Best Time to Visit
The best wildlife viewing months in Tanzania are during the dry season from late June to October. The best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February. The southern and western circuit parks are best visited during the dry season (June to October), unlike the more popular northern circuit parks that can be visited year-round. Tarangire is the only exception since its wildlife viewing is considerably better in the dry season as well.
Best Time to go on Safari
Tanzania offers excellent wildlife viewing. There are three different safari circuits and each one of them alone would make Tanzania a great wildlife destination. The Big Five and most other high profile animals are easily seen. The black rhino is very rare throughout, with the exception of the Ngorongoro crater where a small resident population is often spotted.
The best chance for seeing the wildebeest migration is during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving in the Serengeti is late January to February. The dry season (late June to October) is generally the best time for game viewing throughout. At this time, the bush is less dense and animals tend to congregate around waterholes. The wet season (November-May) is often more beautiful when the parks are green and tourist numbers are lower. The parks in the Southern and Western circuit are less accessible in the long rains (March to May) and some lodges close in that period.
The wildebeest migration is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacles. At least two million ungulates – mainly wildebeest, but also zebra and gazelles – move around the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. The wildebeest calving season is also a very special time to visit. The large concentrations of wildebeest and their calves attract many opportunistic predators and this is a good time to see some action.
The Serengeti is famous for its abundance of big cats and the highly endangered African Wild Dog is relatively easy to find in Selous and Ruaha where their numbers are quite healthy. Gombe Stream and Mahale are Africa’s best chimpanzee reserves.
Best Time for Bird Watching
Tanzania is one of Africa’s best birding destinations. It has one of the largest species lists of any African country: over 1,100 of which over 800 species are resident and nearly 200 are regular migrants. 22 species are endemic to Tanzania and a further 43 are near-endemic. Migrants are present from November to April.
The birdlife in Tanzania is good year-round, but at its best from November to April when the migratory birds from Europe and Northern Africa are present. At this time, many resident bird species are nesting and are in breeding plumage. The wettest months are March and April when parts of the country may experience storms on a daily basis. The wet season is also the hottest time of the year, which may be uncomfortably hot on the coast. For wildlife viewing, the dry season is better.