The best time to visit Tanzania for wildlife viewing is during the Dry season, which typically runs from late June to October. The Serengeti is particularly noteworthy for the wildebeest migration, which occurs in June and July, while the wildebeest calving is best observed from late January to February.
The Dry season which is from July to October is ideal for seeing a variety of wildlife. You may also prefer other months, depending on your specific interests.
Planning your trip to Tanzania between July and October is recommended to avoid unpleasant weather conditions. This period is typically free from the cold and harsh weather often experienced in other months.
Best Time to Visit Tanzania Based on Seasons
June – October: Best time to visit all parks in Tanzania
June-July and January-February: Best times to visit Serengeti for wildebeest migration and calving
July to March: This is the peak season for northern circuit parks, which tend to become crowded, while southern and western circuit parks do not experience overcrowding at any time of the year, making July to October the best period to visit.
April and May: This period marks the low season. Although the northern circuit parks still receive a fair amount of visitors during this time, the southern and western circuit parks do not.
June to October: This is when the weather is at its best, with minimal rainfall.
Worst Climate season
March and April: These are the wettest months, making them the worst time to visit.
Monthly Guide To Visit Tanzania
Here is a monthly travel guide for Tanzania.
January is one of the shoulder seasons in Tanzania, which means that people who visit popular safari spots are few, and accommodation and the flight will be relatively cheap.
In January, the humidity is building up, and the temperature tends to increase, making it generally hot.
When you visit Tanzania in January, be sure to visit Ndutu Plains. The Ndutu Plains will be busy, and you will view many animals in one place because, at this period of the year, herds migrate towards the southeast of the Serengeti for calving season.
You can also visit other interesting places in Tanzania, like the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Serengeti National Park.
January is the best time to visit the Serengeti national park for wildebeest migration and calving. There are also festivals held during this time of the year, including the Dar es Salaam festival and the Wanyambo festival.
February is one of the months in Tanzania called the “Green season” (November – March). It is a dry month of the year with minimal expectations for nighttime rainfall. Temperatures are generally between about 25°C–30°C(77°F–86°F) on the lowlands and at the coast, and around the highlands, it is 15°C–20°C (59°F–68°F )
February is also one of the shoulder seasons for travelling in Tanzania. Therefore, you should expect to see some other visitors at beach resorts and on Safari but less than during the peak season. The accommodations and beach resorts are relatively cheap.
When visiting Tanzania in February, visit unique and exciting places such as Kitulo National Park towards the end of the country, Serengeti National Park in the southern part, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Ndutu Plains for the great sight of wildebeest.
February is also a good month for hiking and climbing as it is dry and safe for mount climbing. Therefore, plan to climb the great Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.
Some exciting events are held yearly this month, such as Sauti za Busara, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro Marathon, and Moshi, sometimes held in early March.
March in Tanzania is the beginning of rainfall, and humidity also increases; therefore, tourism usually slows down during this month. The rainfall will likely run from March through May.
Though in early March, the rain is quite a little late into the month. The temperature reads around 15°C–20°C (59°F–68°F) in the highlands and 25°C–30°C (77°F–86°F) in the lowlands and at the coast.
March is also the end of the green season in Tanzania (January – March), with no rainfall during the day and little rainfall at night, but this only applies to early March. As humidity builds up through the green season, there will be a heavy outpour of rain later in March.
This month is the start of low tourism turnout in Tanzania because people prefer to avoid travelling during the wet season. Some lodges and accommodations close up during this period, but you are likely to get some at cheaper prices, but the distance must be considered.
By March, the herds which moved to Ndutu Plains and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in January and February tend to head west, to the Grumeti River, on the western corridor of Serengeti National Park. So if you want to see wildlife, move towards this part of the country in March.
You will also enjoy the beautiful sight of birds during this period, especially in the Mount Meru area, where you can see cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, Rueppell’s robin-chas, crowned hawk-eagles, uncommon Beesley’s larks etc. and also the Tarangire National Park which you also offer enjoying bird watching. You may see birds such as ashy starlings,rufous-tailed weavers and yellow-collared lovebirds. Personally, I enjoyed watching Kilimanjaro Marathon, Moshi.
If you are a lover of birdwatching, then visit Tanzania in April because, at this time, birds are massively out due to the cool weather condition. April continues the long rains, and tourism is usually very low during this month.
Expect rain every day and everywhere in the country by April. The weather temperature reads about 59°F to 68°F (15°C–20°C) in the highlands while it reads 77°F and 86°F (25°C–30°C) in the lowlands and at the coast.
If you still wish to travel during this time, you can still enjoy visiting the open-air Village Museum, a branch of the National Museum in Tanzania. You can also spend some time in Dar es Salaam, a famous city on the northeastern coast.
Birdwatching can be exciting during this time; you can visit these destinations for incredible sights of birds; Mount Meru area, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Serengeti National Park with beautiful landscape.
The major event in April in Tanzania is Unification Day, nationwide which is held every 26 of April. This public holiday marks the unification of Zanzibar and Tanganyika
May is the end of long rains in Tanzania. It rains most days but might not rain all through the day. Although it used to be a very wet month initially, the rain level has recently reduced.
The weather in May is quite the same as in March and April. Tourism has a low turnout as most people prefer to avoid travelling during the wet season.
