January in Zambia is characterised by lots of rain but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit during this period and in fact, it offers some unique experiences for a memorable holiday too.
Rain & the Green Season
The summer rainy season reaches its peak in January though it’s also known as the “Green Season” since the showers transform the dry landscapes into verdant greenery; the average temperature during the day is around 30°C, while nights are about 20°C. Some camps and lodges will temporarily close and the rains may make certain dirt roads impassable. That said, you can easily stay at a hotel in Zambia near Victoria Falls where you can enjoy reduced rates, fewer crowds and facilities like a spa, gym, and kids’ club, ideal for those rainy days.
Amongst the iconic attractions in Zambia is Victoria Falls which features the largest sheet of falling water on the planet! Though at the beginning of January, the falls may not be in full flow, by the latter part of the month you can truly take in its grandeur. Look to stay at properties like Avani Victoria Falls Resort that not only offer free unlimited access to this waterfall but various activities too; these can include access to Devil’s Pool, helicopter or microlight flights above the falls, river cruises and white water rafting on the Zambezi River.
While it’s true that wildlife is best spotted in the dry season, you can still encounter animals during a game drive in January; in fact, you can also look forward to boat safaris at places like the
. When it rains, it will usually be heavy but brief, while the emerald landscapes, clean air and dramatic cloud formations make for some unique photo opportunities too. Also keep in mind that during this period animals give birth, and you have a good chance to spot juvenile wildlife as they learn the way of the wild.
During the rainy season months such as January, birdwatching in Zambia takes centre stage with a wide range of avifauna to be spotted including arriving migratory birds. Amongst the key places for this activity are the Lochinvar and South Luangwa national parks and the Bangweulu Swamps. You can head out on excursions with a knowledgeable guide and enjoy the chance to spot Heuglin’s robins, crowned cranes, black egrets, ground hornbills, flamingos, African skimmers, peregrine falcons and more.