The issue of what is the perfect time to go for safaris in Tanzania is a commonly asked question in the tourism industry. In brief, each season has its own unique highs as well as lows. In this editorial, however, we have tried in a nutshell to highlight what you must expect every time of the year and also offering you a couple of the finest accommodation plus location tips as per on our several years of traveling out to this impressive country!
The weather in this country: located in the tropic of Capricorn, Tanzania varies less in temperature range throughout the year with an average of approximately thirty degrees Celsius in the day and dropping down to a 15 degrees Celsius at night.
The biggest difference to the effect of the temperature is the humidity plus the yearly rains.
The highest rains in the country normally come at the start of April continue until the finish of June usually. Below I talk about the places to visit during this season, but of course, it is important to always considering carrying a raincoat since the downpours are heavy and frequently! The second light rain period comes at the start of November (and on the Zanzibar Islands normally begins two weeks later) to mid of December.
Tanzania’s humidity varies across the entire year with the hottest as well as driest period across the country beginning in the middle of June all the way to the finish of October. Just as I will later on explain, this is referred to as the ‘dry season’ and is a dependable time to explore that various parts of Tanzania since it offers comfortable climate with unbeatable views of wildlife.
From the start of November to the time when the heavy rains begin in April, the overall humidity begins to increase across the country with the highest humid (and perhaps the most uncomfortable time) being experienced in January to February. There are certainly exceptions to this which is have talked about below.
This does not simply apply to the month of year with regards to the weather, however more with reference to the finest period of the year to visit the different parts of the country and what you should expect to see on your visit.
December to March – as earlier mentioned in the section of weather, this is one of the times when the country experiences the highest humidity and because of that it is clammy in the majority of the safari destinations. Nonetheless, this isn’t the end of it all because for some it can present unparalleled views of wildlife as well as an even quieter wildlife experience.
The annual Migration herds in Serengeti will be seen down in the far southern areas of this park and therefore this is, perhaps, one of the ideal times to explore the national parks in the north. Because the country is experiencing more humidity, this implies that while in the upper heights at the Ngorongoro Crater as well as the open areas of the Serengeti you will not feel so much heat here as if you visited other places like the Selous. With bigger numbers of wildlife, and numerous new born calves, this is certainly among the ideal times to g and visit and actually a number of accommodations like Nomads Tented Camp, Ndutu Lodge, as well as Olakira Tented Camp are completely booked up in advance.
Mahale and Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park, although among the leading wildlife sanctuaries in the country is a season park, although it is still easy to get to in these months, I can say this is not the ideal time to visit the park.
Similarly Mahale National Park is much more challenging to reach by air transport since the airstrip turns into a lengthy mudslide into the renowned Lake Tanganyika! Because of that, and the fact that this park will be extremely humid, i wouldn’t certainly recommend visiting those parks during this time.
The Selous and Ruaha game reserve
This is perhaps among the ideal times throughout the year for people who are interested in watching birds to visit these fascinating parks. After the brief rains, the Selous becomes somewhat greener and, and due to that, the animals becomes more challenging to see. However, during this time of the year, migratory birds from European arrive in this part of Africa and, so, the park becomes lively with numerous sights of males plus the angelic hymns of the different types of birds singing in the tree canopy.
Just as it is with the national parks, the island of Zanzibar becomes more humid during these months of the year and therefore it can, in case the wind isn’t blowing, be a somewhat uncomfortable especially in the evenings. However, this is not a terrible time to visit this island since the beaches are less crowded, and the weather is almost constantly sunny along the eastern coast of this island. For that reason I recommend that you book your accommodation in facilities that have air conditioning like Essque Zalu, Mchanga Beach Lodge and Breezes Beach Club!
April to May – once the heavy rains start in the country, most of the hotels plus other accommodation properties begin to shut down in business and offer their staff a number of months leave. However, this isn’t a bad time to visit since you can easily reach the north to see the Migrations herds; the parks are relatively empty and the accommodation prices are very low. In case you have ever thought of living in one of Africa’s wilderness facilities such as the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge then certainly this is the best time to visit as they offer their accommodation rates to over half the standard price per individual for every night.
