Weather Seasons in Tanzania - What to Expect

Weather Seasons in Tanzania – What to Expect and Wear If You are Visiting or Domestic Touring

When to Go and Pack

PLEASE NOTE: Weather seasons in Tanzania are constantly changing. The information below is a general guideline and a personal commentary based on our experience of travelling at this time of the year. It is not in any way a weather guarantee.

January –  March Seasons in Tanzania

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

We love this part of the year and seasons in Tanzania. Sandwiched between the short rainfall of November and the long rainfall of April and May, this is the warmest time of the year. This period is renowned for its delightful days. Traditionally, this was the peak period that precedes the ‘migration obsession’ and now offers excellent value and a superb climate. The southern parts of Serengeti can be damper than the Mara, while the wildebeests bring forth their offsprings down south.

Flamingoes crowd at Lake Manyara
Flamingoes crowd at Lake Manyara

JANUARY: The combination of clear sunny days and warm nights makes this month an ideal time for safaris. Thousands of flamingoes crowd Lake Manyara, and it is a good time to enjoy the pinkish scenery from Chem Chem Lodge.

FEBRUARY: With the dry season reaching its peak, this is the hottest time in the country. The pasture is grazed down, and animals are moving close to water bodies. It is also an excellent time for a safari. The few rain showers that we have during this period are a welcome relief.

MARCH: The weather is hot and becoming more humid. Overall, it is still a good time for an adventure.

MEAN TEMPERATURE

  Karatu/Crater Serengeti Tarangire
Average day 720F/220C 820F/280C 840F/290C
Average night 520F/110C 610F/160C 630F/170C

 

WHAT TO PACK

Loose-fitting clothing and layers that you can slip in and out of easily. Raincoats are also important. Make provision for high temperatures and rains. Cooler days often accompany rains; therefore, some warm items of clothing are needed. Things may be wetter and cooler at the Crater and Mara. The southern areas of Tanzania and Tarangire are expected to be hot so bring your swimwear along as swimming is a nice way to cool off.

April – June Seasons in Tanzania

Great Value and Season of Greens

Travelers often want an assurance of zero rain. However, for travelers who are not fearful of a few random showers, this is a good time to take a trip. Many lodges are shut down in April and May. Those that remain open offer tremendous value and excellent deals. We would suggest traveling by air between destinations rather than driving.

APRIL: This is a period of high humidity and the wettest month of the year. Forest Chem Chem, Azura Selous, Chem Chem Lodge and Little Chem Chem are all closed. Legendary Camps and Gibb’s Farm remain open and offer superb value.

Chem Chem Lodge
Chem Chem Lodge

MAY: This is a period of high rain showers. Afternoon showers are commonplace. However, the air remains clean and clear. It is a good time to see full rivers and rains after the rains. Between the 1st and the 15th of May, the Legendary Serengeti Mobile Camp is closed. Chem Chem Lodge opens on the 15th of May

JUNE: June marks the beginning of the long dry season. The skies are clear, and the weather is sunny. The scenery is lush green and bright. Little Chem Chem, Azura Selous and Forest Chem open their doors on the 1st of June.

MEAN TEMPERATURE

  Karatu/Crater Serengeti Tarangire
Average day 640F/180C 790F/260C 790F/260C
Average night 540F/120C 610F/160C 610F/160C

WHAT TO PACK

Loose-fitting clothing and layers that you can slip in and out of easily. Raincoats are non-negotiable. Cooler days accompany rains, so a few warm layers are needed. Spare shoes are also needed because there is nothing worse than putting on wet shoes.

July – September Seasons in Tanzania

Best Time for Safari

We understand that this period coincides with many yearly vacations, especially families with school children, and it also perfectly falls at a great time to be on a safari. This is the best time for a safari. Endeavour to make your reservations in advance to ensure an ideal trip and choice of camps and lodges.

JULY: It is one of the best times to be in the country. The days are warm, and the evenings are cool. The scenery is beautifully green and fresh.

AUGUST: The nights are cool, and the days are warm and pleasant with few showers of rain. A high influx of tourists makes places like the Crater congested. Chem Chem is often in high demand because it offers exclusive access to regions with beautiful wildlife.

SEPTEMBER: Just like July and August, the month is lovely.

MEAN TEMPERATURE

  Karatu/Crater Serengeti Tarangire
Average day 660F/190C 810F/270C 770F/250C
Average night 480F/90C 590F/150C 570F/140C

WHAT TO PACK

Loose-fitting clothing and layers that you can slip in and out of easily. Make provisions for warm days and cooler nights (it can get really cold around the carter, and the fire will be burning intensely at the Gibb’s Farm cottages). Warm hats, fleece, and gloves for morning and evening drives, particularly in July, are highly recommended.

Gibb’s Farm cottages in Karatu
Gibb’s Farm cottages in Karatu

October – December Seasons in Tanzania

Highly Recommended – October and December

This is a great time to explore Tanzania and it is an ideal time for travelers who are not restricted by school holidays. In these wonderful months, temperatures can get hot and dry ahead of the short rains of November.

OCTOBER: There is a possibility of rainfall at the end of this warm and clear month. Areas of lower altitude in Tanzania – Ruaha, Tarangire, Selous – can be very sunny and dry during this period.

NOVEMBER: Heralds the beginning of the ‘brief rainy seasons in Tanzania’ that comes as a relief after five months of no rain. In recent times, the short rains have been very light and non-existent in some places. This translates to a very hot and dry few months before April’s long rains.

DECEMBER: A good time of the year for Safari. The temperatures begin to rise during this second month of the ‘brief rains’.

MEAN TEMPERATURE

  Karatu/Crater Serengeti Tarangire
Average day 700F/210C 820F/280C 840F/290C
Average night 540F/120C 610F/160C 630F/170C

WHAT TO PACK

Loose-fitting clothing and layers that you can slip in and out of easily. Raincoats are non-negotiable. Make provisions for hot days and the possibility of rain – particularly in November and early December.

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