Best time to visit Zanzibar. When to go for beach, culture & water activities

Zanzibar is among the most well-known island beach getaways of the African continent as this is because of the beautiful beaches and glimmering waters. This semi-autonomous archipelago of Tanzania has a long history with travellers and traders throughout history and continues to be one of the African destinations to visit.

kite surfing in zanzibar

While tourism is an all-year activity in Zanzibar, some seasons are better for visiting than others.

Best time to visit Zanzibar.

The best time for visiting the Zanzibar islands is during the dry season months between June and October when heavy rains won't get in the way of your plans at the beach or in the sea. During this dry season, the sky is clear, and the humidity, temperature, and water temperature are all very comfortable.

Since this is around the general summer travel period, just remember that Zanzibar is great for a summer holiday. 

During this dry season, you will be able to enjoy all the activities on the islands.

Zanzibar's climate is always warm and sunny all year round and the biggest variation happens in the amount of rainfall received in the various months.

As an Island just south of the equator, even the driest of months (July, August and September) can have some light rainfall, but not much to disrupt your holiday.

Best time without crowds

pongwe beach in zanzibar

The summer season in Zanzibar is popular for many people and receive the most number of visitors. While this is a good thing and you can connect with many other travellers, some people prefer a more intimate setting with fewer or no crowds.

The best time to go to Zanzibar and enjoy the islands - without the crowds is during January and February. This is during the short dry season where the rains have stopped and you can spend much time outdoors without interruption.

Zanzibar Seasons

The islands of Zanzibar experience a tropical monsoon where the hot heat of the summer is cooled off by the strong sea breezes of the northeast monsoon.

Being close to the equator, the temperatures are warm all year long and range from 20 to 34 degrees Celsius with little variation according to the seasons.

  Month Temperature (C)  Temperature (F)  Rainfall (inches) 
1. 

January

23.6 to 33.4 C 74.5 to 92.1 F 2.7
2. 

February

23.6 to 34.1 C 74.5 to 93.4 F 2.1
3. 

March

23.5 to 34.2 C 74.3 to 93.6 F 6
4. 

April

23.4 to 31.7 C 74.1 to 89.1 F 14.1
5. 

May

22.7 to 30.6 C 72.9 to 87.1 F 10.3
6. 

June

21.8 to 30.0 C 71.2 to 86.0 F 2.3
7. 

July

21.2 to 29.3 C 70.2 to 84.7 F 1.8
8. 

August

20.5 to 29.8 C 68.9 to 85.6 F 1.7
9. 

September

20.2 to 31.0 C 68.4 to 87.8 F 2
10. 

October

20.6 to 31.7 C 69.1 to 89.1 F 3.5
11. 

November

21.9 to 32.4 C 71.4 to 90.3 F 7
12.

December

23.1 to 33.0 C 73.6 to 91.4 F 5.6

Depending on when you have the time to visit Zanzibar, your big consideration should be rainfall since the temperatures don't change a lot.

Final Thoughts

While the best time to visit Zanzibar is during the dry season, the weather is always warm and comfortable for a visit. Most visitors go during the summer months when they can best enjoy the beach as well as other activities on the various islands.

The rain season months have the least number of tourists and this can be quite attractive for people who come from sunnier places and wouldn't mind exploring Zanzibar at a discounted cost.

We hope this was helpful and gave you some insight on what time would work best for you to visit Zanzibar.

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