Best time for safari in Tanzania

the great migration in tanzania

Benefits of Different Periods

Great wildlife and nature experiences are available in Tanzania throughout the year. The number of animals in each park varies from season to season, but you can be sure to see plenty of animals as Tanzania has some of the most densely populated national parks in the world. There is no one period that can be said to be the best and it depends on what you are looking for.

December - March

Calving period for wildebeest and zebras

Good chance to see the great migration

Warmest temperatures of the year

April - May

Few tourists in the national parks

Lush and leafy landscape

Comfortable temperature

June - September

Dry climate and good conditions to spot animals

Opportunity to see wildebeest and zebra cross the Mara River

The period with the least precipitation

October - November

Best game viewing in Tarangire

In October, the grass is shortest and the animals are most visible

The Great Migration returns to the Serengeti

weather & climate

weather and climate tanzania

the weather

Tanzania is close to the equator and has a tropical climate, which means it's warm all year round. There is no winter and summer as here in Sweden, but instead periods of rain and drought.

The maximum temperature is 30 degrees, but during the coolest periods the temperature can drop to 14 degrees. Temperatures in the safari areas are highest during the Swedish winter months, reaching 25-30 degrees on sunny days.

During the summer months it is slightly cooler. February tends to be the warmest month of the year and July the coldest. The best safari areas are between 800 and 1 800 metres above sea level, which can mean chilly evenings, nights and mornings. The air is dry so the climate is perceived as very pleasant as there is never any oppressive heat.

Along the coast and in Zanzibar it is hot all year round and the humidity is always high.

lions on the savannah
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weather & climate

rain & drought

There are some periods that are better to go to than others, although you can never fully predict when the different seasons begin and end. The rains in recent years have been particularly erratic and even more difficult to predict.

Some years the rains don't come at all, and some years it rains more than normal. Different periods have different advantages and disadvantages.The dry periods tend to be December/January - March and June-September/October. It can still rain during this period but usually not.

June to September is called the long dry season and the lack of rain means that grass is short and dry and tree foliage is sparse during mainly Aug-Oct. This means that it is slightly easier to see animals during this period as they are also drawn to waterholes. There are also fewer mosquitoes during this period. The period July-Aug is when tourists are most likely to be in the area.

Tanzania has two general rainy seasons. April to May is known as the major rainy season and this is not the best time to go on safari. When there is a lot of rain, conditions for safaris are worse. Roads can become muddy and inaccessible and you need to travel on the main roads to avoid getting stuck in the mud. Roof hatches and windows on safari vehicles must be kept closed.

October/November to mid-December is the short rainy season when there may be short showers. However, this is not an obstacle to going on safari. Often there is only a short shower and then it is blue skies again. During this period there are fewer tourists in the area. The parks are blooming and green and lush after the rains. Much of the rain falls as evening or night showers and the conditions change only slightly. If it is cloudy, this can be a good thing as the animals are more restless and can be more active.

lions on the savannah

summary of the seasons

December to March

This is the hottest period in the safari parks, with an average temperature of 30 degrees. There can still be some showers in December and as early as mid-March it can also start to rain ahead of the long rainy season. This is the period when you are most likely to see parts of the migration if you go to the Serengeti.

The herds are usually in the southern part, which is in the right area for easy access by jeep. There is a lot of greenery in the area and green and pretty parks. In February, however, it can start to dry out a bit and the grass turns more yellow. February and March is the time to go on safari if you want to experience the calving of the zebras and wildebeest. Over a number of weeks, almost the entire migration year's crop of calves is born and you are likely to see small foals here and there on the savannah. This also attracts predators as they see calves as easy prey.

-Good chance to see the migration
-Hottest temperatures of the year

April to May

The long rainy season is usually in April and May. In recent years, the rains have tended to come a little earlier, so it can start raining as early as mid-March.

This is a period when the park is green and the environment is very beautiful. Despite the rain, you will see animals although they may be a little more scattered than in the dry season. However, the rain does make roads difficult to travel and this is not a period when camping works. When it rains a lot you also have to keep the roof closed which detracts from the experience, but it probably won't rain all the time.

The good thing about going at this time is that there are very few tourists and you can be completely alone with the animals. And there are still large numbers of animals that you will see.

-Few tourists
-Lush and lush landscape
-Peasant temperature

June to September

This is called the long dry season and July is the driest month of the year. It can be cold in the mornings, nights and evenings. At the end of this period it is at its driest and the trees have lost their leaves and the grass is yellow, dry and short. This means that animals cannot hide in the grass. The road to the Serengeti during this period is extremely dusty. In June it can still be lush and there are also fewer tourists.

At the end of the season you may see the migration at the entrance to the Serengeti. During the early part of the period they are in the western and northern Serengeti and then you also have the opportunity to see them crossing the river passages. To get there and back, however, you need to spend a number of days in the Serengeti.

This is the high season and there are a lot of tourists in the parks.

-Good chances to see animals as it is dry
-Possibility to see wildebeest and zebra river crossing
-Dry weather

October to November

October is good for wildlife viewing as it is probably the month of the year when the grass is driest and shortest and this provides a good opportunity to see predators. The end of October and a little into December can see some showers as this is the short rainy season. Usually it can be experienced as refreshing.

Much of the rain falls in the evenings, nights and mornings. During this period the migration from Kenya returns and can be seen in the northern or central Serengeti. These months are some of the best to go on safari in Tarangire as many waterholes have not yet filled up and many animals therefore migrate to the Tarangire River.

You are likely to see large herds of elephants.

- Good game viewing in Tarangire
- In October the grass is shortest and you can see the animals well
- Migration is coming back to the Serengeti

the great migration

The Serengeti is famous for the 'great migration', the world's largest mammal migration, with up to two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle migrating between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara in Kenya in an annual cycle to find better grazing grounds.

The distance of this migration is almost 2000 km. This is one of the most spectacular wildlife spectacles in the world and has been featured in many nature documentaries. There is no fixed timetable for the migration, but it is controlled by rainfall.

The wildebeest can smell the rain from far away. The start can be caused by a sudden change in the weather. The animals are constantly migrating in search of rain and therefore green pasture. This means that their migration is not exactly the same from year to year.

In the Serengeti you can see the migration almost all year round but in different areas. The best chance of seeing the migration is between December and April in Ndutu in the southern Serengeti near the entrance to the national park. During this period there are large herds of animals in the area and as the landscape is open it is easy to see the animals.

In May they are in the western Serengeti and in early June-July they come to the north to enter the Masai Mara. To get there, however, they need to cross the Grumeti River as well as the Mara River. If you are lucky, you can see the dramatic crossing of the rivers where the animals risk their lives as lots of crocodiles lie lurking in the water.

They usually cross the Grumeti River around June-July and the Mara River around August-September. However, it is difficult to time exactly when they cross the river so as a tourist it is not something you can expect to see. The migration naturally attracts predators and the chances of seeing lions active in the middle of the day are high. .

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