One of the first questions a traveller asks is, “When is the best time to visit?
” For Tanzania the answer is very much, “It depends on where you want to go and what you want to see.” And we can help you with this when we plan your itinerary.
Tanzania is a rewarding place to visit at any time of the year. It has a comfortable, tropical climate but, due to its vast size and location, just south of the Equator, regional variations occur.
Temperatures rarely fall below 20°C (68°F), except in the highlands, where it can drop to 10°C during the cold season (May-August). The hottest period is from December to February, when temperatures are high but not oppressive.
The southern, central and western parts of the country experience one rainy season from December to April).
When to go?
The long rains start end of March and run through to the end of May. Northern Tanzania sees most of its heavy rain during the short rains in November, which are normally dry by the start of December. Best time to visit is either June through to early November, or early December through to end March. The wildebeest migration is most active throughout the year. The coastal areas are best visited between August and end March. Southern Tanzania is best visited between June and October. December through to May remain wet and logistics complicated.
High Season (Jun–Sep)
Weather is cooler and dry.
Hotels in popular areas are full, with high-season prices.
Animal-spotting is easiest, as foliage is sparse and animals congregate around dwindling water sources.
Shoulder Season (Oct–Feb)
Weather is hot, especially December through to February.
From late October, the short rains (vuli) fall and the kusi (seasonal trade wind) blows.
High-season prices from mid-December to mid-January.
Low Season (Mar–May)
Heavy rains make secondary roads muddy and some areas inaccessible.
It seldom rains all day, every day. Landscapes are lush and green.
Some hotels close; others offer discounts.
Best times to visit
Northern Tanzania: July to March
Southern Tanzania: June to March
Zanzibar and the coast: June to March
Western Tanzania: May to March
See our blog post “The Best Time to visit Tanzania”