Aventura Safaris

When to Safari

When to Visit Tanzania
Tanzania is located along the equator, meaning that annual temperatures remain fairly consistent year round. The largest variation occurs during the country’s rainy season, which generally spans from April to May. There is also a period of light rain during the month of November.

That said, Tanzania is a large country with great geographic variation. Weather varies from region to region, and the following guide will give insight into what to expect in each area. Do keep in mind when planning a trip that weather is highly variable, and these are but our best estimates based off of trends.

Northern Circuit: Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire
The northern circuit is visited year round, with most visitors arriving between the months of June and October, when the weather is dry and the Great Wildebeest Migration is in full force. However, there are many attractions to the northern circuit outside of these months that are well worth considering.

In the Serengeti, game viewing is generally best between June and March, with specific highlights occurring in the following months:

• December – April: Migration in the southern Serengeti plains
• April – May: Most affordable time to travel, with good sightings all around
• June – July: Migration moves through the western corridor
• August – October: Migration crosses the Mara River to Kenya
• July – January: Good predator sightings

In the Ngorongoro Crater, you find great game viewing year round, with specific highlights occurring in the following months:

• February – March: Migration passes through Lake Ndutu in the greater Ngorongoro Conservation Area
• April – May: Lushest landscapes in the Ngorongoro Crater, with great wildlife viewing
• July – August: High season for tourism

Tarangire is generally considered to be a ‘dry season’ park, given that it is most accessible during this period. As such, it is best to visit between June and November, while avoiding it from March to May.

Southern Circuit: Selous and Ruaha
Within the southern circuit, there is great variation in topography, altitude and climate. Generally speaking, both parks are best visited in the drier months (June – October or January – March).

Selous should really only be visited during the drier months, when the massive Selous River is lower. During this time, it is easier to explore the park and the wildlife is more visible. The prime months occur between mid-June and late October, though tourism numbers are also highest during this period. From January through to March, you are also likely to find a dry park with lower numbers of fellow tourists. The landscape also happens to be more lush in this time. During and immediately after the rainy season, it becomes significantly more difficult to navigate the park and locate game.

Ruaha, by contrast, does not have a major river and is generally more open and easy to navigate. As such, it can be visited essentially year round though the drier months are preferable. Like Selous, the months of January, February and March tend to have the lowest levels of tourism, making a visit during this time a more solitary and exclusive experience.

Western Circuit: Mahale and Katavi
The western parks in Tanzania are generally only visited between the months of August and October. However, the months of January, February and March are still wonderful times to visit, particularly if you enjoy solitude and exclusivity.

Katavi is almost only visited during the dry season, given that game becomes exponentially easier to view here. From August – October and February – March, large herds of buffalo, elephant and plains game congregate around small remaining sources of water. This in turn creates conditions for excellent predator viewing. That said, if visiting outside of these primary months, lodges tend to run a number of walking safaris offering up greater proximity with your surroundings.

Mahale is most often visited for the resident chimpanzee population, which can be observed year-round. Visits are however most pleasant during the dry season, given that hiking is a significant portion of each visit.

The Coast
The weather on the coast tends to be the most variable in the country, with predictions being more difficult to make. Generally speaking, the dry season tends to occur between July and October and from January to March. The ‘shoulder months’ surrounding the rainy periods can still see higher levels of precipitation as well.

Zanzibar follows a similar pattern, with slight variations between the eastern and western shores. The quieter months for tourism tend to occur between January and March.

Hikers tend to prefer hiking Kilimanjaro between the months of July and October, when the weather is warmer and the days drier. The climb is however possible year round; hikers should just prepare themselves for more mud and water if summiting in April/May or November/December.

It is also worth trying to match your summit to the full moon. Climbing under a full moon makes your final ascent more scenic and interesting given that more life is visible under the moonlight.

If you are interested in this region, or any of our other Tanzanian safari locations, contact us by telephone on: +255 (0)27 2520 141 or email us here


Key Facts
Time Zone: GMT +3
Fly to: Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar
Flying Time: Approx 10 hours via connection from London
Language: English, Swahili
Visas: Required. Available on arrival or pre-travel via Tanzania Embassy
Currency: Tanzania Shilling. US$ Dollars accepted
Health Requirements: Yellow fever
certificate required if arriving from an endemic area

Tailor-made Safaris

  • • The ability to design your entire holiday.
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