safari camps generally open in June when the roads are accessible and the bush is drying out. You will need a fleece in the early morning and a thick blanket on night drives but the days are generally warm and sunny without a cloud in the sky.
For white water rafting the Zambezi River water level dictates - low water level means high adrenaline. The best time is during low water from about mid-August to mid-December. A period follows for a few months before the waters rise, of rapids being closed because they're impassable. Each season offers different experiences for example the Victoria Falls are at their most spectacular in April and May after the rainy season but are generally regarded as a year round destination bearing in mind visitors to Zambia usually stay in Livingstone on the Zambian side.
If you want to miss the crowds then come in January, February, May, June or November. In each case the weather is good although you may encounter some thunderstorms in between sunny bursts during January and February. Prices are generally discounted. Our "high season" is from July through to the end of October but in some cases includes June as well.