Best Time to Visit Tanzania 2024 | Migration Safari

Best Time to Visit Tanzania 2024 | Migration Safari

By Cindy | Updated Feb. 21, 2024

Whether you are seeking a thrilling safari adventure or a trek up the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, understanding the best time to visit Tanzania is crucial for an unforgettable trip. This article will guide you through the various seasons and help you plan your visit to this East African gem.

Tanzania Weather and Climate

Tanzania, located in the southern hemisphere, experiences seasonal variations that differ from those in the USA or England. While the USA and England have summer, Tanzania is in its winter season. Tanzania boasts distinct seasons, each offering its unique charm.

Dry Season (January to February & June to October)

Tanzania features two dry seasons, one from January to March and the other from June to October. These periods are widely considered the best times to visit Tanzania due to the ideal weather conditions they offer, including clear skies, minimal rainfall, and cooler temperatures.

These conditions set the stage for remarkable experiences such as safaris, hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, and enjoying beach getaways.

Green Season (November to December & April to May)

The months of November to December mark the "short rains" season. During this time, occasional rain showers are typical but are usually brief and do not significantly disrupt travel plans.

In contrast, March to May constitutes the "long rains" season, characterized by more consistent and heavy rainfall. Despite the rain, this season transforms the landscape into lush, green vistas with vibrant flora, creating a breathtakingly picturesque backdrop. It is the only time we tend to avoid if you're after safari, as heavy rains can disrupt wildlife viewing.

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Best Time for Wildlife Safari in Tanzania

ildlifes safari in tanzania

The best time for a wildlife safari in Tanzania typically spans the dry season, which is from January to February and from June to October. During this period, the vegetation is less dense, and animals gather around water sources, making it easier to spot them.

The weather is usually mild and dry from January to February, and most of the safari crowds are absent. June to October is safari's high season, and Tanzania's major parks like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara are busy but weather conditions are fantastic.

If you're traveling during Tanzania's 'green season', there's a chance of rain showers, but it is much quieter. During this period, the landscape transforms into lush greenery, and many animals give birth to their young, leading to increased predator activity. Birdwatching is particularly attractive during the wet season with the arrival of migratory birds.

The only time we don't recommend is April and May due to the heavy rainfall, which has the potential to disrupt wildlife viewing.

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Best Time to See the Great Migration in Tanzania

wildlifes safari in tanzania

In Tanzania, the optimal time to witness the Great Migration is typically from late December to July, when the herds are concentrated in the southern and central regions of the Serengeti.

One of the key highlights of this phenomenon is the river crossings. You can observe the herds as they cross the Grumeti River in the western Serengeti between May and July, and subsequently, they migrate toward the Mara River in the north to cross into the Masai Mara between July and October.

The calving season, occurring from January to March, is another exceptional time to visit Tanzania. It's a period renowned for the bittersweet predator-prey interactions that take place.

It's important to note that the Great Migration is a cyclical movement between Tanzania and Kenya, occurring throughout the year. The herds can be observed year-round, but it's essential to check their precise location when planning your trip (refer to the migration map below).

To maximize your chances of witnessing this remarkable natural spectacle, we recommend booking a safari with an experienced guide who can help you track the herds and position yourself for the most extraordinary sightings.

Seek assistance from our expert guides for an unforgettable experience.

Serengeti Great Migration map
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Best Time to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

The two dry seasons in Tanzania, from January to March and June to October, are widely regarded as the best times to climb Kilimanjaro. During these periods, you can expect clear skies, minimal rainfall, and generally favorable weather conditions.

The short dry season from mid-December to March offers cooler temperatures and greater solitude. In contrast, the long dry season from June to October tends to be busier, particularly in July and August when schools are out. (Rest assured, our expert guides can help you steer away from the busier routes.)

The rainy season in Tanzania encompasses April, May, and November. Climbing Kilimanjaro during this time is not recommended, as the trails can be very wet, muddy, and snowy. However, if you do choose to trek at this time of year, you'll avoid the crowds on the trails.

Month-by-month Guide for Traveling in Tanzania

January

January is an excellent time to visit Tanzania, as it marks the beginning of the dry season, offering prime conditions for safaris and wildlife viewing. With daytime temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F), you can expect sunny and warm days. A highlight in January is the calving season for wildebeest in the Serengeti, a spectacle not to be missed.

February

February continues to provide fantastic safari opportunities with warm and dry weather, with temperatures similar to January. Witness the Great Migration in the southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area during this month.

March

In March, the weather remains warm with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F), but it's also the beginning of the rainy season. This can make some roads challenging to navigate. However, you can still enjoy the Great Migration and explore the stunning landscapes of the Ngorongoro Crater.

April

April sees the rainy season continue, but it's a great time to visit lesser-visited parks like Ruaha and Katavi, which boast lush green landscapes and fewer tourists. Daytime temperatures remain pleasant, between 24°C to 28°C (75°F to 82°F).

May

The rainy season persists in May, but the rains start to subside toward the end of the month. This is an excellent time to explore off-the-beaten-path parks, enjoy lower prices, and experience fewer crowds. Daytime temperatures range from 23°C to 27°C (73°F to 81°F).

June

June marks the beginning of the dry season, with temperatures ranging from 21°C to 26°C (70°F to 79°F). It's an ideal time for safaris and wildlife viewing. Witness the wildebeest migration crossing the Grumeti River in the western Serengeti, an incredible spectacle.

July

Dry and cool weather characterizes July, with temperatures between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Continue exploring the Serengeti, with a chance to see the wildebeest migration in full swing. The annual Karatu Cultural Festival takes place in the Ngorongoro region during this month.

August

August brings dry and slightly warmer weather, with temperatures ranging from 21°C to 27°C (70°F to 81°F). It's peak tourist season in Tanzania, making it an ideal time for safaris. Consider visiting Zanzibar for its pleasant beach weather, or continue your safari adventure.

September

The dry season continues in September, with comfortable temperatures between 20°C to 27°C (68°F to 81°F). Witness the wildebeest migration moving toward the northern Serengeti and Maasai Mara in Kenya. This is a prime time for safari enthusiasts.

October

October is marked by dry and pleasant weather, with temperatures ranging from 21°C to 29°C (70°F to 84°F). Consider visiting the Ngorongoro Crater or Tarangire National Park for excellent wildlife viewing.

November

November brings the short rains, but tourism industry crowds are thinner. Daytime temperatures range from 23°C to 30°C (73°F to 86°F). Visit off-season parks like Selous Game Reserve for discounted rates and fewer tourists.

December

December marks the beginning of the short rains, but the weather is generally pleasant, with temperatures between 23°C to 31°C (73°F to 88°F). Spend the holiday season on the beaches of Zanzibar or enjoy safaris in less crowded parks. Christmas and New Year's celebrations are observed throughout the country.

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