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The best time to visit Tanzania depends on what wildlife you’d like to spot. The country’s seasons and wildlife numbers are dictated by the rains, so you’ll have a slightly different experience depending on when you choose to visit. 

Tanzania’s headline attraction is the Great Migration, which occurs year-round across the Serengeti. Many people flock here between July and September for a chance to witness huge herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing the Mara River — panic ensues as they try to avoid the jaws of crocodiles and other predators waiting to pounce. You’ll see lots of vehicles in the park at this time of year, though. 

Tanzania’s ‘green season’, between November and March, is much quieter. While there’s a chance of rain showers, it’s a fantastic time for birdwatching as migratory species arrive in their thousands. You’ll also see Great Migration herds with their newly born calves. 

The only time we tend to avoid Tanzania is between April and May, when heavy rains can disrupt wildlife viewing.

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Tanzania Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Dar es Salaam 31°C 68mm 32°C 76mm 32°C 140mm 31°C 256mm 30°C 169mm 29°C 34mm 29°C 28mm 29°C 23mm 29°C 27mm 30°C 56mm 31°C 117mm 31°C 96mm
Mahale Mountains National Park 24°C 174mm 24°C 150mm 24°C 185mm 24°C 188mm 24°C 23mm 24°C 1mm 24°C 0mm 25°C 1mm 26°C 11mm 26°C 62mm 24°C 168mm 23°C 215mm
Mount Kilimanjaro 2°C 168mm 4°C 165mm 3°C 296mm 2°C 327mm 0°C 172mm -1°C 63mm -1°C 64mm -1°C 71mm 1°C 67mm 2°C 172mm 1°C 296mm 1°C 235mm
Ruaha National Park 28°C 137mm 28°C 129mm 28°C 111mm 27°C 55mm 27°C 4mm 26°C 0mm 26°C 0mm 26°C 0mm 28°C 1mm 30°C 7mm 30°C 34mm 29°C 139mm
Selous Game Reserve 29°C 210mm 29°C 202mm 29°C 246mm 28°C 225mm 27°C 72mm 26°C 12mm 26°C 5mm 27°C 7mm 28°C 11mm 29°C 28mm 30°C 72mm 30°C 145mm
Serengeti National Park 27°C 94mm 27°C 99mm 27°C 136mm 26°C 137mm 25°C 64mm 25°C 27mm 25°C 12mm 25°C 25mm 27°C 31mm 27°C 42mm 26°C 96mm 26°C 111mm

Month-by-month guide to traveling in Tanzania

Impala in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Visiting Tanzania in January

There is a chance of rain, the temperature is getting higher and the humidity is building. It's still a good time to go as rates are lower and safari is excellent. At this time of year the migration herds are in the southeast of the Serengeti for calving season, so the Ndutu Plains are busy but it is amazing to see so many animals in one place.

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania's Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands. Our highlights of Tanzania
Flamingos on Lake Manyara

Visiting Tanzania in February

Migration is still occurring in Ndutu. The weather is hot and humid with a chance of rain.

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania's Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands. Our highlights of Tanzania
Zebra, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Visiting Tanzania in March

Migrating herds are starting to leave Ndutu, heading west towards Grumeti. This is truly low season, before the heavy rains but with humidity building. Great rates can be taken advantage of at this time of year.

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania's Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands. Our highlights of Tanzania
Giraffe in the Serengeti

Visiting Tanzania in April - May

This is a period of heavy rain, so we would advise against traveling at this time. 

Malachite Kingfisher in the Selous Game Reserve

Visiting Tanzania in June

This is the green season, bringing lush grasses and bush that can make spotting game more difficult. However, this is still a wonderful time to travel - particularly for bird watchers as parks are full of migratory birds; especially in the south. Migration should be in the Grumeti area of the Serengeti heading north.

Elephant in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Visiting Tanzania in July

This is the start of the peak season. The Migration is in the north of the Serengeti moving towards Kenya, and elephant start to gather in Tarangire. The land is getting drier and spotting game is becoming easier. Temperatures are in the 80°Fs and the humidity is low.

Events & Festivals

  • The Great Migration river crossings (July to September): This is your best chance to observe herds of animals in their hundreds as they cross Tanzania's rivers on their epic migration across the continent. The Great Migration: Q&As
Zebra & wildebeest crossing the Mara River

Visiting Tanzania in August

Peak season. Migration is still in the north. As the land becomes more parched, the animals' behaviour becomes more predictable. The dense bush in Ruaha is drying out so game spotting here becomes much easier.

Events & Festivals

  • The Great Migration river crossings (July to September): This is your best chance to observe herds of animals in their hundreds as they cross Tanzania's rivers on their epic migration across the continent. The Great Migration: Q&As
Male lion resting in the road

Visiting Tanzania in September

Peak season. The end of the migration is still in the north, with herds on both sides of the Kenya and Tanzania borders and high numbers of elephant in Tarangire. The northern circuit can be very busy, but it is less busy in the south, so for those who want to avoid crowds it's best to visit the southern parks.

Events & Festivals

  • The Great Migration river crossings (July to September): This is your best chance to observe herds of animals in their hundreds as they cross Tanzania's rivers on their epic migration across the continent. The Great Migration: Q&As
Two male cheetah, Serengeti

Visiting Tanzania in October

Peak season. The migration is now in Kenya, but the game viewing in central Serengeti is still very good. Southern parks are particularly rewarding at this time of year.

Wildebeast during The Great Migration, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Visiting Tanzania in November

Short rains. This is a great time to take advantage of low season rates and is still a popular time to travel. The rains tend to be overnight, but there is a risk of rain during the day as well. Migrating herds are starting to travel south from Kenya, so crossings can be seen in the north of the Serengeti.

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania's Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands. Our highlights of Tanzania
Elephant playing in the water in the Selous Game Reserve

Visiting Tanzania in December

There is a chance of rain, but this is generally overnight. Temperatures and humidity start to build. Safari is good, with migrating herds in the north traveling south to Ndutu. The festive season can be very busy and needs to be planned well in advance to ensure availability. 

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania's Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands. Our highlights of Tanzania

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Practical tips for traveling to Tanzania, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.

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