Best time to Visit Zanzibar | Weather and Climate
The island of Zanzibar is renowned for its idyllic sunshine shining down on its white sand beaches and azure waters. Although the island is accessible year-round, there are particular months that are deemed better to travel to Zanzibar.
It’s hot all year round on Zanzibar, but avoid Tanzania’s torrential March to early May rainy season if you want to make the most of its beautiful beaches and spectacular diving. Travel in the June to October dry season for guaranteed, uninterrupted sunshine, with temperatures hovering around 30°C. Read on for more information on the best time to go to Zanzibar, and travel advice from our Zanzibar experts.
When it’s hot, it’s very, very hot, and when it’s wet, it’s horrid. Well, in March to early May anyway, when the long rains bring daily torrential downpours, high humidity and churned-up, silty seas. Outside these times, most visits to Zanzibar will be pleasant, with dry, sunny June to October peak season on the beach (and in Tanzania’s game reserves if you’re on safari first).
January to March are also hot and dry, but quieter, and while November to December bring Zanzibar’s short rains these tend to be isolated showers which won’t lead to a holiday washout. Temperatures hover around 30°C all year round.
March, October and November are generally considered the best for diving and snorkelling – with warm seas, little wind, and excellent visibility. Whale sharks can be seen from September to December.
Best time to go to Zanzibar - By Months
December to January:
During this period, from around mid-December to early January, the hotels in Zanzibar will either offer their high or festive rates, and some will emphasise that their special offers are not applicable. It is also worth bearing in mind that a few of the properties will have a minimum night stay such as 5 nights. The festive period in Zanzibar is a very popular time to travel, and with many of the hotels offering special dinners, local entertainment or romantic celebrations, it’s no wonder why!
April to May:
Whilst many perceive Zanzibar as an island of year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, it is important to know that Zanzibar has a period of long and heavy rains. During the months of April and May, tropical downpours throughout the day are the norm. As a result, the majority of hotels on Zanzibar island are closed for these two months and use the time to their advantage to complete any renovation work on the hotel or facilitate training to the full-time staff.
June to October:
The months of June to October are regarded as the peak months to travel to Zanzibar. The weather is warm and reliable, with strong rays of sunshine glistening on the Indian Ocean. As thousands of tourists make their way to Zanzibar during these months, many of the properties offer special offers to make them competitive on the island. These can be anything from long stay discounts and free nights’ accommodation, to complimentary lobster dinners on the beach for honeymooners. If you are planning your trip to Zanzibar during these months, we would highly recommend booking in advance to
November to March:
The month of November and early December brings the short rains to Zanzibar Island, which are more sporadic and much lighter than the main rains in April and May. The months between January and March are hot and dry and similarly, a good time to visit Zanzibar. These months are generally a little quieter than the June to October window so there tends to a greater choice of availability and special offers. If you are planning a trip to Zanzibar and would like more information or advise on the time of year and the best place to stay, please get in touch and we will be happy to give you some recommentations!
Zanzibar weather and Climate
The climate here is tropical. When compared with winter, the summers have much more rainfall. The climate here is classified as Aw by the Köppen-Geiger system. In Zanzibar City, the average annual temperature is 26.5 °C | 79.7 °F. The annual rainfall is 998 mm | 39.3 inch.
Climate Graph/Weather by Month Zanzibar City
The driest month is September, with 31 mm | 1.2 inch of rain. In April, the precipitation reaches its peak, with an average of 204 mm | 8.0 inch.
Average Tempature Zanzibar by City
February is the warmest month of the year. The temperature in February averages 28.2 °C | 82.7 °F. At 24.8 °C | 76.7 °F on average, July is the coldest month of the year..
Hours of Sunshine in Zanzibar City
In Zanzibar City, the month with the most daily hours of sunshine is July with an average of 8.81 hours of sunshine. In total there are 273.18 hours of sunshine throughout July. The month with the fewest daily hours of sunshine in Zanzibar City is January with an average of 7.88 hours of sunshine a day. In total there are 236.32 hours of sunshine in January. Around 2976.51 hours of sunshine are counted in Zanzibar City throughout the year. On average there are 97.84 hours of sunshine per month.
AIRPORTS CLOSE TO ZANZIBAR CITY
The closest Airports of Zanzibar City are: Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) 5.98km,Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) 78.62km,Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) 386.40km
You can reach Zanzibar City from this Cities by Plane: Dar es Salaam (DAR), Addis Abeba (ADD), Nairobi (NBO), Dubai (DXB), Mombasa (MBA), Kigali (KGL), Muscat (MCT), Mwanza (MWZ), Arusha (ARK), Amsterdam (AMS), Cairo (CAI), Harare (HRE), Moroni (HAH), Kampala (EBB), Doha (DOH), Zanzibar (ZNZ), Dzaoudzi (DZA), Istanbul (IST), Lilongwe (LLW)
Map of Zanzibar City
Zanzibr Weather/Best time to Visit FAQ
Generally the main rainy season, or the ‘long rains’, last during March, April and May. Afternoon tropical downpours are the norm – which can be heavy on any of the islands. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30°s.
February is the hottest month in Zanzibar with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F) and the coldest is July at 24°C (75°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 10 in December. The wettest month is April with an average of 401mm of rain.
In Zanzibar, the wet season is hot and mostly cloudy; the dry season is warm, windy, and mostly clear; and it is oppressive year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 70°F to 91°F and is rarely below 67°F or above 93°F.
Temperatures are high throughout the year. In the worst moments, the temperature can reach 36/38 °C (97/100 °F). The period from May to August, when the trade winds predominate, blowing moderate from the southeast, is cooler, with highs around 29/30 °C (84/86 °F). Here are the average temperatures in Zanzibar.
Avoid travelling to Zanzibar during the two rainy seasons–November and March to May. This is when NOT to visit Zanzibar. The main rainy season is from mid-March to May. The rains usually peak in April, so avoid visiting in this month.
April is Zanzibar’s wettest month, the height of the main rainy season that runs from mid-March to the end of May. With the rains come slightly lower temperatures, but most days still climb above 30°C (86°F). Despite regular downpours, April can still see some very good days.
NO! The best time to visit Zanzibar is between the months of July and September when it is warm and balmy, and then again in the popular dry season between the months of December and February. Zanzibar experiences a wet season, around the months of March, April and May.
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