Which Month is best to Visit Tanzania? – A guide to Tanzania Safaris 

The Best time to visit Tanzania largely depends on what kind of safari/Vacation you wish to have, with the high season (featuring the best weather) falling between June and September. If you are after seclusion (no crowds), traveling during the wet months of March to May is the way to go. Even though Tanzania’s climate is quite varied due to its varying landscapes, most of this country experiences a moderate tropical climate with two distinct seasons- rainy and wet seasons. This is part of why this beautiful Safari destination is the perfect country to visit year-round. There’s always a lot to see in Tanzania regardless of the reason. To help you plan your Tanzania safari, we have broken down Tanzania trips month by month.

Visiting Tanzania in January and February

January and February are the short dry seasons in Tanzania with short showers (especially at night). The country’s savannah Protected Areas are swathed in verdant vegetation from the previous wet season. However, it is slightly more challenging to undertake wildlife viewing, thanks to the thick vegetation brought by the long rains.

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These months mark the beginning of the Calving season on the Ndutu Plains in southern Serengeti and the associated big cat (lions and leopards) activity. Besides the stunning wildlife show, January and February are a wonderful time to explore the “Soul of Africa” at lower rates compared to when visiting during the long dry season. Thanks to the spectacular weather, it is also a wonderful time to integrate the beautiful Zanzibar Island into your safari. During these months, there are clearer skies, wonderful temperatures, and calm waters. The National Parks are also quieter, and less crowded compared to the high season thus making it perfect for private wildlife viewing.

Are you interested in climbing Africa’s highest peak (Mount Kilimanjaro)? The good news is that this is also the perfect time to take on the higher summit as trails are dry and warm. However, there are several downsides to visiting Tanzania in January and February. These include obstructed wildlife viewing due to verdant vegetation, closure of some accommodation facilities (especially National Parks in the southern circuit), and short showers, especially at night.

Visit Tanzania in March, April and May

Tanzania’s long rainy season is in March, April, and May, and is marked by more frequent and heaviest compared to other months of the year. The high precipitation levels regenerate the beautiful landscapes, hence making them verdant and green. These months are wonderful for travelers who wish to save some money/ or travel on a budget. If you choose these months, be prepared to cope with the random and at times heavy rains, especially in the afternoons.

While prices are lower, calving is at the peak, safari destinations are least busy, and migratory birds are in large numbers, the wet months have some downsides. These include challenging wildlife viewing due to verdant vegetation. Also, most National Parks in the Southern circuit and some in the Northern circuit remain closed because it’s the low season.

Mountain climbing on Kilimanjaro is more challenging during the wet season because forest trails become muddy and slippery. The poor conditions and heavy precipitation levels increase the risk of accidents, in addition to higher peaks being extremely cold. Additionally, the dense cloud cover during these wet months makes it difficult to take nice photos and relish the breathtaking views that Mount Kilimanjaro is known for. Of all the 7 established routes on this Mountain, Marangu is the most difficult during the wet season. 

Visit Tanzania in June and July

June and July are known as the first half of Tanzania’s long dry season. It marks the beginning of the long dry season, which lasts five and a half months as well as the onset of the Great annual Migration. Much as both months are known as the high season, July is known to be busier and costlier.

The months are wonderful periods for wildlife viewing as the reduction in rain means vegetation is sparser thus making it easier to see the wildlife. Additionally, animals converge around the few remaining water holes amidst dry conditions which leads to related big cat activity while hunting herds of their prey.

The end of May and the beginning of June is the onset of the Great Annual Migration. This is where millions of wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras begin their long journey from south to North Serengeti while looking for fresh pastures. Wildebeests cross River Grumeti (in the western corridor) from early May to late July.

Bird watching isn’t good during these months, as it is during the wet season. However, there are still some Migratory birds.

Mountaineers flock to Tanzania during these months because of the better hiking conditions. There are breathtaking views that this Mountain is known for. For those interested in Beach vacations, it is interesting to know that skies are sunny and clear hence making it perfect for outdoor activities. It is therefore wonderful for snorkeling, due to the calm waters and incredible visibility.

In Summary, these months are wonderful to visit Tanzania for wildlife safaris, Mount Kilimanjaro climbing tours, and Vacations in Zanzibar. The weather is wonderful, wildlife viewing is amazing, the wildebeest migration is at its peak with river crossings, and mosquito levels are at their lowest.

Visit Tanzania in August and September

The months of August and September mark the second half of the long dry season with one of the most riveting wildlife spectacles. These spectacles include wildebeests crossing crocodile-infested Rivers as part of the thrilling Great Wildebeest Migration.

August is the busiest month in Tanzania thus making it the costliest to travel. September on the other hand is quieter and less costly compared to August. The Wildebeest River crossing is at its peak in Northern Serengeti, thus providing breathtaking views across crocodile-infested Rivers.

Coastal destinations such as Zanzibar are also pleasant with calm and clearer waters. Hence perfect for adventures like unwinding on the white sand beaches, diving, and snorkeling. The downsides of visiting Tanzania in August and September include crowding of National Parks which don’t provide seclusion, and higher prices. Bird watching isn’t excellent, although there are still several migratory birds from Asia and Europe to see during August and September. The slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro are drier and temperatures cooler, hence making August and September popular for climbing tours.

Visiting Tanzania in October, November, and December

Tanzania experiences two rainy seasons, and mid-October to mid-December mark the short rains. Visitors traveling on a budget start to enjoy lower rates (especially on accommodation). This is known as the “shoulder season” with secluded Parks.

Although occasional rains are experienced in the afternoons, there is still wonderful wildlife viewing in Parks found in the Northern circuit with lots of big cats. Additionally, wildebeests begin crossing back over River Mara as part of the Great annual migration. On the downside, wildlife viewing is obstructed due to thick green vegetation. Thanks to the coolness and dryness of October, it is popular for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

In conclusion, Tanzania is a year-round safari destination that offers something incredible at whatever month you visit. If you are looking for incredible wildlife viewing, excellent mountain climbing conditions, and yearning for a beach Vacation, you will consider visiting in the dry season. If you are looking to enjoy seclusion/less crowds and lower rates, then you will consider to visit Tanzania in the wet season.

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