January and February are known as the short dry season in Tanzania, characterised by lush green plains and good wildlife viewing in quiet parks with lots of waterhole action. Temperatures are high, but this is a great chance to enjoy a shoulder season safari before the rains set in.
Photo Credit: andBeyond Crater Lodge
Tanzania’s long rains fall between March and May, with heavy tropical downpours in the afternoon making wildlife viewing and travel in the parks more difficult. Humidity is at its peak and temperatures are high. This isn’t the best time for a safari holiday in Tanzania unless you want to head to the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater where roads are well maintained, and rains rarely affect access.
The long dry season in Tanzania usually occurs between June and October. This is a superb time for wildlife viewing in areas like Selous Game Reserve and Tarangire National Park as vegetation is less dense, and animals gather around permanent waterholes which makes them easy to find. The weather is at its driest during this time, with sunny days and almost no rain at all, so travel around the interior and on the coast is enjoyable. Of course, this is the most popular time to visit Tanzania, so prices are higher, and lodges get booked up well in advance.
Photo Credit: Selous Sand Rivers Camp
The short rains occur between November and December, with precipitation being lighter but less predictable than during the longer wet period earlier in the year. This green season is still good for wildlife viewing as the rains have brought life to the plains, including new-born wildebeest calves and migratory birds.