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When is the Best Time to Visit Victoria Falls?

by Lara Behrens
28th March 2018 Staff Recommended
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Ask around and everyone will have a different opinion on when is the best time to visit Victoria Falls. This is because everyone has their own preferences on activities, weather and overall priorities.

There is certainly no bad time to visit the Falls, with each and every month of the year offering something unique.

At the end of the day it's all going to boil down to what you want to see and do, so let's take you through the year month by month and let you make up your mind on what suits you...

Victoria Falls in January
Victoria Falls in January

Should I visit Victoria Falls in January / February?

✅ Attention shutter bugs! In January the scenery is lush and green, with lots of wild flowers so this makes for some lovely, colourful photographs.
✅ It is low season so you can expect to pay lower rates and have fewer tourists.
✅ Watch out for the cute factor! During the wet season animals give birth so you can see plenty of little newborn animals around.
✅ For all you Twitchers this is a great time for bird watching. Many birds are in full plumage and you should be able to see a lot of migratory birds in the area in January and February.
✅ Viewing the falls at this time of year is impressive! There are parts of the mile-wide cliff face that are exposed so you can see all the way to the bottom. There is a decent amount of spray and thunder so the overall experience is rather awe-inspiring!
✅ The water levels on the Zambezi River are low enough at this time of year to visit Livingstone Island.

❌ You can expect short afternoon showers and it is rare that they actually have a negative impact on your safari.
❌ On safari you might expect to see less game. Because there is more in the way of vegetation the animals may go into hiding, and don't need to congregate at water holes when there is so much water around.
❌ This time of year can be quite hot and humid, which for some people could be a bit uncomfortable.
❌ You can expect the mosquitoes to be more prevalent during the rainy season.

Victoria Falls in March
Victoria Falls in March

Should I visit Victoria Falls in March / April?

✅ The rains have started to clear up by now and certainly by April you can expect clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine.
✅ The vegetation in March and April has started to thin out a bit as a result and animals start to gather around the water sources which makes the wildlife viewing much more reliable.
✅ This is the best time to view the falls from the air because of the spectacular spray so we would highly recommend you try out the Flight of Angels.
✅ April is famed for its lunar rainbows - at the time of the full moon.

❌ You can expect the mosquitoes to be more prevalent during the rainy season.
❌ This time of year is when the Zambezi River is in full flow. This brings about a huge spray that tends to block the view of Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls in May
Victoria Falls in May

Should I visit Victoria Falls in May / June?

✅ In May the spray begins to clear and by June you can start to get better photographs.
✅ This is one of the best  times of the year to see the lunar rainbows, however only around the time of the full moon.
✅ The vegetation continues to thin out and water is becoming more scarce so the game viewing is becoming more successful.

❌ Having said this the foliage cover can be a little high which can still obstruct the view of the animals.
❌ Bring a jumper though as it can be cool in the mornings and evenings, especially on your morning and evening game drives.
❌ The spray may still obstruct the view of the falls, depending on the flow of the Zambezi River.

Victoria Falls in July
Victoria Falls in July

Should I visit Victoria Falls in July / August?

✅ The view of the Falls is optimum, with very little spray.
✅ The Falls are still pretty full, and you will get wet, but you can expect to get some excellent photos of the falls.
✅ Wildlife viewing is superb at this time of year.
✅ The water levels on the Zambezi River are low enough at this time of year to visit Livingstone Island.
✅ By mid July  the water levels have dropped enough so that you can visit the Angel's Pool.
✅ This is one of the best  times of the year to see the lunar rainbows, however only around the time of the full moon.

❌ It can still be cold in the mornings and evenings so bring some woolies, especially for your game drives when you can be in open vehicles.
❌ You are now entering the high season but even so the wildlife parks aren't crowded. Victoria Falls can be at this time however.

Victoria Falls in September
Victoria Falls in September

Should I visit Victoria Falls in September / October?

