Tanzania Weather in August: Travel Tips for First-Timers

Tanzania Weather in August: Travel Tips for First-Timers

By Edward | Updated Feb. 21, 2024

August is one of the driest months in Tanzania, and it is in the middle of the dry season. Weather conditions are about the best for going on safaris, seeing animals, hiking, mountain climbing, going to beaches, and generally enjoying the outdoors, and so it is the peak tourist season. We mainly recommend seeing the highlights in the great outdoors and going to the beaches in August.

Read on for our travel advice and weather information including average temperatures, rainfall, and travel tips…

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Weather in August: Overview

Averages:

  • Temperature range: 16–27°C (60–81°F)
  • Rainfall: 3 cm (1 inch)
  • Rainy days: 4
  • Sunshine hours/day: 8.5 hours

Climate Comparison (Averages) for Tanzania's Top Tourism Areas

Tanzania City/Area Temp. Rainfall
Dar Es Salaam (Largest city, travel hub) Hot Semi-arid
Arusha (Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater) Mild Arid
Serengeti (Wildlife safaris, Maasai culture) Warm Semi-arid
Zanzibar (Beaches, island resorts) Hot Low
Tanzania City/Area Daily High Daily Low
Dar Es Salaam (Largest city, travel hub) 30ºC (86ºF) 18ºC (64ºF)
Arusha (Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater) 22ºC (72ºF) 8ºC (46ºF)
Serengeti (Wildlife safaris, Maasai culture) 27ºC (81ºF) 15ºC (59ºF)
Zanzibar (Beaches, island resorts) 30ºC (86ºF) 21ºC (70ºF)
Tanzania City/Area Rain (cm) Rain (in)
Dar Es Salaam (Largest city, travel hub) 2 1
Arusha (Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater) 1 0
Serengeti (Wildlife safaris, Maasai culture) 3 1
Zanzibar (Beaches, island resorts) 4 2

August is one of the coolest months across the country. Temperatures across the country range from mild to hot, and it is sunny and semi-arid or arid all over the country.

Northern Tanzania: August has comfortable weather for safaris because temperatures are warm, the humidity is lower, and there are fewer bothersome mosquitoes. It is arid or semi-arid. The conditions are great for seeing the great animal migration and watching them in other places and for beach going and windsurfing.

Southern Tanzania: Ruaha and other regions probably are arid and dusty, but there is great weather for safari sightseeing, hiking, boating, and balloon riding. Ruaha or Nyerere provide an otherworldly, wild experience where few tourists venture amid animals in swamps and rivers, rugged arid scrublands, and jungles.

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Best Places to Visit in Tanzania in August

Top things to do in August include seeing wildlife, hiking and spending time in the wildernesses, and going to the beaches. You could also tour urban tourist places.

1) Dar Es Salaam — Tour the Highlights

Dar Es Salaam is the big capital city. It has the busiest airport in Tanzania. Many tourists use the airport to access the central and southern regions, and some tourists use the airport to fly to Zanzibar. In August, there are sunny skies, and the weather is hot and semi-arid.

In the city, you can shop for products and souvenirs at Kariakoo. Be on guard against pickpockets. If you want to quickly learn something about the history and culture of Tanzania, the National Museum is the place to go. There are fine beaches on Bongoyo Island offshore, and South Beach that has hotels.

Natural highlights within driving distance of Dar Es Salaam: Pugu Hills Forest Reserve is an hour's drive, and Mikumi National Park is 4½ hours' drive away. Nyerere National Park is about 5 to 6 hours away.

2) The Northern Serengeti — Safari to Watch the Great Migration

The northern part of the Serengeti is the scene of the Great Migration, a natural world wonder, and about two million animals cross the Mara River and some of them cross the border for Kenya and the Maasai Mara. The semi-arid weather lets you watch the animals since the grass is shorter and they congregate near water sources.

The lodges and hotels around the Serengeti and Maasai have peak-season prices throughout August. The ticket price per adult for the Serengeti is about 71 USD. There are direct flights from Arusha airport and other airports.

3) Ngorongoro Crater — Safaris, Hikes, and Lodge Stays

Ngorongoro is a natural wonder in northern Kenya because it is the largest unfilled volcanic caldera in the world. It is huge, 260 square kilometers (100 square miles). In this big volcanic bowl, there is a variety of animals to see on safari. You could also hike on the rim through forests and woods and see fantastic scenery.

Though weather conditions are usually good all year around, in August they are optimal. There is a big difference in climates on the floor and on the rim. The crater floor is about 1,700 meters (about a mile) high, and has a drier, sheltered microclimate.

The rim has an elevation of 2,300 meters (8,530 feet) where there is freezing weather and more precipitation, and it snows in August. The posh hotels on the rim provide a fantastic place to stay for tours of the region, amazing scenery and a break from the heat. Driving from Arusha takes about 3 hours.

4) Ruaha National Park — Experience a Wild Safari

Tanzania's second largest wilderness preserve is Ruaha. It is huge, 20,226 square km (7,809 square miles), and is the size of New Jersey. It has a diversity of habitats. It is very wild, undeveloped, and gets relatively few tourists. Since there is almost no rain, August is one of the best months for seeing animals.

The arid weather drives the animals to the main water sources, so it is easier to watch them whether riding in a vehicle, flying in a balloon ride, or hiking. Ruaha affords a safari experience away from the crowds.

Many people who prefer solitude, wild places, and rugged, untouched nature prefer Ruaha to the northern preserves. Hiking with an expert local guide could be a wonderful experience. There is great bio-diversity. There are flights from Arusha and Dar Es Salaam airport, and a drive from Dar Es Salaam takes 10 hours.

5) Zanzibar — Relax and Enjoy the Best Beaches and Beach Resorts

If you would like to combine your Tanzania wilderness excursion with some relaxing time at a beach with a good hotel and good, clean beaches, then we recommend Kendwa and Nungwi — both on the northern coast of the island of Zanzibar.

Their beach quality rivals the best beach resort areas around the world. The water is relatively cleaner and tides are smaller than other local beaches, which is better for water activities. August is one of the best (windiest) months for kitesurfing and windsurfing. However, there is not much entertainment.

Weatherwise, August is the best (driest) month for beach going with only 5 cm (2 inches) of rain, and temperatures are warm, with highs averaging 29ºC (85ºF). The sea averages a pleasant 26°C (79°F). Most tourists arrive through Zanzibar Airport, and private transfers to Nungwi and Kendwa take 70 or 80 minutes.

Tips for Visiting Tanzania in August

August is the peak month for the tourism industry in Tanzania, and this means peak prices and more crowding. Reasons for the surge of tourism are the dry season and excellent weather for touring and tourist activities as well as the summer vacation period.

Tourist crowds flock to the northern safari circuit including Serengeti, Tarangire, and Ngorongoro Crater, and many of these tourists also go to Zanzibar.

Lodges and hotels around the wilderness preserves and the beaches will be fully open in August and have peak-season prices, so book your tours and reservations early. To avoid the biggest crowds and highest prices, experience Ruaha and Nyerere and watch the animals in different habitats.

There are no national holidays in August.

What to Wear in August

Throughout Tanzania in August, you might get sunburn since it is sunny. Wear a hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and light trousers or a long dress to protect yourself from sunburn and bug bites.

In the northern areas around the Serengeti and Arusha and in the higher elevations, mornings and nights get cold; so bring warm clothing. Bring raingear for high mountain areas such as the Ngorongoro.

Clothes for wildlife parks: Neutral-colored clothes will help to avoid alarming the animals. Dark colors attract tsetse flies.

Monthly Weather in Tanzania

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