Zanzibar is a globally-renowned leading safari location, but one that offers far more than initially meets the eye to visitors.
Officially part of Tanzania, this semi-autonomous region is often referred to as the Zanzibar Archipelago, which includes a number of small islands and some of the most stunning coastal views in the world.
While Zanzibar holidays with a range of itineraries are growing in popularity, choosing precisely when to visit can be a challenging pastime. We’ll review this below, while asking which periods during the year offer the optimal time to visit the island.
Zanzibar’s Weather and Climate – A Brief Guide
For some locations in the world, there’s no such thing as a bad time to visit from the perspective of weather and climate.
Take Australia, for example, which benefits from a warm-weather climate all year round and is the ideal holiday destination during the winter months.
This is not true with the exotic location of Zanzibar, however, which features both dry and rainy seasons throughout the course of the year.
Sitting just south of the equator, Zanzibar mirrors Tanzania’s weather pattern closely, with an initial rainy season lasting from late March until the end of May. This season typically features heavy afternoon downpours and high humidity, while temperatures usually sit in the low 30s, so it’s something worth considering even if you are keen to get travelling!
A second rainy season occurs in November and December, although the rainfall during this time is lighter and last for a considerably shorter period of time.
The region’s long dry season sits between these two time periods, with high temperatures and clear skies usually stretching from the beginning of June until the end of October.
This information is not always fool proof, of course, but it serves as an insightful guide and can at least inform the timing of your trip to the Zanzibar.
So when Should you visit Zanzibar?
Ultimately, you’ll also need to book your trip based on the reason for your visit in the first instance.
Make no mistake; anyone is search of a sun-kissed and relaxing beach holiday should visit during the dry season, even though this generally sees high levels of demand and slightly inflated flight prices.
However, if your trip to the Zanzibar is part of a larger safari experience, you have a little more flexibility in terms of when you choose to visit.
This is unless you want to see the Great Wildebeest Migration, which is a truly breathtaking spectacle that takes place every single year across eastern and northern Tanzania. This also takes in the spectacular Serengeti, and sees up to two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle make their way in search of grasslands and water.
Given the predictable behaviour of these animals and their quest for water and lush grazing lands, experts are able to predict roughly where they’ll be at any given point during the migration.
If you’re heading to north Tanzania or Zanzibar, November is generally considered to be the best time to see the Great Migration. Just be sure to check with your service provider before booking the trip, and don’t be afraid to seek out their advice!