Tanzania Weather in March: Travel Tips for First-Timers

By Edward | Updated Aug. 17, 2023

In March, Tanzania has heavy rain all over the country, and the wilderness preserves have relatively poor safari and hiking conditions. In the south, there is more rain than in the north and flooding. It is hot everywhere. So, we mainly recommend the highlights in the urban areas and the wilderness preserves near them.

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

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Tanzania Weather in March: Overview

Averages:

  • Temperature range: 19–31°C (65–87°F)
  • Rainfall: 15 cm (6 inches)
  • Rainy days: 11
  • Sunshine hours/day:7 hours

The rainfall increases towards the end of March.

Weather of Tanzania's Major Cities in March

Tanzania City Temperature Rainfall
Dar Es Salaam (Largest city, travel hub) Hot Moderate
Arusha (Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater) Hot High
Serengeti (Wildlife safaris, Maasai culture) Hot Moderate
Zanzibar (Beaches, island resorts) Very Hot Moderate
Tanzania City Daily High Temp. Daily Low Temp.
Dar Es Salaam (Largest city, travel hub) 32ºC (90ºF) 23ºC (73ºF)
Arusha (Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater) 27ºC (81ºF) 11ºC (52ºF)
Serengeti (Wildlife safaris, Maasai culture) 29ºC (84ºF) 16ºC (61ºF)
Zanzibar (Beaches, island resorts) 34ºC (93ºF) 24ºC (75ºF)
Tanzania City Rain (cm) Rain (in)
Dar Es Salaam (Largest city, travel hub) 14 6
Arusha (Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater) 17 7
Serengeti (Wildlife safaris, Maasai culture) 14 6
Zanzibar (Beaches, island resorts) 15 6

Northern Tanzania: The various famous northern attractions such as the Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, and the Ngorongoro Crater as well as Arusha have warm to hot temperatures and heavy rainfall. It is a month when herds migrate. Tanzania is said to have the greatest concentration of large wild animals in the world. Conditions are good to see the animals.

Southern Tanzania: March is in the wettest part of the rainy season with high rainfall in southern areas. In general, it is not a good month to tour the south because the popular southern natural preserves such as Ruaha and Nyerere are hot and humid with occasional flooding. Mosquitoes are a problem.

The Best Places to Visit in Tanzania in March

Top things to do in March include enjoying the urban highlights and seeing wildlife.

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1. Dar Es Salaam — Tour the Highlights

Dar Es Salaam is the capital (population: 6 million). It has the largest airport in Tanzania, and many tourists use its airport to arrive in Tanzania. It's hot there in March, and the rainfall is moderate, increasing at the end of the month.

Places to go near Dar Es Salaam: Bongoyo Island is a protected island offshore offering a natural get away. The National Museum explains Tanzanian history and culture. Pugu Hills Forest Reserve (1 hour's drive).

2. Ngorogoro Crater — Safari

If you want to see a distinctive ecosystem dense with wildlife in the biggest volcanic crater in the world, it is easy to go to since it is only 180 km (110 miles) west of Arusha City. Think of it as a big mammal aquarium in volcanic mountains. March is a good month for safari there.

Though there are occasional heavy rains, especially towards the end of March, the weather at the bottom of the crater is usually mild for its about 1,700 meters (5,577 feet) above sea level. It has a drier micro-climate. Expect freezing temperatures at night on the rim, which is about 2,300 meters (8,530 feet) in altitude.

An advantage of going in March is that there are thinner crowds and lower costs. Tanzania is green, lush, and beautiful. At times though, the roads are too muddy. There are trumpeting elephants in the 260 square kilometers (100 square mile) crater. It is a 3-hour drive from Arusha.

3. Tarangire — See the Wildlife and Beautiful Wilderness

Tarangire preserve is a good place to safari in March, especially in the first half of the month, because it is conveniently close to both Arusha and the Ngorogoro rim where you might stay in a guesthouse or hotel. Tarangire is in the savanna below Ngorogoro.

Tarangire's conditions are not as good as in Ngorogoro. However, you can have a convenient safari excursion when the weather permits, and still get back for dinner in Ngorogoro or in Arusha. Tarangire is known for its elephant herds, but the vegetation often blocks views. There are migratory birds and river animals to see in March.

It takes about 2 hours to drive there from Arusha on good roads. There are also flights available.

4. Ndutu and the Serengeti — Watch the Wildlife Move

In March, the Great Wildebeest Migration marches onwards – into the savanna around Ndutu (north Ngorogoro) and neighboring Serengeti, as they travel their annual circuit. You can watch the antelope, wildebeest, and other animals pass by in grand procession.

In March, in Ndutu and Serengeti, the herds raise their calves on rich grass on the volcanic soil and continue their migration north towards Maasai Mara. You can experience Maasai culture and see their houses in the Serengeti and Tarangire.

Transport to the Serengeti: It takes about 7 hours to drive there from Nairobi, 9 hours from Arusha airport, and 3½ hours from Maasai Mara plus some time at the border. There are also flights available.

5. Arusha — Resting, Food, and Excursions

Arusha is called the Safari Capital because people who visit the region typically stay there to rest and use as a base for excursions and visiting the parks. It has luxurious lodges and hotels. There is a domestic airport.

In March, the weather is warm, and the rainfall is high, but most mornings are dry. When it is rainy, you can dine and shop. When the weather is good, you can do day excursions. There is a large expat population. Arusha Park is about an hour away. Ngorogoro is a little more than 3 hours away.

Transport: Driving from Kilimanjaro International Airport takes an hour and from Nairobi takes 5 hours.

Moderate Tourist Season: Touring Advice for March

The end of March is the start of one of Tanzania's low seasons for tourism, with increasing rain and humidity. You could visit at the beginning of the month to avoid much of the March rains. The shoulder tourist season is a mix of lower prices for accommodations, thinner crowds, and great lush green wilderness.

We recommend you tour northern Tanzania in March for better weather conditions, better nature preserves, and more things to do.

March 31, 2024 is Easter, a public holiday.

What to Wear in March

Especially in the south where it is rainier, mosquitoes are a big nuisance in March in Tanzania. A hat, long-sleeved shirt, and light trousers or long dress would help you avoid mosquito bites and sunburn. A mosquito net might be needed. Carry mosquito repellent.

You would need a jacket for the highlands in March and winter clothes for the high mountains, e.g. the Ngorongoro rim. Bring a rainproof jacket and an umbrella, as umbrellas won't be suitable in some situations. Neutral-colored clothes are recommended to avoid alarming the animals, and avoid dark colors as they attract tsetse flies.

Monthly Weather in Tanzania

Recommended Tours for Tanzania in March

A private tour is recommended. Our travel experts know the local conditions and are good at optimizing your trip and so are our local guides and private drivers.

With Global Highlights, we can also optimize and adjust for your private time. We are flexible to do as much itinerary tailoring and expert arranging as you need to make the best trip for you.

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