Best time to visit Tanzania elephants tarangire river family safari

When is the best time to visit Tanzania?

Read our advice on the best time to visit Tanzania for a family safari holiday

Tanzania is a year-round destination

The best time to visit Tanzania will depend on what kind of family safari you are looking for.
Tanzania benefits from excellent weather all year, although the green season of April and May can make some areas inaccessible.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best
Good
Mixed
Best Jan, Feb, Mar, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Dec
Good Jun, Nov,
Mixed Apr, May,
Best time to visit Tanzania serengeti great migration wildebeest family safari
Best time to visit Tanzania
July - September
The peak of the dry season

At this time of year, the parks across Tanzania are at their driest. The Great Migration is at its most dramatic, with river-crossings in the northern Serengeti at their peak.

Tarangire really comes into its own, as animals from miles around flock to the Tarangire river bed.

In the south, Ruaha and Nyerere National Park are prime for big game sightings and exploring the rivers by boat.

In the Zanzibar Islands, a cooling southerly wind (the kusi) keeps temperatures in the mid-20s.

Best time to visit Tanzania Lion sunset serengeti family safari
Best time to visit Tanzania
October - November
The beginning of the short rains

The ‘short’ rain season in Tanzania means that showers usually come overnight, but occasionally during the day.

In our opinion, this is one of the best times to visit, as numbers of visitors are much lower than the peak periods. Game-viewing, particularly in October, is exceptional as wildlife are most active after the long dry season.

In the Zanzibar Islands, these are the months that the wind drops and the sea is at its calmest. If you’re looking to SCUBA dive or snorkel, this is a fantastic time to be at the coast.

tanzania sunbird family safari
Best time to visit Tanzania
December - January
Festive season peak

As with much of Africa, December brings about the festive season peak. The Zanzibar Islands are particularly busy this time of year, so book ahead.

The Great Migration of wildebeest makes its way to the southern Serengeti to begin calving, which means predators abound.

After the short rains, the bush is beautifully green and birdlife across the country is at its sparkling best.

In Mafia island, whale shark season is in full-swing and this is the perfect time of year to swim with these giants of the ocean.

Zanzibar Tanzania hawksbill turtle coral reef family safari beach holiday
Best time to visit Tanzania
February - March
The climax of the short dry season

This is Tanzania at its hottest and most humid. Temperatures can be in the high 30s, particularly in Zanzibar.

The bush is beautiful after the short rains, and with relatively few visitors, bargains are to be found.

Temperatures in the northern parks are more bearable than the south and west, and this is a wonderful time to see the great migration calving in the Ndutu plains of southern Serengeti.

In Zanzibar, the winds change again, which make this our favourite time of year for SCUBA diving and snorkelling.

Tanzania Zanzibar Mnemba island baby turtle beach family safari
Best time to visit Tanzania
April - June
Green season

The long rains begin in earnest at the start of April and many areas and lodgings shut down until June. Zanzibar is very wet at times, so it’s not the time of year for sun-seekers.

However, those areas that are open offer incredible value, with prices at a fraction of the peak seasons. Game-viewing is still very good in the Serengeti, and you’re likely to having the wildlife to yourself.

In remote Ruaha, you may not see another car for days.
If you do head to the coast, you may be lucky to see baby turtles hatching, particularly on Mnemba island.

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Talk to Tess & Mike about your next big adventure.
Call: +44 (0) 1242 908 720  or   Request a quote
Mike-and-Tess-portrait-cropped.jpg?w=188&h=200&scale
Talk to Tess & Mike about your next big adventure.
Call: +44 (0) 1242 908 720  or   Request a quote
Itinerary ideas
Suggested itineraries for your Tanzania family safari holiday
  • Tanzania safari and beach holiday

    Experience the ideal combination of safari and beach that Tanzania has to offer.

    Guide Price From £3,095 | $4,210 per person (based on 2 adults and 2 children under 12)
    Duration 9 Nights
    Best Months July - October
    Region Nyerere National Park, Zanzibar Islands,
    More Info
  • Tanzania family safari holiday

    This classic Northern Tanzania safari circuit takes in some of the most breathtaking wildlife spectacles and landscapes imaginable.

    Guide Price From £3,785 | $5,150 per person (based on 2 adults and 2 children under 12)
    Duration 8 Nights
    Best Months July - October
    Region Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Highlands, Serengeti National Park,
    More Info
  • Southern Tanzania safari holiday

    Experience a unique and memorable family safari adventure in Tanzania's southern parks.

    Guide Price From £4,255 | $5,785 per person (based on 2 adults and 2 children under 12)
    Duration 7 Nights
    Best Months July - October
    Region Ruaha National Park, Nyerere National Park,
    More Info
  • Bucket list family safari Tanzania

    Our ultimate Tanzania bucket list family safari takes in all this incredible country has to offer.

    Guide Price From £6,165 | $8,385 per person (based on 2 adults and 2 children under 12)
    Duration 14 Nights
    Best Months July - October
    Region Arusha, Ngorongoro Highlands, Serengeti National Park, Ruaha National Park, Zanzibar Islands,
    More Info
  • Tanzania chimpanzee safari

    Our remote Western Tanzania chimpanzee safari will have you trekking with our closest genetic relatives and experiencing a big game safari in true wilderness.

    Guide Price From £5,950 | $8,090 per person (based on a family of four)
    Duration 8 Nights
    Best Months July - October
    Region Arusha, Western Tanzania,
    More Info

Why travel with Coral Tree?

We are the specialists in luxury Africa family safari holidays

We are Africa experts and also parents. We understand what makes a memorable family adventure.

Our knowledge and connections are unsurpassed

We have been living and working in African tourism for over two decades.

Every journey is tailored with your specific wishes in mind

No off-the-shelf packages or cookie-cutter itineraries. Unique family safaris.

Each trip funds grassroots conservation and girls education projects

You pay no more for the privilege, we support causes close to our hearts.

Get in touch
Talk to Tess & Mike about your next big adventure
Call: +44 (0) 1242 908 720
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