Most safari areas in Tanzania enjoy warm days and cool evenings year-round. While temperatures drop to below freezing on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, the country’s Indian Ocean coast and lakeside regions are hot and humid.
Tanzania has two distinct rainy seasons: April to May (the ‘long rains’) and November to December (the ‘short rains’). Generally, the country’s main rainy season (the long rains) produces tropical downpours in the afternoons and many safari camps close. The short rains season sees the occasional brief shower, but safari camps stay open and game viewing is good.
Our Travel Advice page has more useful information about Tanzania’s
The best time for a Tanzania safari will depend on where you want to go and what you want to see. For first-time safari goers, the best time to go to Tanzania is usually during the dry season, as wildlife is easier to track and spot. Whether you're visiting Tanzania for the first time, understanding the difference between the safari high season vs low season is a great place to start.
Tanzania Safari High vs Low Season
|High or Peak Season||Low or Green Season|
|About June to October (long dry season)||About January to March and November to December|
|Highest rates||Lowest rates|
|Need to book well in advance||No need to book too far in advance|
|Cool and dry weather||Hot and occasionally wet weather|
|Not many baby animals around||Lots of baby animals around|
|Not many migrant birds to see||Fantastic time for bird-watching|
|Most crowded||Least crowded|
|Good photography conditions||Greenest, most scenic landscapes with the best light of the year for photography|
The best time to go on a Tanzania safari depends entirely on what you want to see and experience:
- The major national parks like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire deliver superb year-round game viewing, but visitor numbers peak from about June to October.
- The best time to visit Tanzania if you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is between July and October, or January and March.
- If it’s a tropical beach holiday that you’re after, the best time to visit Tanzania's coast, Zanzibar and other islands is between June and March. If you want to take your chances during the long rains (April to May), you could have a week of sunshine or a week of rain – but you’ll get low season rates.
In addition to knowing what you want to see and experience, knowing when you intend to visit will also affect your plans for where to go in Tanzania.
When to See the Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti
|Calving or Birthing Season||January to March|
|Intense Big Cat Action||January to March|
|Rutting (a period of sexual excitement, reproductive activity and mating battles between males)||January to March|
|Grumeti River Crossings||May to July|
|Mara River Crossings||July to September|
Note: the above are approximate dates only. The Wildebeest Migration is a year-round, circular journey and the river crossings cannot be predicted, although they generally occur between May and September. Sometimes the herds stay put for two weeks, other times they could cross four times in one day! You can take a look at our detailed Wildebeest Migration guide for more information about this natural spectacle.
Ready to Start Planning Your Tanzania Safari?
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