Best time to visit Tanzania

Best time to visit Tanzania (Month by Month) 2021 all you need to know

Best time to visit Tanzania (Month by Month) 2021

Best time to visit Tanzania (Month by Month) 2021 is from July to October when the country is at its driest. This coincides with the migration river crossings, however, all the parks offer amazing wildlife sightings at this time as the grasses and bush are at their least dense.

When is the best time to go to Tanzania?

While considering when is the best time to visit Tanzania, travellers will be pleased to hear that there really is no right or wrong time to visit this well-loved country of  Tanzania but as a rule of thumb, the dry season (from late June to October) is the most popular time for a Tanzania safari with all the trimmings.

However, if you’re dreaming of seeing a specific animal, natural site, or looking for a certain type of weather, you’ll find some months more suitable to you than others. 

Although it depends! It depends what you want to see, to do, if you prefer being alone in the national parks or Tanzania beaches like Zanzibar or if you like some company from other tourists see full month by month guide.  

For wildlife lovers


Tanzania is one of the most beautiful safari destinations in Africa, and travellers who dream of visiting the country will likely be happy with an African safari at any time of the year.

However, a must-see experience is a Great Migration, in which millions of wildebeest and zebras migrate north to Kenya, between July and October in Serengeti National Park.


For beach lovers


While they tend to take a backseat to the local wildlife, Tanzania’s beaches are truly incredible. Pristine white sands and turquoise waters await travellers looking to relax, spot sea turtles, or take up windsurfing.


For hikers


One of the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Travellers of almost all ages and abilities can successfully climb this mountain, which makes for one of the most amazing experiences available to visitors to Tanzania.

When is the best time to go to Tanzania?

Late June through October, when the country is at its dryest. Of course, different people want different things from their time in this breathtaking East African country, which can make other seasons optimal as well.

Sometimes depends on what wildlife you’d like to spot. The country’s seasons and wildlife numbers are dictated by the rains, so you’ll have a slightly different experience depending on when you choose to visit. 

Tanzania’s headline attraction is the Great Migration, which occurs year-round across the Serengeti.

Many people flock here between July and September for a chance to witness huge herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing the Mara River — panic ensues as they try to avoid the jaws of crocodiles and other predators waiting to pounce.

Tanzania’s ‘green season’, between November and March, is much quieter. While there’s a chance of rain showers, it’s a fantastic time for bird watching as migratory species arrive in their thousands. You’ll also see Great Migration herds with their newly born calves. 

The only time we tend to avoid Tanzania is between April and May when heavy rains can disrupt wildlife viewing.

Best time to visit Tanzania and Zanzibar

The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October when temperatures will be warm but not too hot, and you’ll find much dryer conditions. Sun worshipper? You’ll love Zanzibar from December to February when temperatures skyrocket without the humidity.

Keep in mind that, while many travellers still greatly enjoy their visit to Tanzania and Zanzibar in the wet season, many beach lodges will be closed during this time. 



Best months to visit the beaches

  1. July & August: July and August are the driest months in Tanzania, meaning there’s a very little chance your beach holiday will be interrupted by rain!
  • February & March: February and March also see comparatively little rainfall, especially in Zanzibar. Sauti za Busara, a Swahili music festival, provides the perfect soundtrack to beach holidays in February. 

What is the best time of the year to visit Zanzibar (Tanzania beaches)?

The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October during the cool, dry months of spring. Another popular time to visit this tropical island is from December to February when it’s hot and dry.

If you want to take your chances during the long rains (April to May), you could have a week of sunshine or a week of rain – but you’ll get low season rates.

What about diving and snorkelling?

You can dive and snorkel in Tanzania all year! To go swimming, we often recommend going in January and February, or during the Tanzanian winter, in July and August. The rainy season is also raging on the coast and storms happen regularly, that’s why the rainy season is not the most popular time for diving.


Pro tip: If you’re heading to Tanzania for the diving, visibility will be good year-round, ranging between ten to more than 30 metres (33 to 98 feet). The water temperatures tend to stay around 25-30ºC (77-86ºF), meaning longer dives remain comfortable. 

