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Best time to visit Tanzania

Best time to visit Tanzania

Wonderful wildlife, scenic beaches, friendly folks, captivating culture, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Mt Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar Archipelago – Tanzania has all of these and more merged together in one daring, inviting bundle making it one of the most sought-after safari destinations in the world.

With three so-called ‘circuits’, Tanzania is a top wildlife destination and the land of safaris. The Northern circuit with the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater offers extraordinary classic safari compared to other established safaris in Africa, particularly if planned with the yearly wildebeest migration. The western and southern circuit also features the some of the best safari destinations including Selous Game Reserve, Mahale Mountains, Ruaha, Katavi, Mikumi, and Udzungwa. Other classic safaris in Tanzania include Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks.

When touring this east African country, you’ll have a superb view of wildlife including the famous Serengeti Wildebeest migration, when over 2 million large animals and their predator followers traverse the plains, following the rainfall and searching for greener pastures. Gombe and Mahale mountains offer the best of chimp tracking in Africa. Enjoy a beach holiday extension at Zanzibar and its islands. Experience the traditional indigenous cultures of Tanzania.

It is possible to visit Tanzania all-year-round. However, certain months and seasons of the year favour specific reasons for visiting the country.

Wildlife viewing

During the Dry season from late June to October is the best time to visit Tanzania for wildlife viewing as the animals are easier to spot since they gather around waterholes and rivers and there is less dense vegetation. If you’re looking to see the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, the best time to visit is between June and July. For an opportunity to see the wildebeest calving, you should visit from late January to February. During the wet season, you can visit the national parks for bird watching from November to May.

Explore the National Parks

Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater offer good wildlife viewing throughout the year. Similarly, the national parks located within the western and southern circuit such as Selous, Ruaha and Katavi Parks are best visited from June to October – during the dry season. You can visit the popular northern circuit national parks throughout the year excluding Tarangire where wildlife viewing is much better during the Dry Season.

Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro

Two distinct trekking seasons constitute the best time to visit Mount Kilimanjaro, they are January to March and June to October. January to March has a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit though the slopes are often quieter at this time of the year. June to October is a busy trekking season. The wettest months on Kilimanjaro are March, April, and November which are not ideal for trekking.

Zanzibar

The Islands of Zanzibar Archipelago are renowned for their white sand beaches, crystal-clear azure waters, and idyllic sunshine. There are plenty of places to explore and activities to enjoy on the islands. The main island – Unguja, also known as Zanzibar Island is accessible year-round. However, the best time to visit Zanzibar Island is from June to October when the weather is less humid and warm with brilliant sunshine. You can also visit from December to February when the weather is hot and dry. The island is a less crowded during this period.

High Season:

From July to March – The national parks in the northern circuit are very busy during this period. You can visit the southern and western circuit parks from July to October. As a rule they are much quieter in visitor terms, but no less rewarding as safari destinations.

Low Season:

Between April and May (northern circuit parks still get quite a few visitors unlike the southern and western circuit parks, where many lodges close down)

Best Weather:

From June to October

Good Weather:

November to end February. In November are the ‘little’ rains. Short downpours occur followed by sunshine. The rain is cooling, leaving the air fresh, washing the greenery down leaving it brighter, and one can see fabulous cloud formations.

Wet Weather:

Between March and April – the heavy rains.

Season Dependent

June to October: Best time of year to go on African safari; The skies are clear and most days are sunny

November to May: Excellent time to see predator action, green and beautiful scenery, migratory birds and birdwatching.

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