The weather in Tanzania has regional differences due to topography. The coastal areas are 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 during the year and drop during the night (22°C in Zanzibar to 10°C in Ngorongoro). Zanzibar has a tropical climate since it is located close to the Equator.
Tanzania weather seasons
Tanzania has two seasons yearly: the wet and the dry season. The wet season (also called rainy season) runs from end of October to December and from end of March to beginning June. They are referred to as the ‘short-’ and ‘long rains’ respectively. These tropical rains mostly start late afternoon and continue all night till early morning. The dry season starts in June and ends in October and also runs from December to March.
Can I go on safari during the rainy season?
Did you know that National Geographic, Discovery and other TV companies choose the rainy season to shoot their wildlife documentaries? Nature is colourful, grass is lush and green, beautiful flowers grow, animals find plenty of food, temperatures are nice (not too hot) and it is far less crowded with tourists. Another benefit are the lower costs of safaris and accommodation during the rainy seasons. The disadvantages of travel during 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.
National Parks you can visit during the wet season: Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Lake Natron and Arusha National Park. Parks you can better avoid during the wet season: Nyerere, Ruaha, Mikumi & Udzungwa.
What about wildlife during the rainy season?
During the rainy seasons animals are more active since they do not have to hide for the sun. The rain makes for a lush landscape with a high concentration of animals, so enough opportunities to see wildlife (in peace, thanks to a lack of visitors). It offers a more intimate safari experience. For bird lovers this is a great time of the year, when lots of migratory birds arrive. Another advantage is that many animals give birth in the wet season when water and food is abundant.
Read also our blog The best time to visit Tanzania.