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What's the best time of year to go on safari?

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 - Lake Kariba, the Zambezi River and at springs. Bear in mind that the temperatures in the Zambezi 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 and canoe safaris run throughout the year. Some of the Lodges close during the rainy season. Matusadona is not a problem year round, Mana Pools is best approached via a canoe safari in the rainy season.

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.

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.

If you want to miss the crowds then come in February, June or November. In each case the weather is good and prices are generally discounted. Our "high season" is from July through to the end of October.

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UK Head Office
Ermington Mill, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9NT
Tel: +44 1548 830059 Fax: +44 870 094 1881
Mobile: +44 7900 582746 

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The Heights, Kariba, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 61 3351  Fax: +263 61 2291
Cell: +263 91 343616 
e-mail: info@zambezi.com

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