Knowing the best time to visit Tanzania on a wildlife safari really is all about knowing what you want to get from your East African adventure. With wonderful wildlife, tropical beaches, incredible culture, and iconic landscapes, this beautiful country has so much to offer.

But there are certain times of year that are better for enjoying Tanzania’s main attractions, so it pays to research.

Read on to find out more about the country’s climate, seasons, and when best to visit Tanzania.

Overall Best Time to Visit Tanzania

Tanzania has a tropical climate that varies by region and altitude. Temperatures in Tanzania are pretty consistent throughout the year, but the country has distinct dry and rainy seasons which are important to pay attention to.

Overall, the best time to visit Tanzania is considered to be during the country’s long dry season, which falls between the months of July and October.

These are considered the best months for seeing the famous great migration in the Serengeti, trekking Mount Kilimanjaro, and enjoying the tropical beaches of Zanzibar Island.

Visit Tanzania safari lionsVisit Tanzania safari lions

However, these months are also Tanzania’s peak travel season, which means everywhere will be busier, you’ll be sharing your holiday with more tourists and you’ll be paying higher rates too.

So, if you’d prefer to have a more quiet and peaceful experience, our team of African Travel Experts suggests visiting this country during the short rainy season (end of October to December), or the short dry season (January to February).

We also recommend avoiding the long wet season from March to May because, at this time of year, the rains can be sudden and heavy, affecting travel plans and activities!

However, it does get a little more nuanced than this, and when to go to Tanzania really depends on what you want to do during your trip.

Most people come to this amazing country because they want to take a wildlife safari through the beautiful Serengeti National Park, see the world-famous wildebeest migration, hike Mount Kilimanjaro or explore the beach paradise of Zanzibar.

So, to help you plan your perfect trip, we’re going to explain when is best to visit Tanzania for each of these brilliant options.

Best Time to See the Great Migration in Tanzania

Tanzania’s headline attraction is the Great Migration, which takes place across Serengeti National Park.

Every year, almost 2 million animals – mostly wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, and antelopes – cross the open plains of this vast national park in search of water holes and food. Their crossing of the Mara River is the climax of this journey and is filled with drama, as these animals try to escape the jaws of waiting crocodiles and other predators.

Tanzania great migration safariTanzania great migration safari

Cited by some as the greatest wildlife phenomenon on earth, this spectacle is not to be missed if you’re considering when to go to Tanzania.

Though the great migration is happening for much of the year, late June to August herald its peak, making these the best months to see this natural phenomenon. However, this is also migration peak season and it goes without saying that this bucket list activity is popular! As such, it can get very crowded in Serengeti National Park and the surrounding safari lodges at this time.

Safari and flight prices also go up during these months too, and camps can be fully booked up to a year in advance. This means you’ll need to plan ahead and get a booking early if you want to travel to Tanzania in June, July, or August.

Best Time for a Wildlife Safari in Tanzania

The Serengeti National Park is a year-round safari destination and if you aren’t fixated on seeing the great migration at its peak, there are other times to visit the reserve that may suit you better.

In short, the best time for a Tanzania safari in the Serengeti really depends on what wildlife you’d like to spot.

January to March is calving season – a great safari opportunity to see young wildebeest, zebras, and antelopes, as well as lion cubs and even elephant calves. It’s even common to see calves being born! However, this is not the best for seeing the migration on the move so don’t expect stampeding herds or dramatic river crossings.

Great migration Serengeti TanzaniaGreat migration Serengeti Tanzania

Tanzania’s ‘green season’, between November and March is a fantastic time for birdwatching, as migratory species arrive in their thousands. There will be fewer visitors during this time compared to the peak of the great migration, along with lower prices, although there may be some rainfall.

The ‘long rain’ season (March to May) is the least popular time to take a Tanzania safari, as heavy rains can disrupt wildlife viewing. However, if you’re looking for the best safari deals, this is the time of year to pick them up!

Best Time to visit Zanzibar Island

If you’re heading to the idyllic island of Zanzibar you’ll almost certainly want to relax on some of its picture-perfect white sand beaches, so won’t want rain to dampen your parade!

This means the best time to visit the island is either during the archipelago’s long dry season, from July to September, or during its short dry season in January and February.

Zanzibar Tanzania best timeZanzibar Tanzania best time

Tanzania’s ‘short dry season’ can also make a great time to visit the Spice Island, which lies off the coast of Stone Town, before the rains return in March.

During the short rains in November and December, downpours across Zanzibar are usually followed by blue skies, and you’ll be rewarded for sitting out a few showers with fewer people around and good deals on prices.

It’s only during the long rains in April and May, when the island can experience a lot of rain, that we recommend you think twice about your plans.

Best Time to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

If you’re thinking about climbing ‘Kili’, as this mountain is affectionately known, then when to attempt this mammoth hike is an important decision to make.

Bad weather on Mount Kilimanjaro will make for a miserable trek, spoil the views and, most importantly, make this high-altitude ascent twice as hard!

Given this, we recommend avoiding the rainy months, when there’s a greater chance of you slogging through mud, as well as trekking through the fog and drizzle as you get higher in altitude. There are often freezing conditions and snow on the summit too at this time.

Hikers on Mount Kilimanjaro TanzaniaHikers on Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania

For these reasons, our African Travel Experts generally advise that the best time to climb Kilimanjaro is during the warmest and driest times of the year, from December to mid-March and mid-June to the end of October.

The clear skies, great views, and sunshine you can expect at these times make for more comfortable hiking conditions and incredible photo opportunities! Not to mention, you are a lot more likely to reach the summit if the weather up on the mountain is good! However, do be warned that these are also the busiest months, so do book ahead!

Best time visit Tanzania safariBest time visit Tanzania safari

To get more advice on planning your trip to Tanzania, and find some of the best safari deals, talk to one of our African Travel experts.

Our team has the knowledge to help you plan your trip of a lifetime and can definitely advise you about the best time to visit Tanzania based on your plans and chosen activities.

Similar Posts