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Pemba island, Zanzibar Archipelago

When is the best time to visit Zanzibar Archipelago?

The best time to visit the Zanzibar Archipelago is from July to September — the dry season. However, travel is good at most times of the year, due to frequent sunshine and balmy temperatures of 82°F to 93°F.

The only time when rain would affect your trip is during April and May, the peak of the long rains. The short rains in November and December are less disruptive, with downpours followed by blue skies.

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Zanzibar Archipelago Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Chumbe Private Island 91°F 3" 93°F 3" 93°F 5" 88°F 12" 86°F 9" 86°F 2" 84°F 1" 86°F 1" 88°F 2" 88°F 3" 90°F 6" 91°F 5"
Pemba Island 88°F 2" 90°F 1" 90°F 4" 86°F 14" 84°F 16" 84°F 5" 82°F 4" 82°F 3" 84°F 2" 86°F 4" 86°F 6" 88°F 4"
Zanzibar Island 91°F 3" 93°F 3" 93°F 7" 90°F 15" 88°F 12" 86°F 3" 84°F 2" 86°F 2" 88°F 2" 90°F 3" 91°F 5" 91°F 5"

Month-by-month guide to traveling in Zanzibar Archipelago

Matemwe beach

Visiting Zanzibar Archipelago in January - February

A great time to visit - the days are hot and sunny and the sea is at its clearest, making it an excellent time for divers and snorkelers.

Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Visiting Zanzibar Archipelago in March

The weather starts to turn as Zanzibar enters the period known as the 'long rains' and showers become more frequent. It can be very wet from the middle of March onwards.

Fishing dhow, Zanzibar

Visiting Zanzibar Archipelago in April - May

The 'long rains' of April and May make the beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline hot and very wet, so this isn't the best time to travel.

Stone Town, Zanzibar Island

Visiting Zanzibar Archipelago in June - September

The rains have finished for the most part, with some light showers still possible, making it a beautiful time to visit for whiling away the hours lounging on the beaches or exploring Stone Town.

The Rock Restaurant, North of Dongwe beach. Zanzibar

Visiting Zanzibar Archipelago in October

As the mercury slowly starts to rise a few more showers are possible, but these are normally interspersed with sunny spells and shouldn't affect your stay.

Matemwe beach

Visiting Zanzibar Archipelago in November - December

The short rains are starting and the temperature is hotter. The showers are usually short-lived, allowing you to retreat to the bar or for a massage before coming back out when the sun returns.

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Travel advice

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

Africa Safari (inc. Indian Ocean)

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