Best time to visit Tanzania for a safari

Tanzania is definitely a year-round safari destination, but some differences are depending on where in the country you decide to visit for your safari adventure.

The best places for safaris year-round are located in the north, where travellers will enjoy great wildlife viewing no matter when they visit.

Consider areas such as Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park for a safari regardless of timing, but remember that the dry season is always prime wildlife season, and, thus, the peak season. 

The wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is usually during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February.

Best Time to Go on a Tanzania Safari

Most safari areas in Tanzania enjoy warm days and cool evenings year-round. While temperatures drop to below freezing on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, the country’s Indian Ocean coast and lakeside regions are hot and humid.

Tanzania has two distinct rainy seasons:

April to May (the ‘long rains’)

November to December (the ‘short rains’)

Generally, the country’s main rainy season (the long rains) produces tropical downpours in the afternoons and many safari camps close. The short rains season sees the occasional brief shower, but safari camps stay open and game viewing is good.

Go to the ‘Climate’ section on our Travel Advice page for more information about Tanzania’s seasons.

Tanzania Safari High vs Low Season

High or Peak Season Low or Green Season
About June to October (long dry season) About January to March and November to December
Highest rates Lowest rates
Need to book well in advance No need to book too far in advance
Cool and dry weather Hot and occasionally wet weather
Not many baby animals around Lots of baby animals around
Not many migrant birds to see Fantastic time for bird-watching
Most crowded Least crowded
Good photography conditions Greenest, most scenic landscapes with the best light of the year for photography
The best time to go on a Tanzania safari depends entirely on what you want to see and experience:

The major national parks like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire deliver superb year-round game viewing, but visitor numbers peak from about June to October.

Mount Kilimanjaro: the best weather conditions in which to climb are between July and October or January to March.

If it’s a tropical beach holiday that you’re after, the best time to visit Tanzania’s coast, Zanzibar and other islands is between June and March. If you want to take your chances during the long rains (April to May), you could have a week of sunshine or a week of rain – but you’ll get low season rates.

When to See the Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti

When to See the Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti
Event Approximate Time
Calving or Birthing Season January to March
Intense Big Cat Action January to March
Rutting (a period of sexual excitement, reproductive activity and mating battles between males) January to March
Grumeti River Crossings May to July
Mara River Crossings July to September

Note: the above are approximate dates only. The Wildebeest Migration is a year-round, circular journey and the river crossings cannot be predicted, although they generally occur between May and September. Sometimes the herds stay put for two weeks, other times they could cross four times in one day!

THE WORST TIME TO VISIT TANZANIA IS DURING THE MARCH-EARLY MAY RAINS WHEN WILDLIFE DISPERSES. OTHER THAN THAT… TAKE YOUR PICK.

The best time to go on safari in Tanzania varies for each traveller. Unlike in Kenya, the Great Migration can be seen during most of the year somewhere in Tanzania – though you’ll need to travel in June-Sep to catch the famous Mara River crossing.

Avoid the school holidays if you are able; there are fewer crowds. The south is never crowded though; the few lodges are dispersed, so even at peak times you’ll feel alone.

Jan-Feb is a lovely time after the short Nov-Dec rainy season; the landscape is greener and there are baby animals – plus rates may be lower.

best time to visit Tanzania for migration

The Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest and zebras travel from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, is one of the most incredible natural phenomenons in the world, so it’s no wonder why travellers dream of seeing it in person! The best time of year to see the Great Migration in Tanzania is from July to December, but travellers who make the trip later can also travel to Masai Mara to see the result of the migration. Of course, there are several multi-destination tours which offer experiences in Tanzania and Kenya, offering travellers the best of both worlds!

MORE ABOUT TANZANIA SAFARI

Safaris in Tanzania travel guide

In our safaris in Tanzania travel guide, we discuss when and where to see the wildebeest migration, bushwalking with a Maasai guide, Big Five game safaris in the Ngorongoro Crater and the little-explored game reserves of the south.

We share our thoughts on whether or not a Tanzania safari is right for you, and our interactive map will help you decide where to go on your Tanzania safari holiday.

Pro tips for every traveller
Travelling on a budget?

