Tanzania weather differs from region to region – but there is always a great time to travel in Tanzania! Weather in the coastal areas is the hottest and most humid, while the North and highlands of Tanzania are cooler because of altitude. The temperatures vary between 22°C and 31 °C throughout the year. During the night, the temperature in Tanzania drops to between 10°C and 22°C. The beaches of Zanzibar have a distinctively tropical climate since it is located close to the Equator.
Tanzania weather: the seasons
Tanzania has two seasons yearly: the wet and the dry season. The wet season (also called the rainy season) runs from the end of October right through to December, and then again from the end of March to the beginning of June. They are referred to as the ‘short-’ and ‘long rains’. These tropical rains mostly start late afternoon and continue all night till early morning. The rains of Africa are famous worldwide and are a soothing, enchanting sight to behold during a trip to Tanzania!
Can I go on safari during the rainy season?
Did you know that National Geographic, Discovery and other major media companies choose the rainy season to shoot their wildlife documentaries in Tanzania? Tanzania weather is fantastic all year round and though heavy rains persist most afternoons in the rainy season, the natural environment comes to life. Nature is colourful, the grass is lush and green, beautiful flowers grow, animals find plenty of food, temperatures are nice and cool and, better yet, the main highlights of Tanzania are far less crowded with tourists.
Another benefit of travelling in rainy reason is the lower costs of safaris and accommodation during this low season. The disadvantages of travel during the wet season are that some accommodations are closed and the (sometimes) poor road conditions. Fortunately, this mainly concerns the roads in the national parks in South Tanzania.
For those travelling to Tanzania during the rainy season, the following national parks are open and ready for your visit. Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Lake Natron and Arusha National Park. The national parks of Tanzania that are better avoided during the wet season include Nyerere, Ruaha, Mikumi & Udzungwa. So if any of the latter destinations are on your must-do list in Tanzania, be sure to head out in dry season.
How does Tanzania weather affect wildlife?
The rain makes for a lush landscape with a high concentration of animals. This means plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife at their finest – and happiest! During the rainy seasons, animals are more active which makes for a fantastic safari experience. With an abundance of food and fresh water, animals roam in their thousands. The rain also protects the animals from the harsh heat of the sun.
Many of our safari guests say that the rainy season offers a more intimate safari experience. For bird lovers, the rainy season is a fantastic time of year to visit Tanzania as lots of migratory birds arrive.
For more detailed information on Tanzania weather and when you should travel to Tanzania, check out our blog on the best time to visit Tanzania.