Tanzania Weather in September 2024: Travel Tips for First-Timers

By Edward | Updated Sep. 7, 2023

September is one of the driest months. The dry season weather conditions are about the best for outdoor activities such as safaris, seeing animals, hiking, mountain climbing, and beach going. It is high tourism season, but there are fewer tourists than in July and August. We recommend going to the great outdoors and beaches in September.

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

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Weather in September: Overview

Averages:

  • Temperature range: 15–28°C (59–83°F)
  • Rainfall: 4 cm (1 inch)
  • Rainy days: 3
  • 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) Warm Semi-arid
Serengeti (Wildlife safaris, Maasai culture) Hot Low
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) 24ºC (75ºF) 8ºC (46ºF)
Serengeti (Wildlife safaris, Maasai culture) 28ºC (82ºF) 15ºC (59ºF)
Zanzibar (Beaches, island resorts) 31ºC (88ºF) 20ºC (68ºF)
Tanzania City/Area Rain (cm) Rain (in)
Dar Es Salaam (Largest city, travel hub) 2 1
Arusha (Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater) 2 1
Serengeti (Wildlife safaris, Maasai culture) 6 2
Zanzibar (Beaches, island resorts) 5 2

September has temperatures ranging from mild to hot, and it is mostly sunny. Rainfall ranges from semi-arid to low rainfall.

Northern Tanzania: September has comfortable weather for safaris. Temperatures are warm or hot, the humidity is lower, and there are fewer bothersome mosquitoes. It is semi-arid. The conditions are great for seeing the great animal migration and for beach going.

Southern Tanzania: Ruaha, Nyerere and other regions are hotter than the northern highlands. The temperatures are hot or very hot, and it is dry. There is great weather for safaris, hiking, boating, and riding sightseeing balloons. Ruaha and Nyerere are otherworldly, huge, and wild areas where few tourists venture to see the animals in rivers, jungles, and rugged arid scrublands.

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Best Places to Visit in Tanzania in September

Top things to do in September include hiking and spending time in the wildernesses, seeing wildlife, 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 that some tourists use to fly to Zanzibar, and many use it to access the southern and central wilderness parks. In September, there are sunny skies, and the weather is very hot and semi-arid.

A favorite urban tourist attraction is the Kariakoo street market where they buy souvenirs and products. You could learn about the history and culture at the National Museum. There are fine beaches with few beachgoers on Bongoyo Island offshore, and South Beach is crowded and has hotels.

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

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

September may be the best month for watching the Great Migration of millions of animals from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara since they have to jump and swim across the Mara River. The landscapes have turned brown and the grass is scarce, so you can more easily see the huge columns of wildebeest and zebra searching for fodder.

It is peak tourist season near the Kenyan border and in the Maasai Mara, so the lodges and hotels have peak-season prices. The spectacle is world famous, and people safari in droves too. Weatherwise, expect hot dry weather, chilly nights, low humidity and lots of dust when you safari.

The adult ticket price for the Serengeti is about 71 USD. There are direct flights from Arusha airport and other airports. Driving from the Maasai Mara takes about 3½ hours plus additional time at the border. It is a 7-hour drive from Nairobi and about a 9-hour drive from Arusha airport.

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

Another safari attraction relatively close to the Serengeti where tourists see wild animals close up is Ngorongoro volcano that is a natural wonder with amazing scenery because it is the largest unfilled volcanic caldera in the world. It measures 260 square kilometers (100 square miles).

In this big, high altitude volcanic bowl, there are a variety of animals in different habits such as lake, woodlands, and savanna. The weather in September is optimal. The crater floor is about a mile high, about 1,700 meters (5,577 feet), and has a drier, sheltered microclimate. Daily highs are about 19°C (66°F).

The rim at an elevation of 2,300 meters (8,530 feet) is much colder. Expect freezing weather at night, more precipitation, and occasional snow. You could hike on the rim through forests and woods and see fantastic scenery and stay in posh rim hotels. Driving from Arusha takes about 3 hours, and from the northern Serengeti, it takes about 6 hours.

4) Mount Kilimanjaro — Hike a Super Tall Mountain with Less Crowds

Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest peak at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), and many tourists who want a chance to climb to the top of one of the world's highest mountains climb Kilimanjaro. The slope up is relatively shallow, and the hiking tours are designed for half-day hikes over an extended period of about 4 days or more that will enable less fit hikers to acclimate and succeed.

September is the optimal hiking month since there is dry season weather with less crowding than earlier in the season. About half the hikers start at the Machame entrance gate and descend through Mweka exit gate traversing jungle and glaciers. The routes are carefully crafted, and good porters and expert guides help them reach the top.

Stay at Moshi: Moshi has luxury hotels for about 100 USD per night that are only a 22 minute drive from the popular Mweka exit gate, and it is only a 40 minute drive to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). So it is an excellent base with other attractions such as Kikuletwa Hot Springs and Kilasiya and Materuni waterfalls.

5) Zanzibar — Enjoy Beaches and Beach Resorts and Relax

those wanting to do relax on beaches and enjoy watersports, we recommend two beaches on the north shore, Kendwa and Nungwi, because these beaches are most like the famous international beaches that our guests usually prefer with luxury resorts, very clean water, and big clean beaches with white sands.

In September, it is very hot during the day and generally warm at night. September has low rainfall, almost the lowest in the year, and this is better for beach activities. These two beaches do not experience the big tides that others do, so this is better for water sports and beach activities. The sea temperature is pleasant at about 26°C (79°F) on average.

You could end your wilderness sightseeing with a relaxing time in one of the resorts. Many of our guests end their tours with some beach time in Zanzibar. Most tourists arrive through the international airport on the island, and private transfers from Zanzibar airport to Nungwi and Kendwa takes 70 or 80 minutes.

Tourist Season: Touring Advice for September

September is a high tourism month, and you will enjoy dry season weather along with less crowding and lower prices than earlier in the dry season. It is past the peak tourism season in most of the country except near the northern Serengeti where tourists crowd in to see the Great Migration.

Tourist crowds flock to the northern safari circuit including the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and many of these tourists want to go also go to relax on Zanzibar's beaches.

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

There are no national public holidays in September.

What to Wear in September

It is sunny across Tanzania in September, so to avoid sunburn as well as to avoid bug bites, wear a hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and light trousers or a long dress.

Bring warm clothing if you are going to northern areas such as the Serengeti and Arusha or to higher elevations because mornings and nights get cold. Bring raingear for high mountain areas such as the Ngorongoro and to the Serengeti.

Clothes for wildlife parks: It is important to wear neutral-colored clothes to avoid alarming the animals. Dark colors attract tsetse flies.

Monthly Weather in Tanzania

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