Best Time to Visit - 9 min read

Best Time to Visit Tanzania (Experience Local Traditions & Wildlife!)

Dennis Howard

Dennis Howard, Updated October 29, 2022

Disclosure: Town & Tourist may receive a commission for purchases made through links in this article, at no additional cost to you.

Many seasoned African travelers consider Tanzania to be the crown jewel of destinations. This is a land of astounding natural beauty, archeological and geological wonders, fascinating people, and even gorgeous beaches. You can even climb Mount Kilimanjaro made famous by author Earnest Hemingway.

Between July and September is the best time to visit Tanzania. During this time, the temperature averages between 70 and 80 F. This is the fry season and offers the best time for safaris, trekking, and enjoying the beaches. March and April are best if you want to save money. You can save up to 40% on flights and accommodations. 

When Not to Visit Tanzania

We suggest avoiding a trip to Tanzania during the monsoon season. April and May are typically the wettest months in Tanzania. The rains can keep even the most intrepid traveler indoors.

Many parks and lodges are closed during this time of year which makes visiting many of the parks almost impossible.

The unpredictable nature of the rains makes planning during the months from March to May risky. Heavy rains and flooding often require sudden cancellations and closures which can impact your trip.

Cheapest Time to Visit Tanzania

If you are on a budget, consider planning your trip during the slow season during the rainy period. For the most part, most hotels offer discounts during this period of the year if they aren’t closed.

Most parks continue to be open during this period, and you will normally find smaller crowds and less congestion.

If birdwatching is on your bucket list for your Tanzanian trip, this is a perfect time to visit. Many birdwatchers consider the rainy season the best time of year for birdwatching. Pack your binoculars and your bird log.

Best Month to Visit Tanzania: Monthly Breakdown

The dry months of July through September offer the best opportunities to enjoy Tanzania at its finest. If you plan to visit the many wildlife parks in Tanzania, the dry months will give you the best chance to see and interact with the bountiful wildlife of Tanzania. Just remember that you are south of the equator and the seasons are reversed.

The great Wildebeest migration happens between July and September. You can watch as the millions of these impressive animals move across the Serengeti plains and cross the Mara River. Zebras join this massive trek and brave the crocodiles in the river.

No matter whether you go during the high season, or elect to visit during the off-season, Tanzania offers a wide variety of activities, events, and festivals every month of the year. Pick your time to visit Tanzania and see what awaits you in this most interesting and exciting destination.

January: Zanzibar Swahili Festival

Pack expecting rain if your trip is in January. Temperatures often range from 75 degrees F (24C) to 88 degrees F (31C).

January is still considered a low season for tourism so rates may be a bit better at the hotels and lodges. The southern parks are popular since most of the big herds are still in this region for calving season.

  • Zanzibar Swahili Festival
  • Birdwatching
  • Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Related Read: 20 BEST Cities To Visit In Morocco

February: Go on a Safari

The weather is warming up rapidly in February, but localized rains continue to fall around the country. These rains keep the wildlife happy and cause the vegetation to bloom making the landscape a lush green.

Temperatures typically range from 51 degrees F (11C) to 84 degrees F (29C). Events and attractions around the country are still available

  • Sauti za Busara
  • Beginning of Safari season
  • Visit to Kitula National Park

March: Kilimanjaro Marathon

March is officially the start of the rainy season in Tanzania. It won’t rain all day every day, but the rains will come in great abundance. Many hotels and lodges begin offering discounts. You won’t find great crowds anywhere during this time.

Expect average temperatures to range from 54 degrees F (12C) to 81 degrees F (27C). However, there is still plenty to do and experience in March.

  • Kilimanjaro Marathon.
  • Nayama Chomo Festival
  • View wildlife

April: Tanzania Unification Day

In April, you can count on rain in Tanzania. Many hotels and lodges close during April since many travelers avoid the rains. You can find some excellent discounts if you can find a hotel or lodge open.

Pack for temperatures that can range from 57 degrees F (14C) to 77 degrees F (25C). Getting around may be difficult as the bush roads can be muddy or wash out entirely.

  • See the Wildebeest
  • Unification Day

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Cape Town

May: Mzalendo Halisi Music Festival

The rainy season continues in Tanzania through May. Many lodges and hotels remain closed. The tour operators cut back operations during May since many travelers avoid the monsoon rains.

The vegetation in the bush is at its most abundant but this can make wildlife viewing a problem. Temperatures remain moderate ranging from 52 degrees F (11C) to 72 degrees F (22C).