The cheapest time to fly to Tanzania in April, the peak of the wet season. Most of the national parks in the northern circuit of Tanzania, such as the popular Serengeti and Ngorongoro, will have great opportunities to view wildlife year-round, but a visit during the wet season can mean fewer tourists and cheaper flights and accommodation. However, conditions may be particularly humid and muddy during this time.

Travelling with kids?

Tanzania is an excellent destination for families. Keep in mind, however, that malaria is prevalent in the area, so be sure to bring anti-malarial medication, especially if you’re planning a visit during the wet season. 

best time to visit Tanzania weather-wise (Month-by-month guide to travelling in Tanzania)

Visiting Tanzania in January

There is a chance of rain, the temperature is getting higher and the humidity is building. It’s still a good time to go as rates are lower and safari is excellent. At this time of year, the migration herds are in the southeast of the Serengeti for calving season, so the Ndutu Plains are busy but it is amazing to see so many animals in one place.

Events & Festivals

January is the best time to see newborn babies in Serengeti National Park, especially wildebeest. January is the beginning of the “short dry season,” and travellers should expect daily temperatures to reach around 30°C (86°F).

Visiting Tanzania in February

Migration is still occurring in Ndutu. The weather is hot and humid with a chance of rain.

Events & Festivals

Continuing the “short dry season,” February is also a great time to see newborn babies in Serengeti National Park. The north of Tanzania is more likely to be drier than the south, where the rains may be continuing from the wet season. Daily high temperatures will reach roughly 30°C (86°F).

Visiting Tanzania in March

Migrating herds are starting to leave Ndutu, heading west toward Grumeti. This is truly low season, before the heavy rains but with humidity building. Great rates can be taken advantage of at this time of year.

Events & Festivals

March brings with it the beginning of the long rainy season – during this time, expect very high humidity and greater cloud coverage. March is also the low season in Tanzania, so, while traveller should expect daily rainfall, there should be considerably fewer tourists and lower prices. The average high temperature in March will be 30°C (86°F).

Visiting Tanzania in April – May

This is a period of heavy rain, so we would advise against travelling at this time. 

Events & Festivals

  • Another wet and rainy season, April is one of the best months for budget travellers to visit Tanzania. Not only is April the cheapest month to fly to Tanzania, but hotels and lodges will also often offer discounts during this low season. As with March, humidity levels will be very high during this time, and daily high temperatures will reach about 28°C (82°F)
  • While May is still considered the down season, levels of rain tend to fluctuate in this month. The one exception to this tends to be Zanzibar, which sees more rain in this month than any other area in Tanzania. Prices remain lower for this month, so May is also a great option for budget travellers unafraid of the rain. Daily high temperatures average 27°C (80°F).

Visiting Tanzania in June

This is the green season, bringing lush grasses and bush that can make spotting game more difficult. However, this is still a wonderful time to travel – particularly for bird watchers as parks are full of migratory birds; especially in the south. Migration should be in the Grumeti area of the Serengeti heading north.

Events & Festivals

For travellers looking to do a little bit of everything in Tanzania, June is possibly the best month to visit. The beginning of the dry season, travellers will enjoy the sunshine, fresh blooms, and incredible animal sightings. This is also a great time for a beach holiday in the area. Daytime temperatures tend to range from 25-30°C (77-86° F).

Visiting Tanzania in July

This is the start of the peak season. The Migration is in the north of the Serengeti moving toward Kenya, and elephant starts to gather in Tarangire. The land is getting drier and spotting game is becoming easier. Temperatures are in the high 20°Cs to early 30°Cs and the humidity is low.

Events & Festivals

  • The Great Migration river crossings (July to September): This is your best chance to observe herds of animals in their hundreds as they cross Tanzania’s rivers on their epic migration across the continent. The Great Migration: Q&As
  • July is the dryest month in Tanzania, which makes it perfect for beach holidays, wildlife sightings, and family vacations – the dry weather lowers the risk of malaria. July is the last month the wildebeest and zebra will be found in Serengeti National Park, before beginning their migration to Kenya. Temperatures will reach a daily maximum of 26°C (79°F), and this is a great month for a camping safari.

