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The best time to visit Zanzibar is during the archipelago’s dry season, from July to September, which is a very popular time to travel. However, it’s worthwhile travelling at most times of year, with balmy temperatures between 28°C and 34°C and sunshine the norm.

During the short rains in November and December, downpours are followed by blue skies. It’s only very wet during the peak of the long rains in April and May.

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Month-by-month guide for travelling 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 snorkellers.

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 onward.

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.

Zanzibar Archipelago Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Chumbe Private Island 33°C 65mm 34°C 66mm 34°C 133mm 31°C 303mm 30°C 231mm 30°C 52mm 29°C 38mm 30°C 33mm 31°C 40mm 31°C 72mm 32°C 151mm 33°C 134mm
Pemba Island 31°C 45mm 32°C 38mm 32°C 107mm 30°C 346mm 29°C 396mm 29°C 130mm 28°C 89mm 28°C 67mm 29°C 56mm 30°C 108mm 30°C 157mm 31°C 92mm
Zanzibar Island 33°C 66mm 34°C 69mm 34°C 172mm 32°C 385mm 31°C 293mm 30°C 82mm 29°C 61mm 30°C 42mm 31°C 42mm 32°C 72mm 33°C 136mm 33°C 128mm

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Travel advice

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

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