• Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

The Best time to visit Tanzania

The best time to go to Tanzania is between December and February, but is dependant on the wildlife you wish to see. Tanzania’s tropical climate is relatively constant all year due to the country’s proximity to the equator. Daytime temperatures usually range from 25°C to 32°C with early mornings and evenings feeling noticeably cooler. It is important to note that regional variation and altitude will also come in to play.

If you have a particular preference of what wildlife you want to see, you may want to think carefully about which parks you visit and at what time of year you travel. 

We are experts in creating Tanzania safari experiences and we often get asked the same questions from people planning their adventures.

In summary, the best time to go to Tanzania is:

  • December to February sees the birth of new zebra and wildebeest so you may have the opportunity to see these young take their first few steps! Certain parks in Tanzania also have a short dry period in January and February between the short rains of November/December and the long rains of March to May.
  • June to October can be a busier time of year due to the Great Migration, however, this is also the best time to see much of the wildlife gathering around remaining waterholes due to the low rainfall throughout the winter.

Some parks such as the Serengeti will become crowded during migration season whereas others remain fairly quiet all year round.


• Browse our Tanzania holidays
• Contact our  Destination Specialist for advice

Chada Kavati, Tanzania

When to go to Tanzania by Region

Discover details on each region of Tanzania at a glance, including northern, southern and western parks, as well as the coast, islands and Zanzibar.

Northern Parks

Home of the classic safari route that includes the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro 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 and 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 and 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 providing the optimum time for a honeymoon safari. The rainiest months are mid-March to May and November to January.

Buffalo herd, Tanzania

When to go to Tanzania if you want to see…

Big Cats: July to October are best in the Central Serengeti after the herds of wildebeest have passed through.

Chimpanzees: In Mahale you can track chimpanzees from the middle of May to the middle of March. the best time is October when the ground is driest.

Huge Herds of Buffalo: In Katavi National Park in the west of Tanzania, when the rivers dry up during the dry season huge herds of buffalo congregate the rivers. Hippos too fight for space in the decreasing water.

Wildebeest Migration: January to March the herds head to the southeast of the Serengeti where in about 6 weeks they will give birth - lots of predators around!

Tanzania Monthly Overviews

Read more about each month on the following pages:

Olduvai gorge, Tanzania

When to go to Tanzania if you want to experience…

Climb Kilimanjaro: January to March and June to October are the best time to climb the highest mountain in the whole of Africa.

Culture: A visit to Oldupai Gorge to see where Louis Leakey found remains of early humans, avoid the rainy season of April, May and November.

Ngorongoro Crater: The largest intact caldera in the world and is an UNESCO site. It has one of the highest concentrations of densest large mammal populations found anywhere in Africa.

River Crossings: In July you can see thousands of wildebeest throwing themselves into the Grumeti River on their search for pastures new in Kenya.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Tanzania Migration and Events

Find out the best time to see the famous Great Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania, as well as other festivals and events. 

Wildebeest Migration

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. Please follow this link for a detailed map and breakdown of the wildebeest migration.


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.

One of our Tanzania experts states, ‘my favourite time to go to Tanzania is August because of the migration & potential river crossings in the remote northern section of the Serengeti National Park’.

Jongomero Camp, Tanzania

Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for more details on travelling to Tanzania. Please note we recommend a budget of from  £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.