Despite Zambia’s location, between the equator and tropic of Capricorn, visitors find the temperatures quite moderate… this is due to the country’s altitude. Zambia still boasts plenty of hot, tropical sunshine, but not the great heat or humidity you contend with in the low-lying tropics. The exception to this are the Zambezi and Luangwa valleys, which can be sweltering towards the end of October, with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees C (104F). Ironically, occasional light frosts can occur in sheltered valleys during the winter months.
There is a cool and dry season from May to August, hot and dry September to November, and hot and wet from December to April… Rainfall usually reached a peak in January. The rain may be heavy, but often occurs as frequent showers which are interspersed with sunshine. Unfortunately the rainy season often affects the road networks in National Parks, which can restrict game viewing to the extent that a good number of lodges close during this period.
Best time to visit
The main rains fall between November and March (green season) and this is the best time to visit if you are a keen birdwatcher. However, some areas are less accessible, and some lodges close; there are also reduced number of flights to certain Parks.
In April it is still quite hot, but will cool down through to July and become drier as winter approaches. From August to October is the height of the dry season, which is excellent for game viewing, and the wildlife tends to congregate near water sources – particularly true of October, as this is the hottest and driest month.
Depending upon your interests, Zambia can be a year-round destination, and there are greatly reduced prices for the green season.