From the Journal

When to travel to Tanzania

Travel Tips

From its vast national parks to its stunningly beautiful coastline, there are many reasons to visit Tanzania. The abundance of things to do, sights to see and places to experience can be overwhelming to anyone visiting this vibrant country for the first time. To help get your head around it, here’s our round-up of some of the best times to travel to Tanzania and why.

When to travel to Tanzania for the Great Migration

Each year, about 1.5 million wildebeest migrate across the Serengeti National Park. Many tourists visit the park annually to witness the spectacular sight of massive herds moving across the park. The animals’ constant search for food and drinking water means the migration is dependent on rainfall patterns. By May, the Serengeti wildebeest can all be seen moving north through Seronera and by June toward the Grumeti River.

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Wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti National Park.

When to travel to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is undoubtedly is one of the region’s major drawcards. Some 5,895 metres high, this behemoth stands sentinel over the vast plains that surround it. Around 50,000 people make the long slow ascent to its summit each year – up 25% from 2008 and about 50 times the number of those climbing Everest or Denali. Its proximity to the equator means the region experiences wet and dry seasons rather than the extremes of summer and winter. It makes sense then that while possible to climb year round, the best times to climb Kilimanjaro are during the warmest and driest months. The dry seasons are from the beginning of December to the beginning of March, and from late June to the end of October. These are considered to be the best times to climb in terms of weather and so are the busiest months.

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is undoubtedly is one of the region’s major drawcards. Some 5,895 metres high, this behemoth stands sentinel over the vast plains that surround it. 

When to travel to Tanzania for the best weather

It depends, really, on your interests, where specifically you want to visit and your reasons for travelling there. After all, some people love rainy days and others long for a dry vacation. The rainy season generally runs from March to May. Afternoon tropical downpours can be expected. The humidity is high at these times as are the temperatures, reaching well above 30 degrees celsius. June to October is considered the dry season and rains are sporadic. Expect fine, clear and sunny weather – if you’re looking at when to travel to Tanzania, this is often thought to be the ideal time. It usually rains again during November and December and is dry once more during January and February.

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Tree climbing lion of the Serengeti.
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Charter flight over the Ngozi Crater Lake.

When to travel to Tanzania on a budget

The weather should be considered when you’re planning your low-cost trip to Tanzania. On a limited budget, the best time to travel to the country is during the rainy season from March to May as this coincides with a dip in tourism. Afternoon and evening rainfall can be expected, but it does little to inhibit game viewing activities. Tanzania is a large country and climates can differ within the region, so be sure to consult information about the particular area you’ll be visiting.

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Crystal clear waters of Zanzibar.

Where to travel to along Tanzania’s coastline

A trip to experience the beaches of Tanzania should be experienced by everyone at least once in their lifetime. While Zanzibar is the most famous of these, you’ll be spoiled for choice when considering a stretch of coastline to explore. A must-visit spot is Dar es Salaam which combines stunningly-beautiful coastlines with a bustling city. The former sleepy fishing village has transitioned into a thriving metropolis. Seeing these two contrasting identities of this city is an experience not to be missed. The best time to visit the coast is during the dry season between August and October.

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Bicycle outside the ornate doors of Stone Town, Zanzibar.

A trip to experience the beaches of Tanzania should be experienced by everyone at least once in their lifetime.

For more information on Tanzania, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable Ker & Downey® Africa Adventurists. We have tailored plenty of Luxventure® trips to suit your needs and wants and will be able to give you all sorts of valuable insider advice.

Rich Wiese
Written by
Richard Wiese

Richard Wiese is a Cape-Town-based writer with an affinity for Africa, its people and its cultures. He’s realistic of his chances of getting to see every country on the continent, but a man must have dreams. A good sense of humour, quiet nature and working knowledge of all things random, make him the perfect travel buddy. 

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