Best Times to Visit Tanzania and Serengeti

There is no "Best Time" to visit. Owing to its vast area, the climate in Tanzania varies from region to region, and in any given month and there will be a best time for something... birding... catching up with the Great Migration in a certain region. As in every tropical and sub-tropical region there are only two seasons. It is either dry or raining.

The Best Time to See the Great Serengeti Migration

To be sure, the wildebeest migration goes on all year round in a cycle that is linked to the rainfall patterns. Millions of animals are on the move. Particularly the vast herds of wildebeest. Other herds are on the move too zebra, eland, gazelle and impala.

All racing to keep up with where the rainfall is moving to, and where the fresh grazing will be growing.
Just imagine. All year, the animals move in a huge circle across the landscape. You just have to know where they will be at on any given month (more or less).

See a detailed Great Migration Map by month

Tanzania's Changing Seasons

January and February: This is the short dry season, before it really starts bucketing down in March. If it has rained during the short rains, then it normally dries up for a few months.

March to May: This is the long rainy season, with the typical and predictable tropical afternoon heavy rain shower. With daily temperatures above 30°, the evaporating rainfall immediately raises the humidity. Sort of like raining upwards.

June to October: The long dry season. Blue skied and sunny weather - with hardly any rain. Perhaps the occasional light shower. The daily average temperature gradient depends on your location and altitude - Cooler at the coast, and hotter inland. These are the best wildlife viewing months in Tanzania.

November to December: The short rains - unreliable as they are unpredictable, these light showers are over as quickly as they appear.

Seasonal Cycle of the Serengeti

December-March: The November rains bring fresh grazing to the south of the Serengeti.
April-May: Arrival of the rains and most lodges are closed.
June-October: The herds are moving to the north of the Serengeti, and crossing the Grumeti River.
November: The rains have started in the south of the Park. The herds begin migrating south.

Tanzania Safari Guide

Read more articles in our Tanzania Safari Guides below.

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