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The best time to visit Tanzania

The best time to visit Tanzania

When is the best time to visit Africa Tanzania? -There really is no right or wrong time to visit this well-loved country but as a rule of thumb, the dry season (from late June to October) is the most popular time for a Tanzania safari with all the trimmings. During this dry season, animals congregate near water sources putting predators and prey in close proximity and making for some exciting game viewing. As a by-product of the water shortages the vegetation thins, thus improving the visibility of animals.

One important thing to bear in mind, however, is the crowding that can occur in certain reserves during these favorable periods. Should you wish to avoid other tourists, consider visiting Tanzania during the green season, usually from March to May, or even the short dry season from the end of December to February.

Below is a brief summary of some of our favorite Tanzanian national parks and their seasonal perks. Hopefully, this will simplify your planning process, whilst illuminating a few of the lesser-known regions…

Serengeti National Park

This national park needs no introduction. The Serengeti National Park contains the exceptional game in high densities year-round, although peak time is during the dry season from June to September. If you’re visiting during this time and searching for the wildebeest of the Great Migration, your best chances of seeing them are in the western regions of the park in May and June.

The Great Migration is always high on any safari enthusiast’s bucket list and planning a visit to coincide with the spectacle is popular so do book in advance!

Late January and into February and March is the wildebeest calving season in the southern Serengeti, which provides high excitement as lion and cheetah descend on the fragile and naive newborns. Although action-packed, these scenes are not for the faint of heart.

The height of the wet season is March and April and causes the usually crowded Serengeti to empty, offering an intimate experience with the wildlife. You can expect rain showers, but they are usually short and sharp and certainly don’t last for hours. Another plus at this time of year is the return of migratory bird species, a big drawcard for all the twitchers out there.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro’s dry season (June to October) is usually considered the best time to visit as temperatures are cooler and there is little chance of rain. The lack of rain means that the vegetation is thinner and animals, such as the shy black rhino, are easier to spot. The flip side of unbelievable game viewing in “Africa’s Eden”? Expect more than a few vehicles in the main sections of the crater…

The green season (November to May), which is considerably less crowded, is still a great time to view animals. For the most part, the wet season is simply an afternoon shower with slightly heavier rain in March, April, and May. During this season, migratory bird species return creating a kaleidoscope of colour. Generally, the game is more spread out because of the abundance of water and vegetation making it a little more difficult to find them, however, this should not be a deterrent. Even during the wet season, there are few places on earth that can compete with Ngorongoro’s game viewing.

Swim in the crystal-clear waters of Zanzibar

Zanzibar island

A Zanzibar (or Mafia or Pemba!) Island adventure is best experienced from June to October when the climate is cool and dry. Within this period, August and September have the best water clarity of 25 or more meters, offering incredible snorkeling conditions and whale viewing potential. It is important to bear in mind that some of the island restaurants will be closed during the Muslim festival of Ramadan, which occurs during the months of June and July, so check before booking if this is of concern.

December to February is also a lovely time to visit Zanzibar but during this time, it’s hot and dry with temperatures reaching into the 35 – 41 degrees Celsius range. The wet season arrives in March and lasts until May.


Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro conditions can be quite variable throughout the year, but the best weather for climbing probably occurs from July to October when the skies are warm and clear. This is in stark contrast to other times of the year, specifically April to May and November to mid-December, when rain, mud, ice, and fog can detract from the overall experience, and in extreme cases can increase the risks for climbers. Remember, however, that weather conditions on the mountain vary dramatically from year to year and we will always take advice from our operators on the ground.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park’s game viewing is at its best during the dry season (June to November). The scarcity of water draws in species from far and wide to seek solace along the Tarangire River. This popular season is, of course, a crowd-pleaser but a good way to escape the crowds is to stay in the southern parts of the reserve, which offers a more intimate experience.

The wet season does not produce the same level of animal interactions and the rains replenish the water sources, thickening the vegetation and causing the different species to disperse. For some, there is also the issue of getting wet during the months of March and April. There are, however, also positives for this time of year – the crowds are gone, the general game viewing is still good, and migratory bird species have moved back into the area.

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