✅  For you dare devils out there, the water levels have dropped so much at this point that you can now visit the Devil's Pool, as well as Livingstone Island.
✅ This is the optimum time for wildlife viewing.
✅ This is the optimum time of year for white water rafting.
✅ Once again this is a good time to see Victoria Falls.

❌ However by October the flow of the Zambezi has usually slowed down quite a bit so the Falls aren't exactly at their most mighty.
❌ You can expect the highest number of tourists at this time of year but in the wildlife parks this still isn't a problem and shouldn't negatively impact your safari experience.
❌ Temperatures in lower lying areas can reach up to 32°C which may be uncomfortable for some.

Victoria Falls in November
Victoria Falls in November

Should I visit Victoria Falls in November / December?

✅ By November because the water has pretty much dried up in a lot of places the empty gorges are an incredible sight to behold!
✅ You can also expect to pay lower rates as we are now out of peak season.
✅ Whilst on safari it is birthing season so once again there are plenty of babies to be spotted!
✅  This is the ideal season for bird watchers.
✅The water levels have dropped so much though that you can now visit The Devil's Pool, as well as The Angel's Pool and Livingstone Island.
✅ For you adrenaline junkies, this is a great time to experience the famed white water rafting!

❌ Wildlife viewing can be more challenging during the green season.
❌ This is the beginning of the green season, so you can expect some rains.
❌ The humidity combined with the higher temperatures in the low-lying parks can make it feel uncomfortably hot.
❌ The Zambezi river is at its lowest and the view of Victoria Falls isn't at its best.

 

ANGEL'S POOL & DEVIL'S POOL... if you dare

The Devil’s Pool and The Angel’s Pool are natural infinity pools located on the edge of the world’s biggest waterfall, accessible from the Zambian side and a certain bucket list item for any of you adrenaline junkies!

The Devil’s Pool is the one you will have heard of but it can only be visited in the months of May to October, when the water is at its lowest level.

The Angel's Pool is the lesser-known of the two but still just as exciting and this can be visited when the water is at its highest level ie from mid-July through to January.

We can never guarantee that you can visit either of these two pools as water levels will be the deciding factor as to whether or not it is safe. 

LUNAR RAINBOWS AT VICTORIA FALLS

Each full moon the Victoria Falls rainforest opens in the evening with especially organised tours to give you the opportunity to witness the elusive lunar rainbows. Victoria Falls is one of the only places in the world where you can see them relatively easily and is actually one of the most extraordinary experiences to behold.

Tips for seeing a Lunar Rainbow:

  • The best time to view Lunar rainbows, or moonbows is when the water levels are at their highest and there is sufficient spray, ie from April to July.
  • Viewing of moonbows is entirely weather dependent, and cloud cover can hinder their visibility. Be prepared for the tour to be cancelled if this is the case.
  • Make sure that you take a good torch with you!
  • We recommend heading to the Eastern Cataract on the Zambian side where the moon rises behind you and you can get the best photos of the falls in the background.
  • Take photos with a long exposure so that you can see the colours, which are much fainter than a day-time rainbow.

 

Full moon dates 2018 to see the Lunar Rainbows:

Tuesday, 2 Jan * Wednesday, 31 Jan * Friday, 2 Mar * Saturday, 31 Mar * Monday, 30 Apr Tuesday, 29 May * Thursday, 28 Jun * Friday, 27 Jul Sunday, 26 Aug * Tuesday, 25 Sep * Wednesday, 24 Oct Friday, 23 Nov * Saturday, 22 Dec

 

Victoria Falls is an extraordinary destination, no matter the time of year. Make sure that you use this handy guide to help you to decide which month best suits your needs, so that you can truly make the most of your visit to Victoria Falls - "The Smoke that Thunders".

It is important to note that this varies from year to year and the information above should only be used as a guideline.
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Zambia or Zimbabwe?

Victoria Falls sits right on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, so which side offers the best viewing of Victoria Falls? 

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