Hot and wet - a number of camps close and generally, things are pretty quiet. A great time for birders though with migrant species having arrived on mass!
The rain begins to taper off leaving beautifully clean, vibrant air and hot sunny days. Heavy summer rains leave the bush thick and grass high.
May is one of the best months in Zambia weather wise and warm days and cool evening make for very pleasant travel conditions. By early June though, nights are considerably cooler.
Very popular months in the safari industry - weather is cool and dry and the bush is dry and thinner
September begins as the prime month for great safari viewing with warm temperatures and mild evenings but October becomes very warm as anticipation for the first rain builds.
November is our personal favourite month in Zambia. Skies darken and storm clouds appear. There’s usually a “phony war” of distant lightening and daily build-ups before the skies break and the long drought is broken. The rain is a pleasant relief, lowering temperatures and freshening everything up. Every year is different but the rain is usually only occasional and showery in November becoming more intense in December.
Lovely months to be in Kasanka catching the migrant birds on their way home and beautiful light for photography with animal subject matter often framed by green vegetation.
May is the month of our cycle challenge and a visit to the park in conjunction with the Bangweulu Wetlands should deliver sightings of sitatunga, sable and elephant along with bird specials. Evenings are decidedly chilly by June!
Chilly nights and the fresh early morning game drives shouldn't deter visitors as game viewing is very good with game gathering on the short and often burnt grasslands and sitatunga, elephant, hippo, puku and many more species readily available. Great time for walking safaris.
Warm, pleasant weather, game viewing is at its easiest, drives, walking and canoeing on offer and the hazy days make for incredible sunsets. Around mid-Oct, the first bats start arriving and the park builds in anticipation for this incredible event.
Kasanka's month! The bats are here in their millions and the park is looking fresh and green. The migratory birds are returning and the light and skies make for amazing photographs. By Christmas, the last few million bats start to leave but the park remains beautiful until heavier rains start to set in.
Impossible to access by air in most years as water surrounds all the plains. Lechwe flies are common and generally, not the best time to be in Bangweulu
Some of the most stunning and sensational birding and wildlife scenes to be enjoyed now as thousands of lechwe, geese, ducks and waterfowl teem everywhere with water as far as the eye can see! Accessing camp which now opens can be a challenge but those who attempt it will be rewarded with incredible sights and sounds!
Arguably the best months of the year in the Bangweulu. The water is high but driveable and boat cruises produce outstanding shoebill sightings, flocks of waterfowl and various bird species and the woodlands hold tsessebee, zebra and side striped jackal. The near 100'000 black lechwe surround camp.
Shoebill sightings continue to be good although the 'treks' are starting to become more on foot than by boat. The sound of the lechwe moving past the camp from the plains to the swamps is something to be experienced.
The water has retreated off the plains and the Shoebills and lechwe move deeper into the swamps. Finding the shoebills now requires more of a trek but the overall perpective of the wetlands with birdlife and lechwe is still magnificent.
By the end of October even the lush Bangweulu floodplains are starting to feel the pinch of the dry heat, so that the breaking rains bring great relief and new grass. This brings back even more lechwe to the plains around Shoebill Island, now with their recently born young. Tsessebe, also with young, come out of the termitaria woodland in herds of up to 2000 to share the new grass. The water levels are still very low, so birding is mainly around the pools and main river. Shoebill sightings are still possible but a more of a challenge and keen birders must be prepared to trek!
A few camps are open in South Luangwa and some very nice green season specials are available with the low occupancies. Predator sightings can be surprisingly good as the cats choose to walk roads as opposed to the wet and thick bush.
As with January and February, although the likelihood of 'washed out' days decreases as you move further from February.
All the seasonal camps are now open as the Luangwa moves into 'peak' months making a combination with Bangweulu and the Lower Zambezi ideal.
Prime time in the South Luangwa - temperatures are mild, predator sightings abundant and safaris can offer some incredible sightings!
September is often touted as 'the' month to be South Luangwa as the game hangs close to the river and are followed closely by the predators. October becomes very hot though and by the end of the month, some of the more seasonal camps are closing.
The valley cries out for the rain to break the intense heat and when it does, the heavy cotton soils soon become thick and impassable. However, as with most parts of Zambia, November is still beautiful and fruiting trees make for interesting wildlife sightings in various places in the park. By December, a number of the seasonal camps are now closed.