In Zimbabwe, the rains come principally in December, January, February and March; the further north you are, the earlier the precipitation arrives and the later it leaves. Zimbabwe’s higher eastern areas usually receive more rainfall than the lower-lying western ones.
By April and May most of the rain is gone, leaving a verdant setting, which is starting to dry out. Especially in more southerly and higher locations, the night-time temperatures start to drop.
The nights in June, July and August become much cooler, so don’t forget to bring some warmer clothes, in case you want to spend an evening outside; the days are still clear and warm. For Zimbabwe, this is the start of the ‘peak season’– days are often cloudless and game sightings continually increase. In June, average highs are in the upper 70s Fahrenheit (24° ~ 26°C) and lows can dip into the mid-40s (7° ~ 8°C).
Into September and October the temperatures rise once again: Zimbabwe’s lower-lying rift valley – Mana Pools – can get very hot in October. During this time, you’ll see some fantastic game, as the Zimbabwe’s wildlife concentrates around the limited water sources.
November is unpredictable; it can be hot and dry, it can also see the season’s first rainfalls – and in this respect it’s a very interesting month, as on successive days, you can see both weather patterns.
Botswana’s climatic pattern is typical of southern Africa, although its rainfall is less than countries further east. The rains in Botswana come mostly between December and March, when average minimum temperatures are in the low 20°s. Some days will be bright and sunny, some will have afternoon thunderstorms, and some will just be grey.
April and May in Botswana are generally lovely, with the sky clear and the landscape green. Night temperatures start to drop during these months, especially in the Kalahari. Note that places in and around the Okavango tend to have less extreme, more moderate temperatures than the drier areas of the Kalahari.
From June to August the night-time temperatures in drier areas can be close to freezing, but it warms up rapidly during the day, when the sky is usually clear and blue. It’s now very much ‘peak season’ for most safari areas: the land is dry in most areas so the animals congregate around the few available water sources. In June, the weather in Botswana is almost identical to that of Zimbabwe.
This continues into September and October, when temperatures climb again, drying the landscapes and concentrating the game even more. This is the best time for big game safaris – although October can feel very hot, with maximum temperatures sometimes exceeding 100°F (≈40°C).
November is difficult to predict, as it can sometimes be a continuation of October’s heat, whilst sometimes it’s cooled by the first rains; it’s always an interesting month.
In South Africa, expect cooler temperatures with average highs being in the upper 60s Fahrenheit (19 ~ 21°C) and lows in the low 50s (11 ~ 13°C). A thin, but warm jacket will come in handy for your time in Cape Town.
*If there is rain, snow, wind or any other weather conditions that nature decides to throw at us, all activities and excursions will continue as planned unless the weather is deemed unsafe.