Updated: Dec 18, 2018
This is a question we get a lot. In truth -it rarely matters, as Tanzania can be visited all year around! That being said, not all areas are perfect all year around and not all activities can be experienced all year around. So to be able to provide you with the best possible advise, you have to be clear about your priorities. Is time of travel the most important or a specific area?
You should start your planning by selecting one of the below options as your starting point:
- You have a specific time that you want to travel
- You have a specific area you would like to visit or a special activity you would like to do
If you have a specific time you would like to travel, you should be open to advise on which areas to visit. And on the other side, if your most important wish is to experience or visit a specific place/event, you should be open to when to go, to get the most value out of your trip.
A few basic inputs:
In short, safari can be experienced all year around!
In the Northern part of Tanzania (Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Lake Manyara), all areas can be visited all year around. However, especially July-August and late December should be avoided if possible, as it can be completely overcrowded. The Southern areas (Selous, Mikumi, Udzungwa, Ruaha) should be avoided in the period from March through May due to the possibility of quite a bit of rain that could affect your game-drive. If you prefer the extreme remoteness of Katavi and chimpanzee trekking in Mahale and Gombe in the Western part, try to stick to the months August to October.
Different wildlife areas have different "features" and the animals location and behaviour can change dramatically within the same area during different times of year. And the same goes with the scenery. For the best game drive possibilities, you want to avoid the tall grass. Than being said, the most amazing safari scenery and experiences are usually when there has been a bit of rain so that everything is lush and green!
"So you can for example visit an area, and then come back a couple of months later and the transformation can be incredible depending on the amount of rain that area has had.
If beach is an important part of your trip to Tanzania, you should avoid the months of late March, April & May as the weather could be wet and grey. From November through February, you could also experience a shower now and then, but it rarely affects your beach experience.
Well, this is a tricky one because the weather on the mountain can be really unpredictable. Also because the different routes on the mountain can have big difference in weather. So two climbers going at the same time, starting from different sides of the mountain, can have completely different weather on the way to the top. But in short, statistically August to mid-October is the period where you statistically would experience the driest weather. If you prefer the other side of the year, the second week of February normally provides a weather change that is preferable for climbers.
If you are after great deals, November and early December is a good time to go, as well as May on the Northern parts of Tanzania and June in the South.
If you want further details and knowledge, you can check out the "Weather & Climate" section on this page:
https://www.tanzaniaexplorer.com/about-tanzania or the "When to go" section on this page in our safariguideguide for beginners https://www.tanzaniaexplorer.com/safari-for-beginners