As earlier mentioned, this is in fact a wonderful time to visit the national parks in the northern part of Tanzania since the wildlife views are still very rewarding (with the sporadic break of one or two rain storms), nearly there is nobody here, and the overall prices are actually at the very lowest in the year. My best travel tip is that you get yourself a well functioning Land cruiser during this period since it become very challenging to get around in other vehicles.
Katavi and Mahale
Just as the period of December to March, this isn’t the perfect time to visit and see the chimpanzees or the distant Katavi as these two parks are extremely challenging to reach.
Selous and Ruaha
Because of the use of bus-runways in these two national, just as in Katavi plus Mahale, Ruaha plus the Selous, together with all the other properties, have shut down for some months.
The island is somehow a riddle with regards to the weather patterns here, as it is heavily raining on the island’s western side, the eastern side is totally dry. Luckily all the beach properties are found on the eastern side so this means that with some luck you can actually enjoy the good weather at very low prices.
June to November across Tanzania, this is the busiest time in the year for those planning to visit the country and explore its national parks plus beaches. This time is well known because of the constant dry weather which means you will have amazing game views in all the different national parks. Genuinely this is the perfect time although most costly in the year to ever travel and therefore I normally recommend that if you can, it is preferable that you travel in the last few weeks of June or the very first weeks of November as the prices are then still low and the parks are less crowded although the game viewing is very good.
The time when the annual migration herds have arrived in the far most northern point of their migration cycle, they are crossing the different and traversing on northwards. This is certainly a great time to go to the Serengeti and then for those having a more limited budget, it is better to focus on the central areas of the park in the months of June or start of November to enjoy better opportunities of seeing wildlife.
Travelers having a bigger budget with some surplus to spend, you will certainly have a better experience! The far most northern area of the Serengeti, referred to as “Lamai wedge” is among the most fascinating and less popular areas on the African continent and, today has some of the finest views of wildlife which the African continent has to offer. Statistics reveal that this area is turning out to be busier and, because of that even more costly, however, in my view, it is certain worth every penny.
Katavi and Mahale
Just as the other national parks, these national parks are very lively in the dry especially Katavi. Having wide open grasslands plus large herds of buffaloes, the day by day gauntlet to the water-side is a wildlife spectacle that just a couple of people will be able to witness. A number of people would say that you are better targeting for the later during the dry season, as things turn out more and more burdened, however I think it is a good park throughout the year.
The chimpanzees in Mahale are among the highlights of Africa and there isn’t a better time to actually visit than during this period. The shores of lake Tanganyika offer a welcoming retreat from the basic life and are a wonderful substitute for taking a beach holiday, while the interaction with the chimpanzees really highlights the splendor of this destination.
Selous and Ruaha
The less famous national parks in Tanzania, found in the southern part of the country are definitely among the surviving true sanctuaries of wildlife still surviving in Africa ideal for all those interested in wildlife viewing. These two wildlife sanctuaries complement each other perfectly with thrilling walking safaris plus boat tours in the Selous, while in Ruaha you will be able to enjoy walking safaris as well as game drives at night in Ruaha which will complement you different safari activities.
Just as the national parks, the wildlife viewing dries back, it becomes lively in and close to the main river-systems and, as a result, the parks often offer wildlife experiences that compete with those in the northern parks but with a lot more privacy plus intimacy.
The last destination on my list is the island of Zanzibar during this time of year. Similarly to all tourist destination found on the coast of the republic of Tanzania, the island turns into the perfect relaxing, paradise on the wide Indian Ocean that you will certainly be interested in. you will enjoy the beautiful corals, the stunning white sands that are met by the blue water waves, enjoy your favorite book as you lax by the beach under the palm trees, take a chilled drink as you enjoy the endless views of the endless ocean.
I hope that this article has been useful and given you an overall overview and a taste of destination Tanzania, what it has to offer you in the different periods of the year. Therefore as you plan to take a safari to Tanzania, think about the time you want to travel, what you want to see and then look at your budget. Different destinations offer different highlights at different times of the year. Because Tanzania experiences two rain seasons separated by a dry spell do your research to discover the best time to visiting putting into consideration where and what you want to do. For more information, you can always inquire from your travel agent about the present weather conditions through an email or contact them directly by telephone. I hope that when you finally decide to visit Tanzania you have a lovely stay.