Tanzania

When to go to Tanzania

The best time to go to Tanzania

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.

When to go

This is a guide for the country as a whole, indicating good times to plan a holiday, taking into account popular places to visit, wildlife encounters and overall weather. Please remember that where in the country will vary depending on month of travel.

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.

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.

Festivals

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’.

BOOK YOUR TANZANIA SAFARI

Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey.

Contact Us