Best Time to Travel - Natural Wonders
* The Victoria Falls are typically at full flood in May and June. An unbelievable volume of water cascades over the cataract at this time, causing the earth to shake and sending a massive plume of mist into the air. Photographing the Falls is actually best during the two or three months preceding and following this peak flow, when there isn't quite as much mist to soak photographer and equipment. The Falls are at their lowest in October and November, during which time viewing is best from the Zimbabwe side.
* The Okavango Delta, like the Victoria Falls, is at full flood in May and June (regional differences within the Delta do exist, and some parts may flood earlier or later). This is not terribly significant though because there are camps that are located in permanently flooded areas, and offer the full Okavango experience at any time of the year. It's just a question of choosing the right camps.
* Weather at the Cape of Good Hope (and the Western Cape province more generally) is completely out of sync with patterns across the rest of southern Africa. This area receives its rainfall from May through early September, with the dry season extending from late September through April. Grape harvesting season in the nearby Cape Winelands is typically in January and February. The Cape's famous fynbos floral kingdom typically blooms from late July through September.
* Sossusvlei (in the Namib Desert) is spectacular for 12 months of the year. The coolest time to visit this desert destination is from April through early September. The area's meager rains typically occur from December through March, adding even more color to Sossusvlei's already impressive palette.
* The Skeleton Coast features perhaps the most stable weather in southern Africa. Warm desert air cools and condenses over the cold Atlantic Ocean and is blown inland as mist, keeping temperatures cool and comfortable all year round. On rare days when the westerly wind does not blow mist inland, it can be sunny and hot.
* The vast Makgadikgadi Pans fill with water from November through April, creating one of southern Africa's most important breeding grounds for flamingos. During this time, the surface is too wet and soggy to allow access to the pans. Access to the surface of the pans is typically possible from late May through October.
* The Zambezi Valley is a particularly beautiful stretch of the Zambezi River, a couple of hundred miles downstream from the Victoria Falls. Because of the damming of the Zambezi River at Lake Kariba, the flow of water in the Zambezi Valley is much more constant than higher up the River at Victoria Falls. As such, water levels in "The Valley" vary little throughout the year; the weather patterns follow the guidelines for safari seasons.
* The Busanga Plains represent one of southern Africa's most significant wetland ecosystems. From November through May this vast area is flooded by the Lufupa River. From June through October the plains dry out to become an extensive grassland - this is the time when animal viewing is best, and also when ballooning safaris are conducted on the Plains.
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