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.
January to March
This is a great time to visit Zanzibar if you don’t mind the heat and humidity. The days are sunny and hot, and visibility in the water is at its clearest – making it the best time to snorkel and scuba dive in Zanzibar.
The weather in Zanzibar will start to turn from about mid-March as the 'long rains' become more imminent.
June to October
An African beach holiday means sun-drenched shores, palm fringed beaches and glorious sunsets – expect all this and more during the dry season. This is the best time to visit Zanzibar for whiling away long days in the sun and exploring the wonderful sights of the 'spice island'.
What is the Rainy Season in Zanzibar?
When it comes to planning your trip around the Zanzibar weather, it’s important to take note of Tanzania’s two distinct rainy seasons:
1. The 'Short Rains' – November to December
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 or enjoy a massage before returning to your sun lounger.
2. The 'Long Rains' – April to May
The 'long rains', as the name suggests, are far heavier and make the beaches along Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coastline hot and very wet. If you want to enjoy the best weather in Zanzibar, this is not a good time to visit.
When is the Best Time to Scuba Dive in Zanzibar?
If you want to visit during the best diving season in Zanzibar, you can choose between two periods:
- January and March
- July and August
Diving off the north coast of the island is particularly good between June and October, and off the south coast between November and March.
Ready to Start Planning Your Visit to Zanzibar?
Chat with someone who’s been there. Get in touch with one of our Africa Safari Experts to help tailor-make a trip that’s right for you: