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elephants in tanzania

When to visit Tanzania

Travellers interested in the safari experience of a lifetime, rejoice: Tanzania, one of the best places for an African safari, is a year-round destination. However, depending on what travellers would like to see on their trip, they should consider their month of travel carefully. Read on to discover the best time to visit Tanzania!

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Best time to visit Tanzania

While considering when to visit Tanzania, travellers will be pleased to hear that there is no right or wrong time to visit this beautiful country. However, if you're dreaming of seeing a specific animal, natural site, or looking for a certain type of weather, you'll find some months more suitable to you than others. 

For wildlife lovers
Tanzania is one of the most beautiful safari destinations in Africa, and travellers who dream of visiting the country will likely be happy with a safari at any time of the year. However, a must-see experience is the Great Migration, in which millions of wildebeest and zebras migrate north to Kenya, between July and October in Serengeti National Park.
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For beach lovers
While they tend to take a backseat to the local wildlife, Tanzania's beaches are truly incredible. Pristine white sands and turquoise waters await travellers looking to relax, spot sea turtles, or take up windsurfing.
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For hikers
One of the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Travellers of almost all ages and abilities can successfully climb this mountain, which makes for one of the most amazing experiences available to visitors to Tanzania.
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Pro tips for every traveller

Travelling on budget?
The cheapest time to fly to Tanzania is April, the peak of the wet season. Most of the national parks in the northern circuit of Tanzania, such as the popular Serengeti and Ngorongoro, will have great opportunities to view wildlife year-round, but a visit during the wet season can mean fewer tourists and cheaper flights and accommodation. However, conditions may be particularly humid and muddy during this time.
Travelling with kids?
Tanzania is an excellent destination for families. Keep in mind, however, that malaria is prevalent in the area, so be sure to bring anti-malarial medication, especially if you're planning a visit during the wet season. 

Best month to visit Tanzania

Best time for activities

see elephant family crossing a road

Best to spot wildlife

The best time to visit Tanzania for wildlife tends to be the dry seasons, which occur from June to October with a shorter dry spell occurring in the north from January to February. The best wildlife viewing months will be from late June into October, but travellers should be prepared to deal with crowds and peak-season prices. A visit during the short dry season in January or February will bring with it lower prices and fewer tourists, but expect to see the occasional bout of rain. Make sure to pack layers for early-morning game drives and be prepared for the rain!

Pro tip: While the dry season is best for land wildlife viewing, travellers more interested in Tanzania's abundant bird life should plan their visit in the wet season, from September to April. 
 
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see herd of wildebeest

Best to see the Great Migration

The Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest and zebras travel from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, is one of the most incredible natural phenomenons in the world, so it's no wonder why travellers dream of seeing it in person! The best time of year to see the Great Migration in Tanzania is from July to December, but travellers who make the trip later can also travel to Masai Mara to see the result of the migration. Of course, there are several multi-destination tours which offer experiences in Tanzania and Kenya, offering travellers the best of both worlds!
 
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see a fisher boat in the sea

Best time to visit Tanzania and Zanzibar

Exploring Zanzibar during your visit to Tanzania is an excellent way to experience the country's beaches and culture. The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October when temperatures will be warm but not too hot, and you'll find much dryer conditions. Sun worshipper? You'll love Zanzibar from December to February when temperatures skyrocket without the humidity. Keep in mind that, while many travellers still greatly enjoy Tanzania and Zanzibar in the wet season, many beach lodges will be closed during this time. 

Best months to visit the beaches
  1. July & August: July and August are the driest months in Tanzania, meaning there's a very little chance your beach holiday will be interrupted by rain!
  2. February & March: February and March also see comparatively little rainfall, especially in Zanzibar. Sauti za Busara, a Swahili music festival, provides the perfect soundtrack to beach holidays in February. 

Pro tip: If you're heading to Tanzania for the diving, visibility will be good year-round, ranging between ten to more than 30 metres (33 to 98 feet). The water temperatures tend to stay around 25-30ºC (77-86ºF), meaning longer dives remain comfortable. 
 
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see kilimanjaro from distance

Best to climb Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro can be climbed year-round, thanks to its proximity to the equator which makes the surrounding weather relatively stable and mild. The two main seasons for climbing, however, are January to March and June to October; the two dry seasons on the mountain. For more information about the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, please check our full guide. 

 
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Best time to go on safari in Tanzania

Tanzania is definitely a year-round safari destination, but there are some differences depending where in the country you decide to visit for your safari adventure. The best places for safaris year-round are located in the north, where travellers will enjoy great wildlife viewing no matter when they visit. Consider areas such as Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park for a safari regardless of timing, but remember that the dry season is always prime wildlife season, and, thus, the peak season. 
 

Climate in Tanzania

jungle
  1. Dry Season

    JANUARY TO FEBRUARY; JUNE TO OCTOBER

    Tanzania technically experiences two dry seasons. The first, during the months of January and February, are off-season periods during which the north of the country experiences significantly less rainfall than surrounding areas. The second, or "long dry season," takes place between June to October. During this time, travellers should expect to experience everything peak season has to offer - both in terms of amazing wildlife sightings and favourable conditions, as well as crowds and a higher cost of accomodation. 

  2. Rainy Season

    MARCH TO MAY

    Tanzania's rainy season takes place from March until May, but travellers shouldn't be discouraged from travelling to Tanzania during this time! While they'll almost certainly experience rain, the rainfall is often in short, sharp bursts. Travellers unafraid of a little rain can reap the benefits of visiting during this off season. Not only can they expect to see Tanzania's amazing wildlife - both land animals and birds - but they'll also pay much less for travel and accommodation during their safari. 

Temperatures and rainfall in Tanzania

The climate in Tanzania is changeable depending on where you visit - for example, Ngorongoro tends to be much colder than Serengeti National Park. One constant is that the coast, temperatures are warm year-round; the perfect beach destination!

Serengeti
Serengeti National Park is located in a subtropical climate. From May to August, conditions are dry and relatively cool, followed by a warmer season in September and October. When the rainy season arrives, it brings humidity with it - from November to April, expect rain and heat. 

Ngorongoro
The weather in Ngorongoro is spring-like all year round, which provides welcome relief for travellers arriving from other parts of Tanzania! However, expect to see more rain in this area - the highest parts of the crater exceed 2000 metres (6500 feet), which brings with it cool nights and more precipitation. 

Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro stands at 5895 metres (19340 feet) tall, which means parts of it are home to permanent snow. Despite this, the sun is very strong at those altitudes, so travellers should remember to bring appropriate sunscreen. Kilimanjaro sees high levels of rainfall in April and May, and, on the summit, temperatures can drop to -15 to -25°C (5 to -13°F) at night. 

The coast
Conditions are hot year-round on the coast of Tanzania. However, travellers should expect two rainy seasons in the northern part of the coast. The first occurs between March to May, with April being the wettest month, and the second occurs between October to December, though the rainfall pattern of the second rainy season is irregular. 
 

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