Just like visiting Dar es Salaam and the open-air village Museum in April, you can also see there for natural side attractions in May. You can also enjoy bird watching at Mount Meru, Lake Manyara National Park, the Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
You can spot beautiful birds such as yellow-collared lovebirds, ashy starlings, rufous-tailed weavers etc. If you want to, you can also tour the Usambara Mountains in northeastern Tanzania.
Some exciting and mind-blowing festivals are held in May, like the far es Salaam and Mzalendo Halisi Music Festivals, which are both dance festivals. You can also have fun at the Ruaha Marathon, Iringa.
June is the start of the peak season when there are lots of visitors and tourists in Tanzania because the weather conditions are favourable and speaking to the body. The peak season runs from June to October.
This is the best time to visit Tanzania because the humidity is low, and the temperature is more relaxed, with very few mosquitos. The weather conditions will suit wildlife viewing, beach vacations, mountain climbing and other activities.
However, lodges and accommodation during this period tend to be higher, but you will enjoy your stay and have a great view of the wildebeest migration.
In June, climbing the great Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru is more accessible and safer, and the route is shorter. The ground at this time won’t be slippery and wet, so it is an excellent time for Mountain climbing. During your tour, you can also go for wildlife-spotting safaris in the neighbouring national parks and nature reserves.
Other interesting places you can visit now are Selous Game Reserve, Kilombero Floodplains, Udzungwa Mountains National Park, and Ruaha National Park.
A significant festival at this time of the year is the Bulabo Dance Festival, Bujora. The Sukuma Museum in the small town of Bujora, west of the Serengeti National Park, hosts a yearly dance festival where local dancers perform with animal props with great fun.
If you want to see the big five animals and other species, plan your trip towards July. This is when the Great migration occurs across the plains and up toward Kenya. The weather conditions are perfect for wildlife viewing as well as vacations on the beach.
The humidity is low, and everywhere looks dry in July. The temperature in the highlands reads 59°F–68°F (15°C–20°C) while it reads 77°F–86°F (25°C–30°C) on the lowlands and at the coast, which makes outdoor activities very interesting.
If you are looking for exciting places to visit in July, visit Serengeti National Park, where you will view lots of wildlife. Ruaha National Park is also another visitation area with over 500 species of birds and a pride of lion. You can also visit Tanzania’s smallest National Park, Gombe National Park.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru is another option during this period. Interestingly, the Zanzibar International Film Festival/ Festival of the Dhow Countries, Zanzibar, and Mwaka Kogwa, Zanzibar, is a cultural festival held during this period.
August is at the centre of the long dry season, called the Peak Season. Though August is sometimes known as Tanzania’s winter, the temperatures are barely lower than during other times of the year.
The temperature during this period is consistently averaging 77°F and 86°F (25°C–30°C) in the lowlands and at the coast, and about 59°F–68°F (15°C–20°C) in the highlands area. People travel more during summer vacations; therefore, the parks are full and crowded.
Amazing places you can visit at this time of the year include Ruaha National Park, The Selous Game Reserve, Mara River, Lake Natron, and others. You can also decide to hike and climb the mountains or enjoy the cool breeze of the beaches during August.
September is the second to the last month of the Peak Period in Tanzania, when wildlife activities, beach vacations, great migration and trekking occur.
The weather is similar to August’s and has many interesting activities. The temperature reads 15°C to 28° C Lots of people make use of this period, thereby making hotels and lodges expensive.
National parks and beaches can be visited for fun activities during this month.
October is the start of the short rainy season and the end of the long dry period. The early days of October are free from the rain, while the later days can be rainy and windy. The temperature is reading 25°C–30°C on the low land and 15°C–20°C on the high land.
Although the great migration has stopped during this time, you can still see some other animals in the popular parks of Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, and the Ngorongoro Crater, where you see incredible landscapes.
You can visit Stone town, visit the beach, go to Freddie Mercury Museum, go on a chimpanzee trek in the Mahale Mountains National Park and also enjoy the activities during the Bagamoyo Arts Festival, Bagamoyo.
November is the beginning of the shirt rains, known as the shoulder season for travelling. It is ideal for bird watching and seeing the start of the great migration.
March also has the tremendous seasonal wind known as Kusi. The period between March to November is often called the “green season” because the rain brings the vegetation back to life after the long dry season, which runs from June to October.
Karibu Music Festival, Bagamoyo, is a great festival held every November. November is not an ideal time to climb mountains, but other national game reserves can be visited.
The weather in December is friendly and lovely, with bright sunny days and occasional rainfall. The temperature reads about 27°C. It is the end of the dry season in Tanzania. During this time, keen bird viewers will see a lot of species of birds and the month when wildebeest give birth to their young ones. The Zanzibar Beach and Watersports Festival and Swahili Fashion Week are the two famous festivals that take place during this month.
You can visit unique places like the Serengeti National Park to see incredible animals like cheetahs, elephants and other wildebeest; you can also visit Tanzania national parks, tour the Ngorongoro Crater, explore Manyara National Park and many other places.
Tanzania has a lot to offer visitors all year round, but the timing of your visit will affect your experience. The best time to visit is during the Dry season, which typically runs from June to October when wildlife viewing is at its peak, and the weather is generally favourable. By considering these factors, visitors can plan their trip to Tanzania to ensure a memorable experience.