What's the best time to visit Victoria Falls?
The best time to visit Victoria Falls is from March to June, when the falls are most spectacular following the rainy season. For additional activities like safaris and swimming in Devil’s Pool, aim for July to September, when water levels are safer and wildlife viewing is optimal.
Despite being peak season with crowds, this period offers pleasant temperatures and reduced rainfall, enhancing the experience of Victoria Falls and surrounding adventures.
Spectacular Victoria Falls is one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world. Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this waterfall is a must-visit stop if you are touring southern Africa. Victoria Falls is the world’s largest waterfall once you calculate a combination of its height and width.
That means that its sheet of water is unlike any other in the world with its thundering roar. Besides admiring the awe-inspiring falls, there are plenty of other things to do.
You can take a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River (safely away from the falls, of course), spot the wildlife in Zambezi National Park, or try high-octane activities such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, or even swimming at the very edge of the falls.
Since this natural wonder is truly one of a kind, you want to make sure that you visit during a time of year when it is at its best. We’ll show you this and more below.
The Overall Best Time to Visit Victoria Falls
The overall best time to visit Victoria Falls is between March and June, when the falls are at their most spectacular thanks to the end of the rainy season. For other activities around the falls, you’ll want to visit between July and September.
Victoria Falls is located on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Northern Zimbabwe has a sub-tropical climate according to the World Bank, meaning that it has a cool, dry winter and a sweltering hot summer.
Since Zimbabwe and Zambia are located in the Southern Hemisphere, that means that winter here is during the months of June to September, while summer is between December and February.
Zimbabwe’s rainy season is during the hotter months, with the most rain falling in November, December, and January. February is also rainy, with an average of 14 days of rain per month, but by the end of the month the rains peter out.
In March, April, and May, you only get a few days of rain per month, with almost no rain starting in May.
You want to visit at the end of the rainy season because that is when the Victoria Falls are at their most spectacular. The thundering rains of the previous season make the Zambezi River swell up, and the most water of the season fills the falls.
The more water there is in the falls, the better you’ll be able to see just how large they are. When you visit between the end of February and May, you get all the benefits of the rainy season (the high volume of water in the river) without the drawbacks.
The temperature is consistently pleasant, with highs of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit until September. Your chances of rain decrease, so you can actually hike near the falls without worrying about mud or downpours.
April to June is the best time to view the falls. You can catch lunar rainbows on nights with a full moon. This is also the best season to take a helicopter ride over the falls.
However, if you were hoping to combine your trip to Victoria Falls with some other adventures nearby, the best time to visit is later in the season, from July to September. By July, the water levels on the Zambezi River decline enough to make activities on the river safe again.
Devil’s Pool, a pool where you can swim at the very edge of the falls, is open only between mid-August and early January, when the water levels are low enough to swim safely. Most white water rafting tours only get back on the water by late July or August as it isn’t safe to navigate the river at its peak.
July to September is also the best time to go on a safari in one of the nearby national parks. According to the official site for the Lower Zambezi National Park, the best time to visit to see the animals and the waterfalls is between May and September.
As the dry season begins, the animals have less vegetation to hide behind and tend to gather near watering holes, making them easier to spot. Keep in mind that June to September tends to be peak season around Victoria Falls, so expect lots of crowds.
Least Expensive Time to Visit Victoria Falls
The least expensive time to visit Victoria Falls is during the rainy season, from November to February, when there are the fewest tourists around and you can expect to pay lower rates.
November to February is the most affordable time to visit, as many lodges and hotels near the falls offer lower rates. You can find some hotels, even high-end ones, offering discounts of 35-40% on their rooms.
Just keep in mind that you will have fewer options for where to stay because many hotels, especially lodges in Lower Zambezi National Park, close between mid-November and mid-March.
If you are flying to Zimbabwe from somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, then November to March is the best time to fly. The rainy season keeps many visitors away, so airlines lower their prices to meet lower demand.
Least Busy Time to Visit Victoria Falls
The least busy time to visit Victoria Falls is between November and March, when the rains tend to chase many potential visitors away. During the rainy season, Victoria Falls and the surrounding areas don’t get a lot of visitors due to the rainy season.
During the rainy season, you can expect near-daily showers, which affects your ability to get out on the water or go on a safari drive. Many accommodation options and businesses close during this season. However, there are some benefits to coming during this season.
At the beginning of the rainy season, the water levels are still low enough to explore some parts of Victoria Falls, such as Livingstone Island, an island at the very edge of the falls.
Devil’s Pool may close during the rainy season, but Angel’s Pool offers you the opportunity to swim in the falls year-round, just set a bit further back from the edge. During the rainy season, you can still go on safari if you pack the right gear.
You will have to bring your binoculars to spot animals, but if you’re persistent, you may even spot some babies—mating and birthing season is usually around this time. Rainy season is also the best time to go birdwatching.
Worst Time to Visit Victoria Falls
The worst time to visit Victoria Falls is during November to mid-December, at the very beginning of the rainy season. Even though this is the beginning of the rainy season, the water level still hasn’t had a chance to increase yet.
Parts of the waterfall on the Zambian side dry up completely. The falls are a long way from their peak glory. Victoria Falls may have low water levels, but that isn’t true for the rest of the area.
November and December see the area’s most intense rains. The Lower Zambezi National Park is sometimes forced to close because all of its roads turn to mud. Visiting during this time is kind of like the worst of both worlds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the best questions to help you pick the best time to visit Victoria Falls:
When is the wet season in Victoria Falls?
The wet season in Victoria Falls is from November to March, with consistent daily rains.
When is the best time to visit Zimbabwe?
To combine your visit to Victoria Falls with a tour of the rest of Zimbabwe, visit between May and August, for the cooler dry season.
Which country is better to visit Victoria Falls?
It’s better to visit Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side because there are more viewpoints and the falls on this side don’t dry up at any point.
How expensive is Victoria Falls?
Entry to Victoria Falls for foreign visitors is about $20 but paying for transportation there and accommodation can get fairly expensive.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Victoria Falls?
The best time to visit Victoria Falls is between March and October. Visit between March and May if your main goal is to see the Falls in all their glory, while later in the season is better if you also want to go rafting or on safari.