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Best Time to Do a Serengeti Safari (Tanzania)

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Best Time to Go

Serengeti National Park is dry and sunny from June through October, making this the best time for a safari in Tanzania. As this is the time when the Great Migration happens, animals concentrate around watering holes such as rivers and springs, providing a prime viewing opportunity for wildlife and photography. 

Although herds of wildebeest and zebra can be seen crossing the Mara River between July and September, parks will be packed with automobiles. Tanzania's dry season means fewer mosquitoes and lower risk of contracting malaria on your safari. Temperatures are normally around 14C (57F), though they may occasionally reach below freezing levels.

The Serengeti in Tanzania has earned the well-deserved reputation as being one of Africa’s best places to spot wildlife on a safari. 

There is no bad season to visit the Serengeti, and there’s always something to see! However, there are different advantages to going during the wet or dry season depending on your preferences.

At a Glance:

  • Best time: June-September
  • Best weather: June-October (dry)
  • Worst weather: March-April (wet)
  • High season: July-March
  • Low Season: April-May 

Look for zebras on a game drive
Look for zebras on a game drive

Serengeti Dry Season

The dry season extends from June through October, during which time the park can get a bit crowded in the popular Seronera area. 

Explorers enjoy sunny, dry days, but mornings and nights can get pretty cold.It’s advisable to pack warmer clothing for the early morning game drives in the open-air vehicles. 
During this season animals are easier to spot as the sparse vegetation and scarce water drives them to congregate around the water sources. This makes it exponentially easier for the safari guides to track them. If seeing the great wildebeest migration is a highlight for your trip, be sure to visit Tanzania in the dry season!

Wildebeest in Ngorongoro Crater
Wildebeest in Ngorongoro Crater (Nik & Dusty Green)

Serengeti Wet Season

The wet season’s short afternoon storms, lasting  from November through May, brings the foliage into verdant shades of green and migratory birds travel through the Serengeti. This is the perfect time to take out your camera and get some gorgeous pictures of the expansive wild lands around you. 

While rain showers last longer during the peak month of March and  April and May, these usually don’t affect trips. If you’re planning on going during the wet season and don’t mind heavier downpours, go between March and April when parks are likely to be less crowded. 

Since this coincides with the calving season, it’s not only likely to see newborn animals but it’s also probable that there will be some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to view predator action. 


Perhaps one of the most majestic and powerful herd animals that you will spot on the Serengeti is the wildebeest. 

You will likely see these impressive giants no matter when you go, but a few times of the year are especially spectacular:
  • Calving season: January and February 
  • Herd crossing the Grumeti River: June and July
  • Herd crossing the Mara River: September

Enjoy a guided game drive to look for wildlife
Enjoy a guided game drive to look for wildlife

Best Times to Visit Other Sites in Tanzania


Ngorongoro Crater

The rainy season, which lasts from April to May, is regarded as the best time to visit Ngorongoro Crater due to fewer visitors and lusher flora than the dry season. 

This is the time of year when budget safari enthusiasts take advantage of low costs. May is also an exceptional month for aficionados of speckled birds. They are home to several rare ground-nesting species, including splay-footed ostriches, kori bustards, and crazy secretary birds. 

If you're looking for the ideal photo opportunity, look no further than January and February, when wildebeest calves are born outside the crater in the Ngorongoro Grasslands. 

Tarangire National Park

Late June to October is the best time to watch animals in Tarangire National Park. Most animals leave during the wet season, making wildlife watching difficult. July marks the start of the peak season, as the terrain gets drier, making spotting easier. The humidity is low and the temperature is around 80F. 

The Serengeti's Great Migration begins in the north and moves into Kenya when elephants begin to congregate in Tarangire, a site as nice as the Masai Mara. From July through September, the river crossings provide the best opportunity to see hundreds of animals cross Tanzania's rivers.

Elephants on the plains surrounding Kilimanjaro
Elephants on the plains surrounding Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

With mild temperatures, less rain, and less cloud cover, September and October are the best months to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. However, be prepared for possible showers and chilly weather at the top. 

The only times to avoid are March, April, and May as the heavy afternoon rains make it risky to climb. During this time, some lodges in the less-visited south and west close down. If you’re traveling on a budget, this is a great time to get deals.

Lake Manyara National Park

The best time to see animals in Lake Manyara National Park is from the end of June through October when the weather is dry. 

While this area is excellent for game-viewing year-round, it's most attractive during the wet season, which runs from November to May when the flora is at its lushest, waterfalls pour down the cliff, and migratory birds such as pink flamingos and pelicans can be spotted.

If you’re looking for the perfect trip to Tanzania contact our travel experts!

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Elephant herd crossing the Chobe river at sunset


Wildlife on an Africa safari



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