When to Go to Tanzania

Wildlife at the Ngorongoro crater
Ngorongoro Crater

Tanzania by Season

Tanzania is a year-round destination, with a tropical climate that varies considerably depending on whereabouts you go. If safari is firmly on the agenda then the best time to visit is June to October’s dry season, while if it’s the Wildebeest Migration you’re after, then contrary to popular belief, it can be seen at any time, as the herds follow a circular movement around Tanzania and southern Kenya. To help you work out when’s best for you to visit, we’ve split the year in half:

Elephants in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Dry Season

June to October

By the time June arrives, Tanzania’s landscapes are lush and green, a throwback to the recent rains. This does make game spotting a little harder, but the bird watching is excellent. From July to October, the dry land is perfect for game spotting, while temperatures climb to around 30°C. The wildebeest migration is in the northern Serengeti at this time, moving into Kenya’s Masai Mara in October.

Go for:

River crossings: one of the most dramatic sights of the wildebeest migration is a herd crossing the river. July and August are a great time to witness this – look out for hungry crocs snapping at their heels.

Elephants: Tarangire National Park’s elephants congregate in July and stay until September, allowing you to spot them in greater numbers.

Hammock, Zanzibar
Rainy Season

November to May

November and December bring short rains and lower prices to Tanzania. It’s a good time to visit, as the showers are usually at night and the wildebeest migration re-enters the Serengeti from Kenya. Christmas brings the winter sun-seekers to Zanzibar, while temperatures and humidity start to increase in January, peaking in the mid-thirties in March. The rains hit in earnest in April and May, closing many safari camps.

Go for:

Birdwatching: from November to March the lush foliage brings migratory birds to Tanzania. Look out for storks, eagles, woodpeckers and cranes, among many others.

Zanzibar's beaches: From December to February it’s hot and dry in Zanzibar, ideal conditions for sizzling on a beach with a cocktail in hand. It’s also a great time to try scuba diving or snorkelling.

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