What wildlife you want to see relies heavily on the best time to visit Tanzania.
The rains determine the seasons and numbers of the country’s wildlife, so you will have a slightly different experience depending on when you visit.
The main attraction of Tanzania is the Great Migration, which happens in the Serengeti year-round.
Many people flock here between July and September for a chance to see large herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing the Maasai Mara River — there is chaos as they try to escape crocodiles’ jaws and other predators waiting to pounce.
While contemplating when to visit Tanzania, you will be pleased to learn that there is no right or wrong time to visit this beautiful land.
But if you’re dreaming of seeing a particular animal, or natural site, you’ll find some months more appropriate for you than others.
A Safari Guide to The Best Time to Visit Tanzania
The best time to visit Tanzania highly depends on your adventure preferences.
We’ve categorized different choices and allocated the appropriate months for visits in each category.
For Wildlife Enthusiasts
Tanzania is one of Africa’s most stunning safari destinations, and travelers dreaming of exploring Africa will enjoy an African safari any time of the year.
The Great Migration, where millions of wild beasts and zebras migrate north into Kenya from July through October, is one of the spectacles to behold.
During the short rains from November to December, the herds head back to Serengeti National Park.
For Beach Lovers and Hikers
Although they tend to take a backseat to the local wildlife, the beaches in Tanzania are genuinely astounding.
Pristine white sands and clear turquoise waters are waiting for you if you seek relaxation or windsurfing.
Hikers can visit Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa.
Travelers of virtually all ages and capabilities will excel in scaling this peak, one of Tanzania’s most beautiful encounters.
Travelling Pro Tips
April is the summit of the wet season and the cheapest time to fly into Tanzania.
Although most national parks on the country’s northerly circuit, such as the famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro, will have ample opportunities to see wildlife throughout the year, you can also get some enticing cheap flights and accommodations in the wet season.
During this period, however, conditions may be exceptionally wet and muddy.
Traveling with kids?
Tanzania is a perfect family destination.
However, keep in mind that malaria is expected in the area and take anti-malarial medications, particularly when you plan a visit in the wet season.
Have some mosquito repellants with you as well to shield you from their nasty bites.
Tanzania Safari Highly Depends on Your Preferences
Superb views of the largest national parks, such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire, are year-round, while the peaks are between June and October.
Mount Kilimanjaro: the ideal environmental conditions for climbing are between July and October or from January to March.
The perfect time to visit the coast of Zanzibar and the other islands starts from June to March if you are looking for a tropical beach holiday.
In the long rainy cycle (April to May), you will have a sunny week or a rainy week, but you’ll get budget season values.
Factors to Consider When Planning for a Safari to Tanzania
There are several factors to consider when planning for a safari to Tanzania. They include:
Climate and Weather
Here’s a simple guide to Tanzania’s environment – but note that it comes from documents and practice, not from a crystal ball.
We are experiencing heavy rains in the center of deserts and severe droughts, possibly due to global warming.
The weather conditions around Africa are becoming more erratic.
Tanzania is immense just to the south of the equator, and its sheer scale means that it has a very different atmosphere.
The primary rainy season usually lasts around March, April, and May.
Downpours are typical in the afternoons – they are dense and predictable on the shores and the islands. Moisture is high, and daily temperatures rise to 30°C on average.
Temperatures vary enormously in terms of altitude and location, but it is usually a fair, clear sky and sunny weather.
Another rainy season takes place in November and December: the ‘short rains.’ These rains are much lighter and less reliable than the long rains.
If it rains during the short rains, it usually dries for a few months, January and February, the ‘short dry season’ of Tanzania, before the rain begins again in March.
Many tourists flock Tanzania to see the great migration of Serengeti’s wildebeests.
This spectacular migration of thousands of wildebeests – followed by zebra, gazelle, eland, and impala –occurs typically throughout the year, following a relatively predictable trend. Wildebeests are continuously browsing for fresh grass and water.
With that said, the wildebeest migration occurs from July to December.
The concern really should be about the ‘right places’ to go at those times of the year – which is the most fun to visit.
Hiking on Mt. Kilimanjaro
If you’re planning to climb Kilimanjaro, there are a few things to hold in mind.
January and February are the warmest months, but they still carry the highest number of hikers.
From March to May, the rains make trekking theoretically more challenging – but substantially fewer people are in the mountains.
June to August, but less rain, September, and October, with suitable temperatures, are relatively dry.
The rains return from November to December, but the temperatures remain relatively normal.
Given the day temperature, the mountain cools during the night, and the closer you get to the peak, the colder it becomes.
Visiting the Beaches
The best time to visit the beaches in Tanzania is close to that in the rest of the world.
I recommend visiting the mainland coast of Tanzania or the islands of Pemba, Mafia, or the lovely Zanzibar during the warm, dry months of June to September
You will also enjoy a fantastic beach break outside of these months and escape the high seasonal costs.
January and February’s dry months are still decent times to visit but be mindful that temperatures are slightly higher.
Festivals and Events
Tanzania is home to more than 120 diverse tribes of Christian and Islamic common faiths.
This cultural blend provides a diverse array of festivals and activities during the year, including sporting competitions that draw crowds worldwide.
Tanzanian Parks and Their Seasonal Advantages
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park contains the exceptional game in high densities year-round. The peak time for wildebeest is during the dry season from June to September.
The Great Migration is always high on any safari enthusiast’s bucket list, and planning a visit to coincide with the spectacle is popular.
The best chance of spotting wildebeest is in western regions of the park in May and June.
Wildebeest calving season in the southern Serengeti provides high excitement. Lion and cheetah prey on the fragile and naive newborns.
Try staying at either Kimondo migration camp or Lake Masek Tented Camp for the best views.
The height of the wet season is March and April and causes the usually crowded Serengeti to empty.
Ngorongoro National Park
Dry season (June to October) is the best time to visit as temperatures are more relaxed and little rain.
The wet season (November to May) is still a great time to view animals. Migratory bird species return during this season, creating a kaleidoscope of color.
Even during the wet season, few places on earth can compete with Ngorongoro’s game viewing.
The best way to see the shy black rhino is to take a guided tour of the crater.
Selous Game Reserve
Dry, colder months of June to November make for excellent big cat and wild dog sightings.
The wild dogs usually den from June to August, making these the best months to spot the rare and highly endangered species.
The seasonality regarding game viewing in this area is relatively straightforward, with animals spreading out during the wet season.
The heaviest rains fall in March and April.
Zanzibar is best experienced from June to October when the climate is cold and dry.
August and September have the best water clarity, offering excellent snorkeling conditions.
Some of the island restaurants remain closed during the Muslim festival of Ramadan.
The wet season arrives in March and lasts until May, so take care in the water.
December to February is hot and dry, with temperatures reaching into the 40 degrees Celsius range.
Conclusion on Best Time Visit Tanzania
I do not believe that there’s the best time to visit Tanzania. It would rely on many factors, like your preferences, exactly where you want to go and why you’re going.
The best time for one individual can be the worst time for another.
The Great Migration is swirling around the Serengeti – you should track it.
Crossing the Mara River takes place in Jun-July; drier weather also means more animals near waterholes.
After the short rains, Jan-Feb brings fewer cars and greener landscapes; you’ll see the wildebeest calves and more predators.
Jun-Aug is hotter, suitable for someone who needs to escape the intense sun.