When to go to Tanzania
The rainy season, the dry season, and when to see the Great Migration
Tanzania is generally recognised as being an ‘all year round’ safari destination, with particular emphasis being during the months of the Great Migration. Being close to the equator, temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year, but there are still some months that are characterised by rain or humidity.
The Rainy Seasons
The main rains fall in April and May, where heavy tropical downpours in the afternoons are a regular occurance, making some roads impassable. What with the high humidity and daily temperatures that can reach 35 degrees C, and the fact that these months tend to be classed as a high-risk for malaria, the lodges offset these negatives with lower rates to try to attract more visitors. The scenery is stunningly green and lush – which whilst wonderful as a backdrop to your safari shots, it does make spotting the wildlife in the thick bush slightly more difficult !
November is the month of the ‘short’ rains – which are less tropical and heavy – rather, they are short, fresh downpours followed by clear skies and sun.
The Dry Seasons
From June through to the end of October is the long dry and relatively cooler season. The chances of rain are highly unlikely, and the temperatures are less humid, making these months a truly lovely time to visit the country. The vegetation dries out, making it easier when out on game drives to track the wildlife, plus the animals are more dependent on water holes and riverine areas so game viewing around these areas is particularly rewarding.
December to March is also the dry season, but the weather becomes increasingly hot and humid. In particular, Christmas is a very popular time for visitors, so if you are planning on travelling over these months, do be prepared for high rates and please ensure that you book well in advance or else you may find that your first, second, third or even fifth choice of accommodation is not available.
The Great Migration
In terms of when to visit to witness the Great Migration, the best months are from May to July, when the plains are fertile and full of grazing wildlife, and from November to March when they return to calf. July and August are particularly busy in terms of safari visitor numbers, so again, despite the higher prices early bookings are advised.