  • Mzalendo Halisi Music Festival
  • Goat races in Dar es Salaam

June: Explore the Arts

The rains begin to subside in June in Tanzania, but the lush vegetation remains. Towards the end of the month, things begin to really dry out and wildlife viewing becomes easier in most of the parks.

The migration to the Grumeti River is in full swing and is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • Bulabo Dance Festival
  • Visit the Bujora Sukuma Museum

July: Zanzibar International Film Festival

In the northern hemisphere, July is the height of summer. In Tanzania, below the equator, the cool months are beginning.

The weather turns cool and dry with highs of 70 degrees F (21C) and lows approaching 48 degrees F (9C). Pack some warm clothing for chilly nights in the bush.

  • Sundown Safari Tour
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival

August: Great Time to Snorkel

August marks the height of the travel season to Tanzania. Expect crowds at almost all the popular attractions, festivals, and locations.

The weather tends to be dry and cool. Highs are usually near 72 degrees F (22C) and may drop as low as 48 degrees F (9C) in some areas. If you plan nighttime activities, pack warm clothing.

  • Visit Lake Natron
  • Snorkel in the Indian Ocean Islands

September: Bagamoyo International Festival of Arts & Culture

Prime tourist time continues through September and crowds will continue to be at the largest. Prices are also at their highest so be prepared.

The weather remains cool and dry through September. Highs can reach 76 degrees F (22C) with lows near 48 degrees F (8C). These mild temperatures make almost any activity much more enjoyable.

  • Bagamoyo International Festival of Arts & Culture
  • See the Crocodile in the Mara River

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Ghana

October: Visit Mahale Mountains National Park

If you want to visit Tanzania in October, plan your trip as early in the month as possible. The rains will return toward the end of the month, making things a bit soggy.

Temperatures can range from 81 degrees F (27C) to 52 degrees F (11C). Despite the advent of the rainy season, the weather remains cool and dry for the most part making a beach holiday possible.

  • Visit Mahale Mountains National Park
  • Summit Mount Kilimanjaro

November: Visit the Beach

November is the official start of the real rainy season in Tanzania. Tourism falls off considerably making for a less crowded visit. Most of the lodges and hotels remain open and tour operators are still taking reservations.

However, rains may cause last minute changes. The temperatures can range from 52 degrees F (11C) to 81 degrees F (27C) depending on your location.

  • Visit the beaches near Zanzibar
  • Karibu Music Festival

December: Christmas

Things begin to dry out again near the middle of December in Tanzania. The rains become sporadic and localized making it a good bet you will have mild weather for trekking, safaris, or other activities. Temperatures range from 81 degrees F (27C) to lows near 50 degrees F (10C).

  • Swahili Fashion Week.
  • Christmas in Tanzania

Best National Park in Tanzania

Hands down, for wildlife viewing and to get an understanding of what wild Africa is like, a trip to Serengeti National Park is the prime choice.

This park is home to a wide variety of ecosystems giving it the largest variety of animals and plants you can find. You can take an overland safari, ride in a hot air balloon, or experience life in a traditional Maasai African village.

If archeology and geology are your things, a visit to the Olduvai Gorges is in order. Some of the oldest archaeological and geological finds known to us have been found in this area. Visit the Olduvai Museum and see footprints left over 3.6 million years ago by our ancestors who roamed this area.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Botswana

Best Beach in Tanzania

Would you be surprised to find out that one of the best beach destinations in Tanzania is also in one of the Tanzanian National Parks?  Don’t be surprised.

Saadani National Park is on the east coast of Tanzania and the beaches here are washed by the crystal blue warm waters of the Indian Ocean. You can combine sunbathing on the beach, snorkeling in the clear water, or booking a safari in the National Park. Don’t be surprised if you see wild game from inside the park venturing onto the beach as well. If you want to continue your water activities, reserve a river tour on the Wami River where you may see hippos and crocodiles in the water.

Best Shopping in Tanzania

No trip would be complete without the chance to bring home something to remind you of your experiences. Shopping in Tanzania can range from local bazaars and roadside shops to the most modern shopping mall experiences you can imagine.

Dar es Salaam is the hub of Tanzanian economics and boasts an ultra-modern European flavor for those who are interested in Haute couture.

You can also find the best of local art, souvenirs and products at the many bazaars located in and around the city.

Recommended for you

Travel smarter

Join the thousands of travel enthusiasts who are part of our T&T community.