Visiting Tanzania in August

Peak season. Migration is still in the north. As the land becomes more parched, the animals’ behaviour becomes more predictable. The dense bush in Ruaha is drying out so game spotting here becomes much easier.

Events & Festivals

  • The Great Migration river crossings (July to September): This is your best chance to observe herds of animals in their hundreds as they cross Tanzania’s rivers on their epic migration across the continent. The Great Migration: Q&As
  • August is a great month to visit for wildlife viewing since the dry season is in full swing and foliage becomes sparse. This month is also perfect for a beach holiday, as conditions will be warm but not too hot. Families, campers, and wildlife enthusiasts celebrate: this is your perfect month. Temperatures will average of 25°C (77°F).

Visiting Tanzania in September

Peak season. The end of the migration is still in the north, with herds on both sides of the Kenya and Tanzania borders and high numbers of elephant in Tarangire. The northern circuit can be very busy, but it is less busy in the south, so for those who want to avoid crowds, it’s best to visit the southern parks.

Events & Festivals

  • The Great Migration river crossings (July to September): This is your best chance to observe herds of animals in their hundreds as they cross Tanzania’s rivers on their epic migration across the continent. The Great Migration: Q&As
  • Another dry season with low humidity, September is one of the best times to visit Tanzania for wildlife experiences, as the wildebeest and zebra will have begun their migration back to Serengeti National Park. September is also a great month for diving and snorkelling, as sea visibility is better during this time. Daily temperatures will reach about 28°C (82°F).

Visiting Tanzania in October

Peak season. The migration is now in Kenya, but the game viewing in central Serengeti is still very good. Southern parks are particularly rewarding at this time of year.

Events & Festivals

Things begin to warm up again in October, but with that comes the beginnings of the wet season. While travellers certainly shouldn’t expect the levels of rain the wet season will bring, they may experience bouts of rain throughout the day. This is a great time to visit Tanzania for beach holidays and wildlife spotting, and temperatures will reach highs of about 30°C (86°F).

Visiting Tanzania in November

Short rains. This is a great time to take advantage of low season rates and is still a popular time to travel. The rains tend to be overnight, but there is a risk of rain during the day as well. Migrating herds are starting to travel south from Kenya, so crossings can be seen in the north of the Serengeti.

Events & Festivals

The beginning of the short rains, November sees the end of the Great Migration and, subsequently, some great game viewing opportunities. Instead, this is a great time for budget travellers to visit, as there are far fewer crowds and prices are lower. There are still some amazing chances to spot animals on safari in November. Humidity sits at an average of 76% every day in November, so be prepared to sweat!

Visiting Tanzania in December

There is a chance of rain, but this is generally overnight. Temperatures and humidity start to build. Safari is good, with migrating herds in the north travelling south to Ndutu. The festive season can be very busy and needs to be planned well in advance to ensure availability. 

Events & Festivals

While December is technically part of the short rainy season, this generally doesn’t last too far into the month – great news for the Christmas and New Year’s travellers, who flock to the country for their celebrations. Expect to pay a premium to visit Tanzania in December, and to contend with crowds. December is a great time for birdwatchers, as migratory birds arrive in the country this month.

Climate Guide in Tanzania

1.    Dry Season

JANUARY TO FEBRUARY; JUNE TO OCTOBER

Tanzania technically experiences two dry seasons. The first, during January and February, are off-season periods during which the north of the country experiences significantly less rainfall than surrounding areas. The second, or “long dry season,” takes place between June to October. During this time, travellers should expect to experience everything peak season has to offer – both in terms of amazing wildlife sightings and favourable conditions, as well as crowds and a higher cost of accommodation. 

2.    Rainy Season

MARCH TO MAY

Tanzania’s rainy season takes place from March until May, but travellers shouldn’t be discouraged from travelling to Tanzania during this time! While they’ll almost certainly experience rain, the rainfall is often in short, sharp bursts. Travellers unafraid of a little rain can reap the benefits of visiting during this offseason. Not only can they expect to see Tanzania’s amazing wildlife – both land animals and birds – but they’ll also pay much less for travel and accommodation during their safari. 

