Normally, when people start planning for Tanzania, they daydream about two things: Safaris – including all of Tanzania’s wildlife and famous national parks – and beaches – paradise-like and isolated beaches on the island of Zanzibar.
And because Tanzania is the kind of location that can offer up these two very distinct types of vacations in one shot, you want to make sure you choose the exact right time of the year to visit and enjoy your vacation to its fullest.
Tanzania has a very typical tropical climate, but it varies depending on the area you visit. (In short, it’s not the same being on the shore of a beach than it is being 1,000 meters above sea level).
Temperatures at relatively low altitudes rarely drop below 20ºC at any point in the year.
That being said,the hottest months are from November through February and the coldest from May through August.
So you’ve got Tanzania figured out, what about Zanzibar?
A great time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October– the temperatures are not too hot and it’s the peak of the dry season.
The rainy season (also called the “long rains”) kick in during March, making it rainy and humid until May. You’d do best avoiding these long-rain months, especially if you want to snorkel or scuba dive and properly enjoy Zanzibar’s beaches.
Then, in November and December, you can experience what they call the “short rains;” these rain sessions aren’t as abundant as the aforementioned months, so Nov. and Dec. make for good choices as well if you decide to travel off-season.
Tanzania Mainland: Safari Experience Depending on Time of Year
Just like in Zanzibar, June to October is the dry season and therefore, a great time to plan a safari.
Plus, the peak season starts in July, so planning a trip in June might be a great idea if you’re looking for a quieter experience.
The sunnier months provide obvious benefits, but wet months like January or February are also great.
During these earlier months of the year, the greenery of the parks will be bountiful, also making it great for bird watching.
All things considered, if you can help it, try to avoid March through May.
Best Time of Year for the Wildebeest Migration
One of the main considerations to make for Tanzania is whether you want to catch the wildebeest migration.
This unbelievable migration happens in Tanzania from July to October,during which 1.5 million wildebeest traverse the land.
If this is one of the top reasons you’re visiting the country, try your best to stay within that window of time.
Although the best time to visit Tanzania as a whole might be during the summer or the beginning of fall, there’s always a good side to visiting during the off-season: prices are cheaper and there are fewer crowds! Nevertheless, it’s always a good time to visit Tanzania!