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When is the Best Time to Go to Zanzibar?

The best time to visit Zanzibar is during the dry season from June to October. This also coincides with safari high season in Tanzania, making the Zanzibar Archipelago a very popular post-safari choice. However, this tropical island is good to visit at most times of the year, thanks to its regular sunshine and balmy Zanzibar weather.

Month-by-Month Guide for Traveling to the Zanzibar Archipelago:

Visiting Zanzibar between January & July

Scuba diving at Matemwe Beach House in Zanzibar, Tanzania

This is a great time to visit Zanzibar if you don’t mind the heat and humidity. The days are sunny and hot. January to March offer some of the best diving conditions. A good underwater dive is all about wind, the tides and what you can view underwater – the lagoons and coral reefs can be explored in clear waters, particularly on the south coast. The weather in Zanzibar will start to turn from about mid-March as the 'long rains' become more imminent.

April and May mark the start of what’s known as the ‘long rains’ on these islands. The rainfall in April and May is far heavier than any other time of year, and results in mild and very wet weather on the beaches. If you want to enjoy the best weather Zanzibar has to offer, this is not a good time to visit.

A dream African beach holiday usually involves sun-drenched shores, palm fringed beaches and glorious sunsets – expect all this and more during the dry season at luxury Zanzibar resorts. The months from June to October are the best times to go to Zanzibar as the heavy rains have cleared. These weather conditions are perfect for long days, relaxing in the sun and exploring the wonderful sights of the ‘Spice Island’, maybe on a romantic Zanzibar honeymoon.

 

Travelling to Zanzibar from August to October

Chuini Zanzibar Beach Lodge Views

August is one of the last months on the Archipelago with cooler weather. The climate in Zanzibar during August through to October is not too hot and not too humid. Steadily, soothing breezes begin to make their way in from the south as the islands begin to warm up for the summer months.

 September is a wonderful month all over Zanzibar, but the Mafia Archipelago has something special to offer – turtle hatching and incredible diving conditions in deeper channels. Scuba enthusiasts do need to plan their dives carefully during September, as some other offshore areas tend to become a bit rough.

October is an ideal time for travelling to Zanzibar as the days are made up of cool winds, calm seas and clear skies. The ocean’s temperatures begin to rise, and the evenings gradually become warmer, just before the rains of November begin.

 

Visiting Zanzibar During November and December

Doing yoga on the deck in Zanzibar

Usually expected to start in November when the temperatures rise, the 'short rains' break the dry mid-year winter. Clouds usually build up during the mornings (which can be rather sunny and humid) and break in spectacular, but generally short-lived showers in the afternoons – giving you enough time to retire to the beach bar, enjoy a massage or yoga session before returning to your sun lounger.

There is however more chance of sunshine towards Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The Mafia Archipelago is where to go in Zanzibar in December because its main highlight is the opportunity to dive with whale sharks.

 

Ready to Start Planning your Visit to Zanzibar?

Chat with someone who’s been there. Get in touch with one of our African Safari Experts to help tailor-make a trip that’s right for you: