Summer is Zimbabwe’s rainy season, but it’s hot and sunny from October to April, with temperatures nearing 32 C. Afternoon thunderstorms are frequent, especially during the rainy season. The Eastern Highlands are rainy all year long. Winters in the highlands have much more pleasant temperatures hovering around 21 C.
When to fly to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's summer is our winter. May, June and July are its coolest months, and the most pleasant time of the year to visit. To really see the Victoria Falls, the jewel in Zimbabwe’s crown, at its best, go between April and June when the Zambezi is in flood. The rainy season extends from November to March and this is when the land turns green and verdant. It is a better time to see animals as they drink from waterholes.
The dry season runs to October, and you’ll be looking at parched earth some of the time. This is the best time, however, to find a good deal on a Zimbabwe flight.
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Getting around Zimbabwe
Air Zimbabwe, the country’s largest airline, flies between Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.
Train services are available throughout Zimbabwe including between Harare and Mutare; Harare and Bulawayo; Bulawayo and Lobatse; Bulawayo and Victoria Falls; and Bulawayo and Chiredzi.
There is a range of bus services throughout Zimbabwe. Blue Arrow Luxury Coaches connects the main cities, Harare to Bulawayo via Kwekwe for example. Zimbabwe Omnibus Company also offers services.
Car rental is also available.
Zimbabwe insider information
- The most important safari areas include Matusadona on the shores of Lake Kariba, for Black Rhino and lions, Mana Pools, a World Heritage Site on the south bank of the Zambezi River, Hwange, on almost two million hectares of Kalahari Sand is said to have a greater diversity and variety of wildlife than any other conservation area in the world, and Bulawayo/Matobo hills, renowned for its granite moonscape, rock art paintings and the site of Cecil John Rhodes' grave.
- Victoria Falls is about 1.7 km (1 mile) wide and 128m (420 ft) high. Zimbabwe “shares” the falls with Zambia and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. There are several ways to see the falls: “Flight of the Angels” in a small plane, jetboating, Bungi jumping, or just standing in the viewing area. The falls diminish in the dry season. For maximum effect and spray (bring a rain jacket) see them in the rainy season.
- Old Zimbabwe, which means "houses of stone", is the ruins of an ancient city dating from the 11th century. Legend has it that the city was built to replicate the palace of the Queen of Sheba in Jerusalem. The remains are composed of the Great Enclosure, the Hill Complex and the Valley Complex, where the carved Zimbabwe Bird, the national emblem, was found.
- Nyangani is Zimbabwe’s tallest mountain standing at 2,593 metres (8500 feet) and is popular with hikers and amateur climbers.
- Chinhoyi Caves, about an hour northwest of Harare, are in the centre of a recreation park. Its most notable feature is its limestone cavern, which was formed when the ground collapsed. Below is the Sleeping Pool. There is an extensive waterway in the cave, which leads from Bat Cave to Blind Cave. The caves are open from dawn until dusk and offer good diving opportunities.