Tanzania is visited throughout the year but the greatest chances of capturing the best game views are in the months of June, July, August, September, and October. The country is at its driest during these months hence animals tend to gather at water sources.
Wildebeest migration in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park starts in January with calving and goes through a series of stages which can be witnessed during Tanzania Safaris.
High season: June to September
Best time to see wild animals
This is the time of year when the weather is cooler and dry and most days are sunny. Animal spotting is easiest as the foliage is sparse and the animals congregate around dwindling water sources. The wildebeest migration in the Serengeti usually takes place in June and July. Hotels in popular areas are often full during this time, with high-season prices in place.
Shoulder season: October to February
Best time to witness wildebeest calving
The weather is hot during these months, especially December through to February, and the mvuli (short rains) fall and the kusi (seasonal trade wind) blows from late October. Wildebeest calving takes place from late January in the southern Serengeti. High-season prices apply from mid-December to mid-January.
Low Season: March to May
Best time for discounted stays
Heavy rains make secondary roads muddy and some areas inaccessible during these months, but it seldom rains all day, every day, and landscapes are lush and green. As it’s low season, some hotels close while others offer discounts. so travelers can take advantage of lower rates and less crowded parks in the north of the country. Bird-watching is at its best at this time of year.
The weather almost everywhere in Tanzania is hot, especially along the coast. It’s also dry, including on Kilimanjaro, and the dry, warm season from December into February can be an ideal time to scale the mountain.
Key event: Zanzibar Swahili Festival
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TANZANIA TRAVEL.
Visas and passports.
Passports with at least 6 months validity remaining are required for entering Tanzania. Visas (obtained upon arrival) are also required before accessing the country through the legal border crossing points, except travellers from countries that are exempt.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Testing/screening on arrival
All passengers arriving in Tanzania will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate upon arrival. The test should be taken within 72 hours of arrival into Tanzania. All passengers travelling to Tanzania must complete an online Traveller’s Surveillance Form. This form must be submitted no more than 24 hours before arrival.
All passengers entering Tanzania will be subjected to enhanced screening for COVID-19 including a mandatory rapid test. The cost for rapid testing is 25 USD per traveller which can be paid for through the online Traveller Surveillance Form or in cash on arrival. The Government of Tanzania is also implementing temperature scanning for all international passengers arriving into Tanzania.
Vaccination and Health matters
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is also mandatory for travellers to Tanzania.
Money and currency
The Tanzanian Shilling is the official currency of Tanzania, but US dollars are also widely accepted in tourist areas. Dollar notes printed before 2006 are usually not accepted. You can exchange money at many authorised dealers, banks and bureaux de change for not less than Tsh. 2,200/= or high than Tsh.2,300/= per 1 USD. Get a receipt after each transaction.
Most banks in major cities have ATMs, but they are not always reliable and sometimes break down or run out of money. To minimise the risk of card cloning, only use ATMs located within the bank. Travellers cheques are not widely accepted.
Local laws and customs
Tanzanians are welcoming and well disposed towards visitors, but you should be sensitive to local culture. Loud or aggressive behaviour, drunkenness, foul language and disrespect, especially towards older people, will cause offence.
There is a high proportion of Muslims in Tanzania, especially along the coast and on Zanzibar and Pemba. Respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.
You should dress modestly. In Zanzibar and Pemba, women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops away from tourist resorts, particularly in Stone Town and other places where the local population may be offended.
Zanzibari authorities may fine tourists, guides and tour operators for inappropriate clothing worn in public. Fines for tourists are a minimum of 700 USD, and tour operators face a minimum fine of 1000 USD.
It’s advised to carry identification (a copy of your passport and visa/permit) at all times. Immigration officials and police have the power to request these documents at any reasonable time. If you’re a resident or long term visitor, you should consider carrying a certified copy of your passport and visa/permit.
Tipping is not mandatory but customary for your safari driver, guide and employees in the hospitality industry especially if you are satisfied with a service rendered.
Tanzania and its tourist destinations are safe for tourists but it doesn’t hurt to be careful especially when carrying valuables especially expensive jewelry, large sums of cash or expensive gadgets in crowded areas. It is also important to respect culture of the people by dressing decently.
WHAT TO PACK ON A TANZANIA SAFARI?
A typical packing list for a safari to Tanzania must include sunglasses, toiletries, waterproof rain jacket, hiking boots, sandals, comfortable and descent attire, camera with enough memory space and extra batteries, first aid kit (with bandages, rubbing alcohol, plasters, tweezers and sunburn moisturize), hat, backpack, binoculars, flashlight, sandals, warm sweater, insect repellants, medication-cold, flue, anti-diarrhea and anti-malarial drugs.
When visiting Zanzibar, it’s important for women to dress modestly in main towns out of respect for Muslim cultural beliefs. T-shirts that cover the shoulders, long skirts and capri pants are generally better options than tank tops and shorts. Beach wear and bathing costumes are acceptable on the beaches and in resorts.