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  The best time to go
The north & the coast:
· June to October
· December to March
The south:
· June to October
· January to February
 
 
Destination facts:
When to go
Tanzania is just south of the equator and has a tropical climate with dry seasons and rainy seasons.

The best time to visit is during dry seasons, as much rain may hinder the outdoors activities that most visitors come for, for example safaris and beach holidays.

The climate and weather patterns are not the same all over the country, but vary to some extent with altitude, latitude, and the regional geography.

Map of Africa Namibia Botswana South Africa Zambia Mozambique Malawi Rwanda Tanzania Kenya Uganda
The coming and going of the rainy seasons is not fully predictable; there may be variations from one year to another.
 
Safari in Serengeti National Park.

Seasons for safaris
Dry conditions are the best for safaris. Rain may cause accessibility problems on bush roads, and the game viewing is less rewarding when roof hatches and windows of vehicles have to be kept closed.

Northern Tanzania
The best time for safaris are the dry seasons from December to March, and from June to October.

Avoid the rainy season from April to May ("the long rains"), as the conditions for safaris may not be good. The rainy season in November ("the short rains") has less rain, and conditions for safaris may be acceptable.

Northern Tanzania has parks such as Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire.

Southern Tanzania
The best time for safaris is the dry season from June to October, and a drier spell from January to February in the rainy season.

Southern Tanzania has parks such as Selous, Mikumi and Ruaha.

Western Tanzania
Western Tanzania has a climate pattern similar to the southern parts, with a tendency towards rain distributed throughout the year.

Western Tanzania has parks such as Katavi, Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains.

More about safari seasons
 

The Tanzanian coast.

Seasons for beach holidays
The coastal climate allows for swimming all year round. The temperatures during the hottest part of the year, roughly October to March, range from 30ºC/85ºF to 35ºC/95ºF. During the rest of the year, you can expect temperatures from 25ºC/77ºF.

The coastal climate is similar to the inland climate, but the coastal air is more humid. One or two showers during the day are not uncommon, but they pass quickly.

You may want to avoid the rainy season from April to May ("the long rains").

The coast has destinations such as Zanzibar Island.

Seasons for climbing
The main seasons (see Seasons for safaris above) for northern Tanzania apply also to Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. The weather on the mountains is more extreme, though, and the rainy seasons are longer.

The best time for climbing these mountains, from a weather perspective, is from mid-January to mid-March, and from July to October. July and August may be quite cold.

The temperatures are of course much lower on the mountain, and you need to equip yourself for temperatures well below the freezing point.

Temperatures
The temperatures in the main safari areas of northern and southern Tanzania are 25–30+ºC/77–85+ºF during October–March, and 5º/10º less during the rest of the year. Cooler temperatures may be encountered because of weather conditions, and in highlands.

Humidity
The coast and the areas around the great lakes are generally humid, while the inland, where most safari areas are found, is much drier.
 

Elephants in the rain.
 
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Page updated 8 June 2012