Rainbow in the Gorge
Victoria Falls enjoys a mild and dry winter
from around June to mid-August and is an all year round destination. We have a warm to hot spring until the rains start in mid-November; it becomes warm and wet and stays so until the rainy season passes at the end of April! The rainy season is often characterised by sudden torrential downpours
with violent storms followed as quickly by blue skies and sunshine.
Rafting at Victoria Falls is dependent on the Zambezi water levels. 'Low water season' is the most exciting
from around mid July to early January with water levels dropping progressively until the lowest levels are reached during December and January.
Annual rains start in the middle of November
but it's only in January that the headwaters hit Victoria Falls, levels climb again and 'high water season' starts. The peak of the annual flood usually hits the falls around Easter time. Rafting stops when the Zambezi is in full spate, sometimes from around mid March to early May each year.
The season's rains make the lower stretches of the National Park inaccessible from November
through to April. During this time, the 'Green Season' Island Trail runs from Kafue down to Chongwe.
This is a basic explanation on how our seasons work:
The dry season generally runs from May to October through the southern fall (Autumn), winter and into spring. The summer wet season itself, also referred to as the 'Green Season', generally starting with fresh rains in November heralds the arrival of migrant birds
and mammals disperse in search of fresh growth, the bush gets thick, insects flourish, birding improves, and game viewing deteriorates.
Torrential downpours followed by sunshine during the day generally characterise the summer rains. Deep rains and flood conditions sometimes occur in January
and February. The rivers take time to swell and peak in March and April.
Temperatures during the southern winter are moderate and generally very comfortable by comparison with northern winters...as an example, a mid-winter rafting expedition can be tackled in shorts
, rafters a T-shirt with a fleece and joggers to ward off the evening chill - temperatures at the time will rarely drop below 13 degrees.
On the other hand, Victoria Falls experiences extremely high temperatures
just before the rains - October and November are regarded as the 'suicide months' with daytime temperatures exceeding 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit) and not dropping below 30 degrees (86 Fahrenheit) for nights on end. In mid-November our rains usually start
. It's a release from about six weeks of anguish for local residents and insects alike!See a Seasonal Weather Calendar