When’s the best time of year to visit Tanzania

Date: 07 Jul 2011

The best time of year to visit Tanzania for all round game viewing is between June and October, the dry season.   Highlights include the Serengeti Wildebeest Migration which you'll find crossing the Mara River at this time and parks like Ruaha, Selous, Katavi and Mahale which will be at their best for game at this time of year. 

But don't be fooled into thinking that just because its the best all-round time, there aren't other great times to visit and see excellent wildlife (one of our faviourite times for example is in April in the Gol Mountains)

Between December and May for example throws up some of the best game viewing available in all Africa in the Serengeti and surrounding areas.  Have a look at some of our favourite Tanzania safari experiences

The Ngorongoro Highlands can still be full of flowers in June and July, but be prepared for cold with low cloud hanging often around till midday. Tarangire in Northern Tanzania, which acts as a dry season refuge for wildlife from the entire Maasai Steppe is at its best for game between late July to late October. However it’s always good for elephant and in the green season between December and May it has tremendous birdlife.

The Serengeti offers spectacular game viewing year round, so works a bit differently (take a look at when to visit the Serengeti). What matters here is that you head to the right part of the park for the time of year and that you avoid the main tourist traps.

If the wildebeest migration is a major objective, then there isn’t really a "best" time to visit. River crossings happen between July and October on either the Grumeti or the Mara River, and the calving, one of the most spectacular times to visit, happens in February.  

Game action remains excellent through the unfashionable months of March, April and May when the wildebeest start moving off the plains during the rut.  Low visitor numbers make this a great time to visit.

If you’re traveling between December and May, then it’s worth combining Southern Plains with Loliondo, if you’re interested in walking, nightdriving and more of a wilderness experience.

People tend to overlook the green season months in Western and Southern Tanzania, but between December and the end of February can be a great time to visit. Selous becomes humid which makes it less good for long walking safaris but the river is high, everything is green and young animals and migrant bird species are plentiful.

In Ruaha the bush can have closed in a bit making wildlife viewing less easy in some areas, but game remains plentiful, so long as you’re not in a hurry.

The water levels will have started rising in Katavi and you may not encounter such large concentrations of animals, but as long as you don't rush things, this is a much more benign season to be there and there is plenty to see.

Let us know if you'd like us to prepare some suggestions for visiting Tanzania at different times of the year for you and we'll be happy to help.  

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