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Zanzibar is that picture-perfect island you’d imagine when somebody mentions the words ‘Tropical Paradise’. Beautiful spice markets, white sand beaches lined with palm trees, tranquil turquoise oceans await those who head to Zanzibar. It is the premium holiday destination in East Africa, and one you should visit before its popularity causes an influx of tourists.
Before you start booking your tickets, you have to consider the best time to visit Zanzibar. After all, if you wish to go on spice tours, walk the old cobbled streets of Stone Town, or relax with some cocktails by the beach, you need to know the weather in Zanzibar. This will determine just how much fun you can have in the sun! Read on to find out when to visit Zanzibar.
- Best Time to Visit Zanzibar: June - October
- High Tourist Season: June - October
- Low Season: March - May
- All Seasons: June - October (spring), November - February (summer), March - May (monsoon)
- The best time to visit Zanzibar is between June - October, during the warm and dry spring months.
- Another good time to travel to Zanzibar is between December - February, when the November showers have ended, and the weather becomes warm and dry again.
- The monsoon months in Zanzibar are between March - May, and it is not recommended to visit the islands during these months, as your tourist experiences will be limited.
- There will be some showers during November as well, but not as heavy as during March - May.
- July - August, and February - March are when to visit Zanzibar if you are interested in going for scuba diving, or other water sports.
Located about 23 miles off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is the very definition of a picturesque island paradise. It has a rich history, and some brilliant beaches. No matter what draws your interest, Zanzibar will make sure that your vacation is filled with adventure. Indulge yourself in a Spice Tour, or explore the Swahili architecture of Stone Town. Lounge by the beautiful beaches in Northern Zanzibar, and go snorkelling along the coral reefs. This is a tranquil vacation that will leave you satisfied, happy, and yearning for more.
The tropical island has quite a tropical weather as well. Therefore, you have to make sure that you’re visiting during the right time. Determining the best time to visit Zanzibar will help you understand the activities that you can do. Read on to find out what the weather in Zanzibar will be like during each season, so that you can pick the favourite time for you to visit.
June to October – Spring / High Season
June to October is often considered the best time to visit Zanzibar for a lot of reasons. The temperature during these months will be pleasantly high, without being swelteringly hot. There is little to no rain during this period, so if you want to relax by the beach, this would be the right time for you to visit.June to October is often considered the best time to visit Zanzibar for a lot of reasons. The temperature during these months will be pleasantly high, without being swelteringly hot. There is little to no rain during this period, so if you want to relax by the beach, this would be the right time for you to visit.
This will also be the high season on the island, so most of the tourist footfall will be during this time. If you are traveling during this time, especially to the more popular areas, such as Stone Town, Nungwi Beach and Kendwa Beach, you should book your accommodation and tickets well in advance, so that you get the best prices.
- Avg. Temperature: 83 – 85° F / 28 – 29° C
- Season: Spring
- Highlights: Since the monsoon season has come to an end, the island experiences a warm and dry spring. The aftermath of the monsoon makes Stone Town rather charming, especially the lush green scenery becomes more pleasant. This is the best time for you to visit the beaches as well but the high season would mean that the northern beaches will have a lot more people than in other seasons. This is also a good time for you to visit Zanzibar if you are going to Tanzania for the Great Wildebeest Migration, or the safari. If you wish to go island hopping, or snorkelling, then this is definitely the best season for you especially between the months of July and September.
November to February – Summer / Shoulder Season
November to February is a shoulder season in Tanzania. November sees quite a bit of rainfall, so if you want to visit the archipelago to relax by the beach, this is not the right time. Following the rains, the months of December to February will see an increase in the tourist footfall, but the weather will be more hot and humid compared to the last season. November to February is a shoulder season in Tanzania. November sees quite a bit of rainfall, so if you want to visit the archipelago to relax by the beach, this is not the right time. Following the rains, the months of December to February will see an increase in the tourist footfall, but the weather will be more hot and humid compared to the last season.
December will see a lot of tourists in the country, as it coincides with the holiday season. During the other months, the crowds will reduce, so you will get higher discounts on hotels around the islands.
- Avg. Temperature: 88 – 90° F / 31 – 32° C
- Season: Summer
- Highlights: This is when to visit Zanzibar if you want to enjoy the archipelago without having to bear the crowd. Except for November, the other months are good to visit the northern islands, wherein lies the best beach resorts. It will be warmer during these months, but the waters will be cold and crystal clear, so you can indulge in more water sports during this time. In fact, February is one of the best times for you to go snorkelling, or walking in the coral reefs, as the water will be clear enough for you to see through.
March to May – Monsoon / Low Season
The monsoons in Zanzibar are a sight to behold! The seas get particularly rough, and the stormy seas are a force of nature that are quite stunning to look at. However, the monsoons are a bad time to visit Zanzibar, as the archipelago might get inaccessible in certain areas. The rains will definitely disrupt all your tourist activities as well. Except for the biggest resorts, most hotels will close during this period.
- Avg. Temperature: 87 – 91° F / 30 – 33° C
- Season: Monsoon
- Highlights: The weather will get hot and humid, and rather wet. This will be a good time for you to visit Zanzibar if you want to spend prolonged time getting exposed to the Swahili and Zanzibari culture without spending too much money. Stone Town’s charm still remains at an all-time high, after all.