Perfect Timing: When is the Best Time to Visit Tanzania?


Do you hanker for wide-open spaces, unique daily adventures, and breath-taking photographic opportunities at every turn? It’s time you take a trip to Tanzania. With over 44% of its land area set aside for conservation, this East African country has all the raw ingredients to ensure you experience the wildlife safari of a lifetime. Read on to find out about the best time to visit Tanzania and what you should take along.

The Seasons in Tanzania

Like most countries located close to the Equator, Tanzania does not have 4 clearly distinguishable seasons. Instead, there are only two main seasons — wet and dry. Typically, the dry season stretches from June to October, while rain is common between November and May. While most tourists prefer to travel in the drier times, every month of the year has its own charms. It really depends on how you want to spend your time in Tanzania. Let’s take a month-by-month look at what to expect. If you want to witness the wildebeest migration during your Tanzanian trip, it pays to remember that the Great Migration never stops. It simply moves to its next location.

January and February

You can expect afternoon showers if you visit Tanzania at the beginning of the year. It’s also the best time to see the wildebeest calving in the southern Serengeti. At this time, millions of wildebeest linger on the grassy plains to deliver their young and gather strength for the long journey ahead. They’re always accompanied by opportunistic predators like cheetahs, lions, and hyenas. It’s also a wonderful time to enjoy a beach break on Zanzibar’s islands or at one of Tanzania’s seaside destinations. Many adventure seekers choose to tackle mount Kilimanjaro from January to March because it is less crowded.

March to April

This is the heart of the rainy season and some safari lodges in southern Tanzania close during this period. The wet months are a wonderful time for birding in Tanzania. The full complement of migratory species has arrived from Europe and North Africa and most resident birds are resplendent in their breeding plumage.

May and June

During May the weather starts to dry up and the scenery is still lush and green from the rains. It’s a gorgeous time of year to be in Tanzania and heralds the beginning of peak game watching season. The wildebeest start their northward journey around this time. You’ll find them in the region of Moru Kopjes and Seronera in central Serengeti. Moru Kopjes is also an excellent place to see black rhino in their natural habitat. June sees the migration linger for a while on the banks of the Grumeti River before attempting this hazardous crossing. The tourist crowds start to arrive in anticipation of the high drama to come.

July to October

These are the busiest months in Tanzania. During the dry season, water is scarce and it’s easy to find game species since they congregate close to sources of water. This is the best time to experience the Great Serengeti Migration on the move. The dry season is at its peak making this the best time to visit any of Tanzania’s game parks. There is a lower risk of contracting malaria at this time too, as less water means fewer mosquitoes. It does mean more safari-goers and higher peak-season prices though. If you want to avoid the crowds during the busy dry season, you’re better off exploring the following parks:

Lake Manyara

This beautiful park takes its name from the soda lake at its heart but it’s also home to sulfur springs, grassland, woodland, and swamps. These habitats mean the park is home to a variety of wildlife and birds including buffaloes and many types of plains game. This is where you’ll find Tanzania’s famous tree-climbing lions and more elephants per square mile than anywhere else in the country.

Ruaha National Park

Vast herds of elephants and painted dogs are the highlights of a trip here but you can also expect to see all of East Africa’s other wildlife species too.

Selous Game Reserve

Until recently, you could only access this World Heritage Site by plane or train which means wildlife has proliferated here for hundreds of years undisturbed. This huge reserve boasts a full bouquet of Africa’s most sought-after predators including the Big Five, massive herds of plains game and a thriving population of painted dogs.

Tarangire National Park

It’s a little known fact that a large portion of the migration heads to this park during the dry season. So you can still enjoy watching these vast herds without the major crowds at this time of year. You’ll also get to see the accompanying predators as well as tree-climbing pythons if you’re lucky.

November and December

If you’re traveling on a budget, November is the time to go to Tanzania. The peak season is over and rates are lower. Yet, you can still enjoy many of the perks of dry-season game viewing with only the occasional shower.

What to Bring on Your Tanzanian Safari

No matter what time of year you visit Tanzania, it’s bound to be hotter and sunnier than your home country. Sun protection is vital for all outdoor activities during an African safari and you should always consult your GP about appropriate malaria prophylactics well in advance of your visit. During the drier months, it can get chilly when the sun goes down, so a warm jacket is essential for early morning and evening game drives. Don’t leave home without a pair of binoculars and your camera. Most safari camps will have solar-powered charging stations for your gear. Knowing what to pack for Tanzania Safari is an important step before you embark on your amazing African Adventure. Don’t expect much in the way of internet connectivity during your stay. Make the most of it by indulging in a digital detox.

The Best Time to Visit Tanzania is Now

If you’re desperate to get your African fix, Ngorongoro Crater is a wonderful destination all year round. No matter when you decide to travel, it’s important to book early. Tanzania is a popular destination at any time of year. Get in touch for more information about the best time to visit Tanzania according to your interests and book an unforgettable safari package today.
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