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Visiting Victoria Falls, here is our “best times” guide season by season
Victoria Falls is one for the bucket list. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the world’s largest falling curtain of water, the adrenaline capital of Africa; must we go on? But, with so many opportunities on offer, it is important that you go at the perfect time of year for what you want to experience.
Victoria Falls has its seasons, as does every destination. It would suck if you came during high-season, wanting to take a dip in the daring and appropriately named, Devils Pool, but it was closed due to the water levels being too high! So, to all you adventurers out there wanting to see this natural splendour; this is for you!
Let’s get one thing straight, Victoria Falls is HOT! One of the hottest places in all of Zimbabwe. So, if you are looking for an escape from the Northern Hemisphere winter, you are coming to the right place. There is no ‘best’ time to visit because each season offers something spectacular & unique to that particular season. Deciding when to visit this natural wonder is mostly up to what you want to do, while you are here.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, looking for a thrilling adventure, taking to the mighty Zambezi river, or even to the ultimate natural rock pool, right on the edge; the time is during the low season. But, if you are wanting to see the sheer power, force and magnificence of the Falls, high season is the time for you.
Check out our ultimate guide to discovering the Falls, at the perfect time, so you can get everything you could hope for out of your trip.
The high-water season is between March-May, just after the rainy season; when the falls have had time to fill up between November- February. The falls are now at their fullest and the volume of flowing water is outstanding. If you want to see the falls at their most dramatic, now is the time!
The days are hot and evenings warm. We are out of the extreme heat of September- December, but it’s not quite winter yet (more on a Victoria Falls winter to come.) The spray from the Falls is heavier and more extreme than you could ever imagine. During your rainforest walk, you will get totally soaked.
Now, we aren’t talking a small shower. The spray is more powerful than a high-pressure shower! There is no escaping these, but they make your rainforest experience totally unforgettable. Better yet, who else can say, “I have stood right in the spray of Victoria Falls?”
During this season, it is not uncommon for a short sharp thunderstorm to clear the heat momentarily, which creates an eye-catching sky!
So, if your ultimate wish is to see the falls in its total element, this is the time for you!
Prime Time for:
- Rainforest Walk
- Viewing the Falls with the highest volume of water plunging into the gorge
The low-season falls between August/September to December and it is an awesome season!
The rain is a memory of the past and water levels are returning to their lowest, right before the rainy season is due to commence again (in Mid-November).
It is the perfect opportunity to view the falls, with less of the heavy downfall of water and if you are keen to check out the geological features of the physical falls, now is your time. There is still plenty of water, gushing from the Falls, but not at the same kind of level as during the high season. If you venture over into Zambia and check out the Falls from there, you will see hardly any, if any, water falling!
You will experience a much lighter spray of water during your rainforest walk, and the site is much less crowded.
But this is the HOTTEST time of the year and trust us – it’s HOT! Not only is Victoria Falls one of the hottest locations in Zimbabwe, but this is the hottest time of the year for one of the hottest locations in Southern Africa (you see where we are going with this?) If you are an extreme heat lover, this will be an awesome time for you. But, extreme heat hater; think carefully!
The best part of this hot and dry season? The lower water levels allow for certain water-based activities to happen, which aren’t available during the high season.
This is your perfect opportunity to take a dip on top of the Falls, in the appropriately named Devil’s Pool, Africa’s ultimate infinity pool. This natural rock pool is nestled right on the top of the falls. You can test your inner daredevil, as you lean over the edge, seeing the Falls from an angle like no other!
Definitely one for the bucket list. This awesome attraction is only open during the low season, between mid-August to mid-January, so don’t miss the opportunity. This is also the time of year to take to the mighty and iconic Zambezi river for white water rafting. For all you daredevils…this is the season for you.
But this season does not just appeal to adventure seekers…queue wildlife enthusiasts!
Although this is a very hot season, it is the best time for wildlife lovers to discover all the glory of Africa’s wildlife and where better than with the mighty Falls as your backdrop!
Game viewing sights coming thick and fast as wildlife congregates in their huge numbers to watering holes, due to the low levels of water in other areas. Vegetation is much thinner, making it easier to spot more game on an incredible game drive.
Prime Time for:
- Water-Based activities: Devils Pool, White water rafting
- Game viewing and Safaris
If you are looking for a good combination of the seasons, this time could be your alternative. But we will warn you now, January-February is peak rainy season, so be prepared for some rainfall and cloud coverage.
June-August is the main winter period, which is considerably cooler than the rest of the year. But these points should not be negative, in fact, it could be the best time of year for those looking for cooler temperatures (June- August) or those wanting refreshing rain breaks during the summer (rains in January-February).
This is where you can expect medium to high waters; a good balance between the two seasons. The water levels sit comfortably between high and low, allowing for most water activities to take place; while the Falls themselves are topped up, but the bottom of the falls is also visible. This is considered one of the best times of the year to visit the Falls.
Prime Time for:
- Seeing the Falls
- Taking part in water-based activities
- Enjoy both seasons, with more flexibility with what is on offer
The winter season
but not as cold as you may know it!
June- August are the winter months in Zimbabwe. So yes, temperatures are not as scorching as during the summer months and it is considerably cooler. But, don’t forgot what we said about Victoria Falls is one of the hottest places in Southern Africa. Victoria Falls remains warm all year around.
When we say winter, we are not talking snow boots and big thick jackets during the day; however, we would recommend you bring some warmer clothes for the evenings, to avoid the chill of the evenings and early mornings, compared to the day. The days will still be warm and pleasant and for all you extreme heat haters; this could be your ideal time.
The rainy season kicks off around Mid-November, until around late March. Torrential downpours and large thunderstorms are not uncommon during this time. The weather remains warm and these storms are usually quickly followed by blue skies and plenty of sun. Still peak summertime, you can expect hot weather.
It is worthy of note that the Zambezi National Park could be closed for a short period of time, if the roads are drenched from the rain, between mid-November- December.
Prime Time for:
- Viewing the Falls
- Water-Based Activities are mostly available (before the Falls get too full!)
Whatever you are looking for in your African adventure, it is most likely Victoria Falls offers it! There are opportunities and a season for everyone.
What to find out more about Victoria Falls and what’s on offer? Check this out!