Temperatures and rainfall in Tanzania

The climate in Tanzania is changeable depending on where you visit – for example, Ngorongoro tends to be much colder than Serengeti National Park. One constant is that the coast, temperatures are warm year-round; the perfect beach destination!

Best time to visit Tanzania for Serengeti
Serengeti National Park is located in a subtropical climate. From May to August, conditions are dry and relatively cool, followed by a warmer season in September and October. When the rainy season arrives, it brings humidity with it – from November to April, expect rain and heat. 

Best time to visit Tanzania tour to Ngorongoro
The weather in Ngorongoro is spring-like all year round, which provides welcome relief for travellers arriving from other parts of Tanzania! However, expect to see more rain in this area – the highest parts of the crater exceed 2000 metres (6500 feet), which brings with it cool nights and more precipitation. 

Best time to visit Tanzania for Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro stands at 5895 metres (19340 feet) tall, which means parts of it are home to permanent snow. Despite this, the sun is very strong at those altitudes, so travellers should remember to bring appropriate sunscreen. Kilimanjaro sees high levels of rainfall in April and May, and, on the summit, temperatures can drop to -15 to -25°C (5 to -13°F) at night. 

The coast
Conditions are hot year-round on the coast of Tanzania. However, travellers should expect two rainy seasons in the northern part of the coast. The first occurs between March to May, with April being the wettest month, and the second occurs between October to December, though the rainfall pattern of the second rainy season is irregular. 
 

Temp JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
High°C Day 29° C 29° C 29° C 28° C 27° C 27° C 26° C 27° C 28° C 29° C 28° C 28° C
Min °C Night 16° C 16° C 16° C 16° C 16° C 15° C 14° C 15° C 15° C 16° C 16° C 16° C
Max °F Day 84°F 84°F 84°F 82°F 81°F 81°F 79°F 81°F 82°F 84°F 82°F 82°F
Min °F Night 61°F 61°F 61°F 61°F 61°F 59°F 57°F 59°F 59°F 61°F 61°F 61°F
Chances of rain low low high high medium low low low low low medium medium

The Best Time to visit Tanzania for activity

Best to spot wildlife

The best time to visit Tanzania for wildlife tends to be the dry seasons, which occur from June to October with a shorter dry spell occurring in the north from January to February. The best wildlife viewing months will be from late June into October, but travellers should be prepared to deal with crowds and peak-season prices. A visit during the short dry season in January or February will bring with it lower prices and fewer tourists, but expect to see the occasional bout of rain. Make sure to pack layers for early-morning game drives and be prepared for the rain!

See all Tanzania safari tours

See all Great Migration tours

Best time to visit Tanzania for climb Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro can be climbed year-round, thanks to its proximity to the equator which makes the surrounding weather relatively stable and mild. The two main seasons for climbing, however, are January to March and June to October; the two dry seasons on the mountain. For more information about the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, please check our full guide. 

See all Kilimanjaro tours

What is the best time of the year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

All year round! Admittedly, it is less easy at certain times of the year than at others (we think in particular of the rainy season). Note that there are strong temperature differences between the foot and the top of the mountain.

Even if it’s hot a the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, it can freeze at the top. February is often considered to be the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This is one of the hottest months and the temperature at the top is not too cold. If you can not go there in February, know that the whole period from December to February is good to climb on the roof of Africa!

Tanzania Travel Assortment

Tanzania is a place that is known for grouped assortments, a reality where the wild of the Serengeti and its clamouring fields bow before Kilimanjaro’s snow-topped crown. Further south, the verdant bowl of the Ngorongoro Crater supports a lively area, while past its parameters, unending cafés convey unbounded proportions of the berry-like blend. Around the east, blue-green shaded waters cautiously lap the Tanzanian shoreline and moderate sea streams draw guests toward the Afro-Arab islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia.

Tanzania is also the phase for the Great Migration, which happens somewhat in the immense fields of the Serengeti. Reliably, over 1.5 million wildebeest, a reasonable number of gazelles, and negligible after of zebra scan for better brushing locales. At the south of the Serengeti lies a trademark life trove, hid in the volcanically-rich and profitable soil of the Ngorongoro Crater.