When choosing a safari, it is worth knowing that its nature sets the rhythm of African nature. Therefore, depending on the time when we decide to go on our trip, we will experience slightly different adventures. In this article, we will try to answer the question: when is the best time to go on a safari to Tanzania? We encourage you to read it carefully.
Safari in Tanzania
The decisive factor in determining the date of the safari trip should be the weather and the visibility of animals that we look for in African savannas. Therefore, you should know that they move to different parts of Africa depending on the seasons. Their great migration is actually a year-round journey, divided into five main stages – and it is with regard to this journey that we should decide when to go on a safari. Let’s not forget about the local rainy months, when driving even an off-road car. It is not the easiest one due to impassable roads and generally difficult conditions.
Below, we will briefly present a simplified calendar of the annual migration of African animals, so that you can choose the most convenient date for your safari.
This is the beginning of the migration. Antelopes, gazelles and zebras gather in the southern Serengeti savannah, near Lake Ndutu, and in the north of the Ngorongoro Reserve, migrate in search of fresh pasture after the November and December rains. These areas are also ideal places for big cat hunting.
In February, the journey of animals is in full swing. Also at that time the breeding season begins, hundreds of thousands animals are born, migrating together with the herd for the first time. Therefore, the most attractions for safari participants await in the south-eastern area of the Ngorongoro reserve and near the Maswa Game Reserve.
Even in March, the young are born, so it is a time of waiting on the vast pastures of the Serengeti, from where the animals will soon have to set off in search of fresh grass and waterholes. Then the flooding begins, making it difficult for the jeeps to move.
The animals set off to the northwest of the Serengeti Plain – they traverse the Moru Kopjes and the Mbalageti River. The marshy ground, drenched in heavy rains, is a challenge not only for the African fauna but also for off-road vehicles. Impassable roads can effectively hinder a trip.
In May the rains slowly begin to stop and the dry season begins. The animals then head west of the Serengeti, to the Seronara region and to the Ndoha and Dutwa plains. Roads are still often difficult to pass.
June is the mating month, when males start competing for females. Larger clusters also form along the southern bank of the Grumeti River, but herds can also be found in the north.
This month, animals are clearly starting to migrate towards Kenya. With less rainfall, this process begins in June. However, still smaller clusters can be found on the Tanzanian side.
Great crossing of the Mara River at the Tanzanian-Kenyan border. It is a cruel show in which thousands of antelopes and zebras try to get to the other side of the river, where bloodthirsty crocodiles lurk for them, and hyenas and vultures patiently wait for the decaying remains. We strongly advise against this spectacle for faint-hearted travelers.
In September, it’s worth a trip to Kenya, where there are the most animals, although at the same time there are smaller herds in the northern Serengeti in Tanzania, which you can easily observe.
Animals on the Kenyan side are beginning to return to Tanzania as the pastures there are slowly depleting. This month, African fauna can be admired in both countries.
The Lobo and Seronera areas in Tanzania are becoming a popular destination for migrating animals. The Kenyan plains are slowly emptying, so it is better for safari participants to stay on the Tanzanian side.
In December, nature comes full circle and the animals reach the eastern part of the Serengeti and the northern areas of the Ngorongoro Reserve, where the grass has already regrown. In a moment the great journey will begin again, but now there is still time to recover.
Given the migration calendar, the answer to the question of when is the best time to go on a safari to Tanzania is as follows: January and February, and July and August. These are the most spectacular months when it comes to watching African wildlife! However, due to weather conditions, we would rather advise against March, April and May, and in the south of Tanzania, even the period from December to May – although of course, on request, we will be able to organize the trip even in these months.