Victoria Falls Seasonal Weather Calendar

If you are into water-sport activities, then the best time to be at Vic Falls is just after the rainy season when the Zambesi is at its highest.

January

Height of rainy season; hot and humid with thunderstorms and torrential downpours; Victoria Falls become more intense with increased river flow

Days of Rain: 14 Thick vegetative growth; rainforest very damp; most rainforest flowers in bloom; grass at its most nutritious; animals disperse widely across the veld; lots of bird activity as many nestlings are raised.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 30/18

February

Hot days and warm nights, plenty of rain; the "smoke that thunders" rises high in the sky; most of rainforest is under constant shower; river level picks up significantly.

Days of Rain: 10 Dramatic bush growth because of rains; foliage dense; African ebony trees come into fruit; waterbuck breeding season; many nursery herds evident in game reserves.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 29/18

March

Hot days and warm nights; rainy season coming to an end but river levels very high and Falls gushing furiously.

Days of Rain: 7 Migrant birds begin departing; kudu and buffalo breeding peak; grasslands in full seed; baobabs begin fruiting.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 30/17

April

End of rainy season; Victoria Falls at its highest flow with average of 750 million litres/minute; "smoke that thunders" at its most intense.

Days of Rain: 2 Most animals in peak condition at the end of the wet season; impala, wildebeest and warthog rutting season; final departure of migrant birds.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 29/14

May

Beginning of autumn; days are warm to hot with a chill coming into the evening air; Zambezi flowing strongly despite advent of dry season.

Days of Rain: 1 Deciduous trees begin to lose their leaves; best month for fishing in Zambezi; white-backed vulture breeding season; wild dogs breed.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 27/10

June

Autumn gives way to winter; warm to hot days, dry weather, chilly at night; river level drops lower.

Days of Rain: 0 Raptor courtship displays more evident; game becomes concentrated near water as grass cover recedes.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 25/6

July

Height of dry season coincides with mid-winter; days are still warm to hot; no rain, nights can be chilly.

Days of Rain: 0 Elephants migrate to winter pastures; raptor breeding season; mopane leaves begin taking on their distinct winter hue.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 25/6

August

Dry, warm days and cool nights; sometimes windy, signaling a shift in seasons; Eastern Cataract often becomes exposed by low river level.

Days of Rain: 0 Increase in elephant population on Zambian side of river, which is a winter feeding ground for elephants from northern Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 28/8

September

Spring brings noticeable increase in temperatures; hot days, nights becoming warmer; excellent white water rafting time as low river levels expose rapids.

Days of Rain: 1 First migrant birds arrive from Europe and elsewhere in Africa; weavers begin breeding; knob thorns begin flowering indicating the change of season.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 32/13

October

Hottest month of the year - often known as "suicide month" because of the build-up towards the rainy season - usually a few storms to take the edge off the heat; Eastern Cataract usually dry.

Days of Rain: 4 Breeding plumage appears in certain birds and heightened courtship display; marulas in flower; long-tail cassias display yellow flowers; new mopane leaf growth begins.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 33/17

November

Usually the start of the rainy season although rains may be late or early; days are very hot and nights are warm; Victoria Falls at its lowest ahead of upstream rainy season.

Days of Rain: 8 Baobab in flower; mopane trees exhibit new growth; blood lilies in flower; white gardenia flowers are out; elephants begin dispersing back to Zimbabwe and Chobe; impala calving season, more migrant birds arrive; dramatic increase in insect activity.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 32/18

December

Hot and humid as the rainy season works towards a peak; cooler than October because of cloud cover; Falls levels still quite low; Eastern Cataract still exposed.

Days of Rain: 13 The Lwindii ancestral worship ceremony at the Falls; dragonflies at their most active in the rainforest; flame lily and other rainforest flowers in bloom; wildebeest breeding season.

Ave. Max/Min Temp: 30/18

Brett Hilton-Barber and Lee R. Berger. Copyright © 2010 Prime Origins.

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