The rains in Zambia come mostly in December, January, February and March though the further north you are, the earlier the rains arrive and the later they leave. Eastern areas and higher areas generally receive more rain than western and lowland areas.
By April and May most of the rain has left, leaving a landscape that’s still green, but starting to dry out. Evening temperatures start to drop, especially in higher and more southerly locations.
In June, July and August the nights become much cooler, but the days are clear and warm. Make sure you bring warm clothes to wrap up if you’re out at night, as some nights can get very cold! This is the start of the ‘peak season’ for these countries – with often cloudless days and continually increasing game sightings.
Into September and October, the temperatures climb: the lower-lying rift valleys – Lower Zambezi, Mana Pools and Luangwa Valley – can get very hot in October. However, you’ll see some superb game as the animals congregate around the limited water sources.
November is variable; it can be hot and dry like October, or it can see the season’s first downpours. It’s a very interesting month as you can see both patterns on successive days.
Cardinal Air Services can use their Private Air Charters to fly to most airstrips around Zambia and most of the areas worth visiting are accessible by air.
If you are travelling long distances or just crossing over neighbouring countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe and rather not fly, transfers can be arranged for you and you can sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery on route to your next destination.
Zambia’s native cuisine is based on nshima, a cooked porridge made from ground maize normally accompanied by some tasty relish, perhaps made of meat and tomatoes or dried fish. Safari camps will often prepare nshima if requested, and it is almost always available in small local restaurants.
Camps, hotels and lodges that cater to overseas visitors tend to serve a range of international fare, and the quality of food prepared in the most remote bush camps is typically excellent.
Out in the bush and most of the camps and lodges use water from bore-holes. These underground sources vary in quality, but are normally perfectly safe to drink.
Zambia’s unit of currency is the Kwacha (ZMW).
Majority of prices are quoted in US$ and therefore possible to use dollars and pounds as well.