I’m frequently asked, “What’s the best time of year to go on a safari in Tanzania?” My initial responses are typically rather cheeky, alternating between, “Whenever you have the time available to go on safari!” and, “Our favorite time of year for safari is during any month with at least 28 days!”  

The more substantive response, however, is that Tanzanian safaris are simply incredible year round! It is truly up to each safari-goer to select the season that aligns with what they hope to see and do on their specific safari! Each season produces vastly different landscapes, and those landscapes dictate the movements of the large migratory herd known as The Great Migration.  

So, while Tanzania does not have Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, per se… they do have four distinct seasons each year.   

  • January through mid-March is Tanzania’s Green Season.  
  • June through October is typically considered the Drying Season


Those of us from the Northern Hemisphere would equate this season with our springtime. The lakes and streams are full from the recent rains, and the plains of Tanzania burst to life with new grasses as green as you would see in Ireland! There are blossoms and wildflowers everywhere, and the weather is mild.   

Rains (if any) typically arrive in the late afternoon and overnight hours, rarely interrupting any of the daily game drives or other outings. The effect of these periodic rains is nothing short of spectacular.  First of all, it is very soothing to fall asleep to the sound of rain falling on your tent, and secondly, it is amazing to know that both the dust and the volume of safaris in the bush are much diminished from that of high season.  

During this time of year, Wanderful Tanzania brings our guests to the Ndutu plains in the Southern Serengeti. For a few precious weeks from February into March, the 2 million plus animals that make up the Great Migration herd return to these plains to bring more than 400,000 new babies into the world! It is simply paradise, with a wild edge!  

The verdant green landscapes and beautiful skyscapes make for a photographer’s dream! 


Just the name of this season drives away about 90% of people interested in a safari.  Their loss is your gain! Besides the significantly lower prices during this season, this season delivers the goods! You’ll have the parks to yourself and be surrounded by all of the same wildlife that you’d expect to find on any safari…with the bonus of dozens of migratory bird species passing through the area, adding to the beauty of the more than 500 indigenous bird species that call Tanzania home!  Our Long Rainy Season safaris have consistently been a hit with our safari guests brave enough to ignore the moniker and just get out there!      


During these months the grasses on the plains of the Serengeti and other parks in Tanzania begin to rapidly dry out. The Great Migration herd has been marching northward for several months now, following the rains and subsequent new grasses created by the shifting weather patterns. When the great herd reaches the banks of the Mara River in Tanzania, they must cross the river in order to continue their northward trek. Witnessing a crossing at the Mara River is considered to be one of the 7 Wonders of the Natural World, and once seen will never be forgotten!  It is a sight for sure!   Thousands and thousands of people come from all over the world to witness this spectacle, knowing that for a couple of months each year the only place to witness this spectacle AND find the Big 5 in the same safari is right here in Tanzania!

This is the iconic safari experience that most people picture when they think of safaris.  The short, dry grasses make it much easier to find wildlife, especially the big cats. This is also the time of year where water sources have dried up on the plains, so the congregation of wildlife around the year-round water sources goes up, again, making game spotting almost effortless.  

Lastly, although rain is possible at any time of year (especially these days), the chance of rain during Drying Season is minimal. The days can be warmer… but it is rarely hot for weeks on end…and tends to cool off nicely in the evenings.


I lovingly refer to this season as “Tweener Season!”  It is a magical time of year that still has shorter grasses which make animal spotting much easier, but the recent rains cause the plains to start to green up in a hurry, creating a beautiful mixture of greens and golds! The crowds have also fallen off substantially during this season, making it just a wonderful time to be on safari!   

This season begs for safaris to include the incredible Tarangire National Park as part of the itinerary! About a quarter of the size of the Serengeti, Tarangire is best known for having four distinctly different environments (river valley, forest, plains, and marsh), so there is something for everyone! And birds are everywhere!  It’s just a tremendous and very different park, and a must-see during this time of year!    

I truly hope that this synopsis of the four distinct seasons of Tanzania helps explain the different experiences to be had throughout the year, but more so that it helps that there is no “OFF-SEASON” in Tanzania!   

Wanderful Tanzania remains ready to help you find the perfect small group safari to join or we can work with you to design a custom safari just for you and your own group of family or friends.


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