Being fairly close to the equator, Tanzania’s climate is relatively constant all year, with temperatures ranging between 25°C or 77°F to 32°C or 90°F though there are some wetter periods and regional variations to consider. Generally speaking, December to March and May to October are the busiest and most popular months for travel, with two rainy seasons outside of these. Of particular note below is the wildebeest migration, which requires careful planning by us to ensure you are in the right place at the right time to catch this thrilling spectacle.
Home of the classic safari route that includes the Serengeti National Park and Ngorogoro Crater, it is more than possible to enjoy the ‘northern circuit’ any time of year, but it can be crowded over Christmas and between July and August when the migration occurs. Whilst peak summer months are best for the migration, an alternative time to visit is January to March, when wildebeest and zebra have their young, with great wildlife viewing in the south Serengeti.
Southern & Western Parks
These lesser visited areas such as Selous and Ruaha have popular months between June and October after the rains subside. It is also worth considering January to March, as this is generally a quieter time to visit but also very fertile with excellent game viewing. Further west, Mahale and Katavi are usually visited August to October and January to March, and although the chimps of Mahale are not rain dependent and can be visited all year, they tend to be on the lower mountain slopes August to October, ideal for trekking.
Coast & Islands
The coastal region is a lowland area that experiences somewhat heavier tropical rainfall and hot and humid weather, although these are mainly afternoon downpours that soon disperse. Temperatures along the coast tend to be more bearable between May and October and there will be fewer mosquitos. The rainiest months are mid-March to May and November to January.
For many the wildebeest migration will be a major reason for visiting Tanzania and this phenomenon is directly linked to weather patterns, as the animals move in order to graze and seek water sources. This occurs year-round and viewing depends entirely on where you are located. Typically, in January to March they are located in the southern Serengeti, and start moving north in April through Seronera and hitting the Western Corridor in May. After crossing the Grumeti around May/June, they make their way through the central area of the Serengeti around July, reaching the far north by September, eventually migrating south again by November and finishing in the eastern plains in time for the rains. The busiest and optimum time for viewing is between June and July.
In Zanzibar, the Swahili musical festival of Sauti za Busara in February and the Zanzibar International Film Festival in June are major draws, whilst the Bagamoyo Arts Festival on the east coast takes place in September.
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