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When to go to Tanzania? Weather, climate, safari… The best periods region by region

With the famous Kilimanjaro, several large national parks as well as small paradise islands, Tanzania offers an incredible variety of landscapes on the edge of the Indian Ocean. Klaus Heidemann / stock.adobe.com

Following in the footsteps of the Big Five, venturing on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, exploring the seabed of Zanzibar… Here is an overview of what a trip to Tanzania has in store. Our advice for choosing the right travel dates to discover the different facets of the country, according to your desires.

Located a few degrees below the equator, between the two tropics, Tanzania enjoys a tropical climate, influenced mainly by altitude. The seasons in Tanzania are mainly divided into two: the green season and the dry season. During each of the two seasons, there is an alternation of periods of rain, more or less brief. We then speak of the short rainy season (October to December) and the long rainy season (March to May), which occur between the two dry seasons, long (June to October) and short (January to February).

Tanzania in pictures

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When is the best time to go to the national parks of Tanzania?

Uncrowded, the Ruaha National Park and its baobab forests is perfect for a peaceful safari. Magda / stock.adobe.com

The period from the end of June to October is best for a safari in Tanzania. During this dry season, the vegetation thins out and animals congregate near water sources, which greatly increases the chances of sighting them. However, keep in mind that some reservations may be particularly popular during this period. If you want to avoid the crowds, consider your Tanzania safari during the short dry season, from late December to February, or the green season, from March to May. The latter also coincides with the return of migratory birds, to the delight of ornithology enthusiasts.

Group of elephants in front of one of the tents of the Namiri plains camp in the eastern part of the Serengeti. Stanislas Fautré / Le Figaro

In the Serengeti National Park, around 1.5 million wildebeest migrate each year in search of new pasture and water. The period from December to May is the best time to observe them in the southern zone of the park, while from June to October you will have more chances of seeing them in the western corridor and the northern zones. The Selous Reserve is crossed by the Rufiji River and various tributaries which form an ideal water network for boat safaris. Uncrowded, the Ruaha National Park, with its eponymous river surrounded by baobab forests, is perfect for a peaceful safari. In the Mahale Mountains National Park, in addition to elephants, leopards and buffaloes, you can see chimpanzees in their natural habitat on the mountain slopes overlooking Lake Tanganyika. The north of the country has the most famous parks, such as the Ngorongoro National Park, with its crater which particularly affects the habitat of mammals, and the Maasai, who share their territory with large carnivorous predators. Manyara, Arusha and Tarangire national parks are also worth visiting.

SEE ALSO – A pelican befriends a man in Tanzania.

When is the best time to go to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania?

Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa, at almost 6000m above sea level. It is advisable to climb with a guide. Lubo Ivanko / stock.adobe.com

The climatic conditions of Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa (5895 m), can be very variable throughout the year, but the best time for the ascent is between July and October, when the sky is clear. This contrasts sharply with other times of the year, notably April to May and November to mid-December, when rain, mud, ice and fog can detract from the overall experience and, in extreme cases increase risk to climbers due to slippery conditions and poor visibility.

When is the best time to go to Zanzibar?

A stone’s throw from the Tanzanian coast, Zanzibar lives in phase with the Indian Ocean. You can swim in clear, turquoise blue waters and explore the various small islands. Moiz / stock.adobe.com

The archipelago of Zanzibar is best discovered from June to October, when the mercury is around 29°C. The period from December to February is the hottest of the year, with highs reaching 33°C, while the wet season arrives in March and lasts until May. The island of Unguja, also called Zanzibar, is home to the capital and its old quarter of Stone Town, with its houses adorned with balconies and inlaid wooden doors, revealing the exotic charm of times past. A few kilometers to the south is the island of Mafia, renowned for its pristine beaches and fascinating seabed which is best discovered in August and September, when the visibility in the water is 25 m. Nicknamed green island due to its abundant vegetation, Pemba is also distinguished by its waters teeming with life, more suitable for experienced divers due to the strong sea currents.

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