Best time to go on safari in Tanzania; When to go

Tanzania and Zanzibar is a great destination for most of the year. The rainy months of April and May are are worth avoiding.  Zanzibar follows a similar pattern to the mainland Tanzania and combining safari and beach has never been easier than here! 
Tanzania is on the equator and therefore has a very nice temperature year-round. The only place it ever really gets chilly is in the peaks of Kilimanjaro or on the rim of the mighty Ngorongoro Crater. When safari and beach is the aim of a trip here (which 9 times out of 10 it is), then the main thing to consider is when it rains. There are two main rainy seasons in Tanzania; the short rains and the long rains. The short rains are in November, and can trickly into the following months, but generally it turns nice and dry again before the long rains which erupt in late March/April and carry on through until the end of May.

The best time to go to Tanzania if you are looking to absolutely avoid rain is therefore their winter months of July, August and September… For your beach time this is definitely the best time to go. However, you can sneak in a winter break in December, January and February and have mostly clear sunny skies. It is also important to focus on when the wildlife is at it’s best when deciding when to go to Tanzania.

Generally speaking, across Tanzania the best time to see the most prominent wildlife is from mid-June to the end of October, when the weather is dry and the wildlife is more concentrated around the water in the parks. The bushes are also less dense to the wildlife is easier to spot, which is very true for the more seasonal parks of Southern Tanzania. The Great Wildebeest migration is also spectacular in Northern Tanzania in February as the herds congregate in their thousands for calving season… As you can probably tell, each park in Tanzania has it’s own microclimate and unique times to visit, so please see the breakdowns below for a more detailed review of each month.

However, don’t be put off by the green and shoulder season months – in these months the wildlife can be equally as thrilling, and for quite literally half the cost… Talking to an expert is definitely the best way to discover your perfect time to visit, aligning with your particular interests and priorities. 

Ruaha

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 292929292828272830313230
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 191919181715141516181920
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 6777810910101097
Hours of Daylight Hrs 131212121212121212121213
Number Rainy Days 19171913400002719
Rainfall (mm) 149123133103171000744149

Ngorongoro Highlands

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 232322211919192021222222
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 1010101110888891010
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 887677778877
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121212
Number Rainy Days 1615182215766591718
Rainfall (mm) 108891362131002212151155114137

Pemba Island

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 323232312929282829303131
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 232324242321202020212223
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 998768889999
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121212
Number Rainy Days 7511171911131312121312
Rainfall (mm) 45261032582839577727110014598

Serengeti

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 292929282727262728292828
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 161616161615141515161616
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 888788888888
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121212
Number Rainy Days 13131621167677101615
Rainfall (mm) 79101130156893413285471117106

Ngorongoro Crater

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 232322211919192021222222
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 1010101110888891010
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 887677778877
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121212
Number Rainy Days 1615182215766591718
Rainfall (mm) 108891362131002212151155114137

Lake Manyara

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 303030272625252628292929
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 161717181715141515161716
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 888777778988
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121212
Number Rainy Days 1211151913433251214
Rainfall (mm) 6080114161362111167175

Mahale Mountains

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 282829292929293030302828
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 202020201918171820202020
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 66668101098765
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121212
Number Rainy Days 1815181992335111920
Rainfall (mm) 134115138167575121552130148

Selous Game Reserve

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 323232313029292931323332
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 232322222018171719202223
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 787667778888
Hours of Daylight Hrs 131212121212121212121213
Number Rainy Days 14101616933324815
Rainfall (mm) 1431392193111232315123338110131

Arusha

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 293029262423232426282828
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 151516171614131314151616
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 888666678988
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121212
Number Rainy Days 1110142014543251213
Rainfall (mm) 6364144339169392116163812691

Tarangire

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 293029272524242528292929
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 161717181614141415161717
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 888667778988
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121212
Number Rainy Days 1311151912433251115
Rainfall (mm) 8597130166465001147199

Mafia Island

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 313232313030293030313232
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 242423232220191919212223
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 787678889998
Hours of Daylight Hrs 131212121212121212121213
Number Rainy Days 13815171266546813
Rainfall (mm) 137962284672578651322334102186

Dar es Salaam

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 323232313029292930313132
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 232323232220191919202123
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 887568888988
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121213
Number Rainy Days 10412171466657912
Rainfall (mm) 70491202291534026232549106114

Zanzibar Beaches

NumberNRainyNDays Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Temp Day Time (°C) 323232302929282930313131
Min Temp Night Time (°C) 232222232221201919202122
Hours of Sunshine Hrs 887668888888
Hours of Daylight Hrs 121212121212121212121212
Number Rainy Days 105121716778891313
Rainfall (mm) 86541503852547050485296216184

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Map of Tanzania

Map of Tanzania Tanzania - Serengeti Tanzania - Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania - Lake Manyara Tanzania - Tarangire Tanzania - Kilimanjaro Tanzania - Selous Game Reserve Tanzania - Ruaha Tanzania - Mahale Mountains Tanzania - Katavi Tanzania - Zanzibar Tanzania - Pemba Island Tanzania - Mafia Island Tanzania - Dar es Salaam Tanzania - Arusha
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