When is the best time to visit Zanzibar
When is the best time to visit Zanzibar?
The best time to visit the islands of Zanzibar is during the dry seasons – December to February and June to October – but generally speaking, from December to February any wind comes from the northeast, so beaches on the southern and western parts of the islands are more sheltered. Conversely, from June to October it tends to come from the southwest, so northern and eastern coasts are best. Ultimately, however, these islands are at the mercy of the ocean and their weather patterns can be unpredictable at any time of year. Even during the ‘dry’ seasons, afternoon showers are not unknown, although they tend to be short and pleasantly cool.
It is also possible to visit during the rainy season when there are fewer visitors and you’re more likely to get good bargains from lodges and hotels (the ones that remain open) and trips. The rain can be heavy, but is not usually constant; the sunsets can be particularly magnificent; and pineapples are in season! Travel can be trickier, with roads damaged and buses delayed, but you’ll get there eventually.
Overall Best Time to Visit Zanzibar
The archipelago’s dry season, which runs from June through October, is the best time to visit Zanzibar. During this time of the year, the weather is warm and sunny, with clear skies and low humidity, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
It also coincides with Tanzania’s peak tourism season, which includes the great wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park. June in Zanzibar marks the start of the long dry season and the end of the island’s wettest season.
The skies are typically clear, and daytime temperatures reach around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). If you want to enjoy water sports during your trip, this is the ideal time as the sea water is relatively calm.
July, the dry season has already set in, with the sun hanging a little longer in the sky. The island also sees many tourists coming to escape the European winter. Prices for accommodations, flights, and car rentals may soar during this period, but it’s still the ideal time to visit Zanzibar.
August and September follow the same trend- high temperatures, sunshine, and beautiful blue seas. The summer season is still at its peak, with hotels registering full occupancy rates.
October marks the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy months in Zanzibar. You may experience a temperature drop and light rain intermittently throughout the day. However, don’t let this deter you from visiting Zanzibar this month.
Although not too humid, Zanzibar has a bit more tropical rain than the rest of Tanzania, given its location in the western Indian Ocean. Remember, that occasionally, there will be rains during the dry seasons too.
March, April, and May are the months of the main rainy season, known as long rains. Expect proper downpours every afternoon. But because the temperature is about 35°C, the humidity is quite high; the good news is that the rain evaporates rather quickly, giving a chance to breathe with more ease.
How much are flights to Zanzibar?
Peak season (December to February)
As this is the most popular time to visit Zanzibar, you can expect to pay between 30 – 40% more for your flights and accommodation. Remember that the later you choose to book your flights, the more you might pay.
Off-peak (March to May and November)
Though you may encounter some showers, booking during the wet season of Zanzibar could save you up to 50% on your flights and accommodation! Please note that it is still best to book your flights as early as possible for the best deals, even in off-peak season.