Tanzania Safari : Best time of the year ?
The decision is made : you are going to spend your holiday in Tanzania ! Congratulations, you have made a really good choice. You are now wondering when is the best time to go on a Tanzania safari. Our answer is… it depends ! It depends what you want to see, to do, if you prefer being alone in the national parks or if you like some company from other tourists.
Many people say that the best time to visit Tanzania is the dry season, from June to October, or during our winter from December to March. But according to us, there is no such thing as a bad time for your Tanzania safari : when to go to Tanzania depends on your preferences.
To help you make a decision on when to visit Tanzania, let’s have a look at the activities, places and animals you would like to do or see.
Best Time to visit Tanzania – By season
Tanzania is located in the southern hemisphere. That’s why when it’s summer in England or in the USA, it’s winter in Tanzania! The different seasons in Tanzania are : the dry season, the short rainy season, a new dry and hot season and finally, a long rainy season.
The dry season.
From June to October, it’s winter in Tanzania, we call it the dry season. It hardly ever rains and the temperatures are pleasant. The weather is warm but you don’t suffer from the heat.
The short rainy season
often takes place in November and early December. It’s summer in Tanzania and it’s getting very hot. It rains especially at the end of the day but it does not rain as hard as during the long rainy season from March to May. The advantage of going to a safari in Tanzania during the short rainy season? Less tourists and amazing colors.
The hot and dry season
runs from December to February. It can be hot, very hot, especially towards the coast. It hardly rains. Not advised if you generally suffer from the heat.
The long rainy season
runs from March to May. It rains often and it is a bit less warm, but this to my opinion, not a reason not to visit Tanzania at that time of the year. Indeed, you are almost alone on the roads as most tourists do not come during this time of the year ! Another very important reason to visit Tanzania during the rainy season is that you also have more chances to see zebra and wildebeest in the Serengeti National Park. Some parks are difficult to access because of the rains, but our guides know where to go! If you love adventure and authenticity: Tanzanian nature is beautiful during the rainy season.
Best Time to visit Tanzania – By activity
To observe birds
You can observe birds the whole year, but you will probably see more birds during the rainy season.
Tanzania safari Best Time – animals and nature
Going on a Tanzania safari is possible all year round. You will just not see the same animals and the landscapes will look different.
We often hear that the rainy season is not the best time to visit Tanzania, but it is not true. On the contrary, the rainy season is when nature is the most beautiful, green and flourishing. Many travelers prefer to go to the northern and central parks (Serengeti among others) in the dry season, between June and October, and from December to February. The weather is nice, but you should know that it is also the peak tourist season: prices and occupancy rates of hotels, lodges and camps are high.
What about diving and snorkeling?
You can dive and snorkel in Tanzania all year ! To go swimming, we often recommend to go in January and February, or during the Tanzanian winter, in July and August. The rainy season is also raging on the coast and storms happen regularly, that’s why the rainy season is not the most popular time for diving.
Best time to visit Zanzibar
The best time to visit Tanzania Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia, is during the Tanzanian winter, between June and September. On the Tanzanian islands, the climate is hot and humid, exceeding 30 degrees during the Tanzanian summer (from December to February). We recommend visiting Zanzibar between June and September, during the dry season. It’s a bit cooler, unless you really enjoy the heat.
What is the best time of the year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
All year round ! Admittedly, it is less easy at certain times of the year than at others (we think in particular of the rainy season). Note that there are strong temperature differences between the foot and the top of the mountain. Even if it’s hot a the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, it can freeze at the top. February is often considered to be the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This is one of the hottest months and the temperature at the top is not too cold. If you can not go there in February, know that the whole period from December to February is good to climb on the roof of Africa!
Tanzania safari best time – By geographical area
There are different types of climates in Tanzania. Of course, you will not have the same weather on the island of Zanzibar, in the Serengeti National Park as at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro!
The Tanzanian coast enjoys a humid equatorial climate, where it averages between 25 ° C and 30 ° C. In contrast, the highlands and inland areas are subject to a temperate tropical climate. In the large parks of the north, the temperatures in the day are pleasant, but do not forget to bring a jacket for the evening because it is cold when the night falls.
There are several best times to visit Tanzania. Many tourists like to go during dry, sunny seasons from January to March and from July to October. However, if you want to meet fewer people on the road and if you suffer from heat, we advise you to go before or after the dry season in June or September. You will enjoy the great weather without being there during the high season.