Best time to visit Tanzania for a safari
Best time to visit Tanzania for a safari: One of the frequently asked question about Tanzania safaris by tourists is the best time to visit Tanzania for a safari, Tanzania is a popular safari destination in East Africa boosting many national parks and attractions luring tourists from all over the world to go for a Tanzania safari. The best time to visit Tanzania depends on many factors with weather and climatic conditions as the overall of other factors.
This article answers the frequently asked question of when is the best time to visit Tanzania for a safari.
Tanzania is situated within the tropic of Capricorn which influences the little varying temperature range throughout the year with average temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius during day and usually drops to 15 degrees Celsius at night. Tanzania is typically warm during days and cool in the evening throughout the year and the temperatures drop below the freezing point on Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru
Tanzania weather conditions comprises of dry and wet season,
The dry season in Tanzania is experienced in two seasons that is from June to October, in this period
- June and July are the best months for watching the wildebeest migration
- August and September is the best time for watching Wildebeest River crossing in northern Serengeti national park.
- The skies are more clear and they days are sunny.
- morning are cold as well as nights
- Less or no amount of rainfall is received.
Dry season in Tanzania is a peak season with many tourists crowding the parks.
Wet season in Tanzania is received in two distinct rain seasons that are long rains and short rains, the longs in Tanzania are received from November to May. In the wet season the scenery in the park is green and the parks are less crowded, due to less crowds in the parks prices are fair most especially accommodation.
Tanzania Safari season and travel advice
Tanzania experiences two safari seasons that are peak/high season and low or green season, each of these seasons has various characteristics.
Peak/high season in Tanzania is experienced in June to October which is a long dry season, this season is characterized of
- highest rates
- cool and dry weather
- high crowds in the parks
- good photography conditions
- fewer migrant birds are present
- fewer baby animals are around
Visiting Tanzania’s destinations in the peak season requires booking in advance.
Low or Green season
Low/green season is experienced in the period of January – March and November to December, this period is characterized of
- low rates
- hot and occasionally wet weather conditions
- Lots of new born babies are around
- Lots of migrant bird are present which makes it a perfect time for bird watching
- Landscapes in the parks are green with best light of the year for photography
Visiting Tanzania in the period does not require booking too far in advance.
Best time to visit Serengeti national park
Serengeti national is the most popular national park and Tanzania safari destination with an exceptional game activity throughout the year including the wildebeest migration, most tourists visiting Serengeti national park visit in order to view the wildebeest migration. Wildebeest migration in Serengeti national park is experienced in periods of May – June and late January to March which is also the best time to view this incredible happening.
May – June
In the period of May – June, the wildebeest migration is best sighted in the western regions of Serengeti national park and northerner section of the park for river crossings. Wildebeest migration in the western regions of the park is best sighted at Singita Faru Faru lodge and Ubuntu migration camp, in the northern region of Serengeti national park, the migration’s river crossing is sighted around camps like Lamai Serengeti, Olakira Migration camp and Serian’s Serengeti North.
Late January – February and March
This period is the carving season in the wildebeest migration which happens in the southern region of Serengeti national park, carving season is an action-packed experience of wildlife action as lions, cheetahs and other predators such as hippos and crocodiles attack the newly born calves. The exciting game action is best sighted at Kimondo migration camp and Lake Masek Tented camp.
For other safari activity in Serengeti national park, the best time to visit the park is in the dry season from June to October, dry season is usually a peak season thus the park being crowded and accommodation fees be high. For travelers trying to avoid crowds and visit Serengeti national park on a budget, the best time is late march and April, this period is a wet season and the park is almost empty.
Time table for sighting wildebeest migration events in Serengeti national park.
|Event of migration||Time of the year|
|Calving or birthing season||January to March|
|Intense big cat action||January to March|
(period of sexual excitement, reproductive activity and mating battles between males)
|January to March|
|Grumeti river crossing||May to July|
|Mara River crossings||July to September|
Best time to visit Ngorongoro conservation area
Ngorongoro conservation area is one the most scenic destinations in Tanzania and a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the scenic Ngorongoro crater, the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera. The best time to visit Ngorongoro conservation area is the dry season in the period from June – October, this period is considered to be the best time of the temperatures are cooler with little chances of rain. No rain in this period results into thinner vegetation cover thus offering easy sights of the animals, in dry season Ngorongoro conservation area is usually crowded and tourists should expect prices to be high including accommodation fees.
As some tourists prefer less crowd in Ngorongoro conservation area and some want to traveler on low costs, the perfect time to visit is in the rain season/green season in t November to May. In this period good sights of animals are got though they are sometimes disrupted by afternoon showers, in wet season heavy rains in Ngorongoro conservation area are experienced in months of March, April and May.
Best time to visit Selous game reserve
Selous game reserve is an incredible Tanzania safari destination, the best time to visit this game reserve is in the dry season from June to November. This period is relatively cooler and offers excellent sights of big cat such as lions, leopards, wild dogs and many other animals, in this period there is less water in the reserve causing many animals to crowd around watering holes to drink water which are incredible sites to view these animals. Dry season in Selous game reserve is very crowded with tourists and prices are high
For budget tourists and tourists interested less crowded environment, the best time to visit Selous game reserve is in the period of March to May, this period is a rainy season and heavy rains are particularly received in March and April.
Best time to visit Tanzania islands (Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia Island)
Tanzania comprises of many islands including Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia island which are the most popular islands visited by tourists on a Tanzania beach vacation safari. These islands are very beautiful and offer many amazing marine activities such as diving, snorkeling, kite surfing, boat safaris, and many more.
The best time to visit these islands for an adventurous beach vacation is in June to October, in this period the climate is cool and in the months of August and September the waters are clearer 25 meters and more. This period is an excellent period for snorkeling, diving, and viewing of marine wildlife such as whales, swimming and many more.
The period of December to February is also a lovely time to Tanzania islands such as Zanzibar, Pemba and others, this period is hot and dry with temperature range of 40 degrees Celsius.
Note: since Tanzania’s islands are dominated by Islamic believers, some restaurants are closed in celebration of the Muslim festival of Ramadan which occurs in the months of June and July.
Best time to visit Mountain Kilimanjaro
Climatic conditions on mountain Kilimanjaro varies throughout the year, mountain Kilimanjaro is a best spot for Tanzania mountain climbing safaris and the best time for visiting the mountain for mountain climbing is from July to October. In this period the skies are clear and the conditions are warm.
The period of April to May and November to mid-December is highly not recommended to visit mountain Kilimanjaro for mountain climbing.
Generally, the best time to visit other Tanzania parks such as Ruaha national park, Mahale Mountains national park, Katavi national park, Tarangire national park, Lake Manyara national park is the period dry season in the months of June to October.