When is the best safari season to visit Tanzania?
Our travelers often want to know when the best time to visit Tanzania is. Tanzania is a vast country with a number of incredible safari destinations and climates that vary. This makes answering the question of when to visit rather complex. The best time to visit Tanzania will depend on where you want to go and what your safari interests are.
As Tanzania is situated just south of the equator, the climate is relatively consistent and daytime temperatures average between 25 - 30 °C; the hottest months are January - February and the coolest is August. Generally, the Dry Season from June to October is the best time to visit Tanzania. It is almost a year-round safari destination, with two rainy seasons – the long rains and the short rains - which should be noted.
Best Time for Wildlife Viewing:
The best time for a wildlife safari in both the Northern and Southern Parks in Tanzania is during the Dry Season from June to October. The Dry Season sees cooler, pleasant weather with clear skies, lower humidity and little to no rain.
The drier weather means that the vegetation is thinner making it easier to spot animals. Wildlife also congregates around sources of water making for exciting interactions and great safari game viewing.
One important thing to note is that with the good weather and excellent wildlife viewing come larger crowds. The Dry Season is definitely Tanzania’s High Season.
While the north is generally pleasant year round, the south becomes hotter and humid during the rains and the summer months. Another point to be aware of in the south is that during the long rains from March to May a number of the lodges are closed. This is low season and access is restricted to many lodges due to the rain.
Best Time to See the Great Migration:
If you are visiting Tanzania to experience the Great Migration, there are three periods that offer viewing opportunities. From December to March the wildebeest herds are in the Southern Serengeti moving in search of fresh grazing, water and safety from predators.
Calving Season falls during January to March and this is the best time to visit for those wishing to experience unforgettable scenes as thousands of wildebeest calves join the already massive herds. In June/July, the herds make the first of the dramatic river crossings at the Grumeti River in the Western Serengeti. June to October is generally good to view the Great Migration as long as you are aware of where the herds are predicted to be. If the main aim of your Tanzania safari is to witness the annual Wildebeest Migration, then the timing of your safari and camp location is highly important. (Please see our 'experience' section of this website for further information on the Great Migration).
Best Time for a Birding Safari:
The best time for birding is during and just after the short rains from December to March. Migratory birds move through different areas of the country and the scenery is lush and green making it a birders paradise. This time of year is hotter and more humid than during the dry season.
Best Time for a Beach Holiday:
Many of our travelers combine a safari experience with a trip to the Island of Zanzibar. The best season to visit Zanzibar follows similar patterns to that of the Northern Safari Circuit. Two popular times to visit are from June to November when the weather is cool and dry and December to January when it is hotter with sporadic chances of rain. The rest of the year is largely sunny and warm, with water temperatures pleasant; perfect for relaxing and spending some time in the water after a safari expedition.
Get more information on our tours and safaris to Zanzibar here.
Best Time for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro:
Climbing Kilimanjaro can be attempted year-round with the best being from July to October but night-time temperatures on the mountain can drop well below zero year-round.
Read more about our Mount Kilimanjaro tours and safaris here.
Contact to us to get a better understanding about the best season to visit Tanzania, and see our guest gallery for pictures from clients who have travelled in Tanzania throughout the year.