Season for vacations in Zanzibar. Weather on the island by month
The island of Zanzibar is known for being a year-round popular vacation resort. However, there is some seasonality in the weather here as well. Specifically, the seasons on Zanzibar include two rainy and two dry periods of varying duration by month. And vacation on the island is good in any month, you just need to choose the right weather. The island is located just below the equator, so conditions are favorable to rest all year round, and even in the season of heaviest rainfall, the rains begin in the morning, which does not spoil the impression of the weather of African summer.
The rainiest months (March to May inclusive) are the low season, from June to October – the high season. Each has its own advantages, depending on the preferences of holidaymakers. During the rainy season the air during the day gets closer to 30 ° C, and the cost of living in hotels is much lower. In the dry season there is sunny weather and almost cloudless skies. So it is safe to say that on the island of Zanzibar the holiday season lasts throughout the year, just in different months it looks a little different.
High season for holidays in Zanzibar
If your choice for a vacation falls on Tanzania, specifically the island of Zanzibar, a season lasting five full southern summer months is the first thing to consider more closely. The real African beach season on Zanzibar is a time of almost half a year, from early June to the end of October. There is another small tourist summer on the island, it takes in the time of January and February – the same dry season, a little respite before the long rainy period.
The main parameters of the weather in Zanzibar are the degree of warming of the air and water temperature by month. At this time of global climate change, small climatic shifts are felt even here. Usually during the dry season the temperature is constant during all the months of winter in the southern hemisphere (we have calendar summer): around +27…+30°С during the day and +24…+26°С at night. But there are slight changes. For example, during the dry season it may rain unexpectedly and even last for a week. For more information about the weather, you can consult the tour operator Altezza Travel, whose office is located in Tanzania.
Let’s look at the weather in Zanzibar by month. During the little dry season (January-February) a couple of days a month there are showers, but otherwise – a typical African summer, the heat can reach up to 33 ° C, and the sea gets as warm as +28 … +30 ° C. February is considered especially dry.
In general, the beginning of the high season (June) can still be marked by a couple of rains, but the sunny weather sets in permanently. In July and August there may be no rainfall at all, the thermometer columns rarely reach +30 ° C, but in September and October it is hotter in summer, the sea gets warmer and more comfortable for swimming, and the rains come only for a few days. These months are the most visited by tourists during the popular season, as the conditions are the most favorable for the beach and swimming. Many people like the high season in Zanzibar, when it is best to relax on the ocean coast.
The choice of summer months is more suitable for those who find it difficult to adjust to the new climatic conditions at an unusual calendar time. But in January and February holidays are good for fans of hot temperatures, in addition, this time in Zanzibar is appreciated by divers as the season of deep-sea fishing, as well as sea turtle watching.
Water temperatures during the high season can drop to +26°C, which is considered quite cool for the resort. However, closer to October and November the average sea temperature rises to +28 ° C and more, the bathing season is at its peak.
The presence and intensity of rainfall during the dry season can almost always be predicted: it is a few days during the whole month and not necessarily torrential, but only a few hours. However, as indicated, rare events – downpours for a week – are not excluded. However, these, too, cannot be guaranteed.
Winds and waves in this season for skiing can be caught in July and in the first two months of the year. Tides in Zanzibar don’t just happen, but often have a big impact on the nature of beach vacation. The water can be almost a kilometer deep, and the shore opens up to the horizon. On some beaches, the sea barely touches – depending on the phase of the moon.
The humidity in the dry season is not high, in addition, there are always sea breezes that soften the heat. Therefore, it is much milder than away from the coast. It should be noted that continental Tanzania has no such advantage, and the heat there can reach extreme equatorial values.
Since the season is quite long (five months), the beginning, middle and end of the season will have different weather conditions. Thus, the beginning of the season – June – usually with rare and already disappearing rains, decreasing temperatures (here the calendar winter begins), decreasing humidity and the onset of drought. And at the end of the season – November – the temperature rises again, the humidity rises and the sea warms up perfectly.
Due to the change of seasons there is a similar periodicity in the influx of tourists at the Tanzanian resort. The highest prices on the coasts are held from November to February, when the arrivals of holidaymakers are associated not only with the weather, but also with the festive winter traditions.
Low season: Zanzibar is still a resort
The low wet season in Tanzania, Zanzibar Island begins in March, and the weather is almost unchanged by month within the African autumn. Zanzibar is in the monsoon climate belt, their seasonality and high humidity in the archipelago is pronounced, as is the high solar activity. Hot temperatures and constant downpours are not necessarily an attribute of the low season. Thus, during the rainy season, too, a sudden drought can occur.
It starts raining from the last decade of March. In other words, the first spring month (here it is the beginning of autumn, on the contrary) can be regarded as half-typical beach month. But the air gradually cools down to the daily average of +27 ° C and below. The month of April is very rainy – for 3.5 weeks there may be showers and the rest of the days are cloudy, but with real summer temperatures (up to 30). May is almost as rainy, also windy. Towards the end of the month, the sun starts to shine, the downpours stop, and the air and water get warmer and warmer.
During the big rainy season, although rare, there are such heavy downpours that holidays and services in Zanzibar come to a standstill. During this time, hotels and even entire islands are closed for safety reasons. But mostly the rainfall is moderate and regular. So you can safely plan active and sightseeing leisure – in the low season, bad weather will not be able to spoil the vacation mood. Especially since the temperatures at this time (as never before in the year) are exactly summer temperatures.
In November and December in Zanzibar again the rainy season. This period is shorter than the longest, and for the whole season may fall as much rain as during March. Particularly in November, the rainfall may take a total of only a decade, and then it is short-lived. December is traditionally the hottest month of the year. The air temperature never drops below 30 ° C 24 hours a day, the humidity is high, the sea is warm and nice for swimming. In addition the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations contribute to the tourist influx.
The temperature during the rainy season in Zanzibar is +30 … +33 ° C during the day and +26 … +27 ° C at night. The sea is still warm, up to +28 ° C, wind and waves are small, but the humidity is at its peak. The tides in low season do not differ from the high, their peculiarities are better to study for a specific location in Zanzibar.
The highest temperatures are just at the typical rainy season – end of the calendar year and early March, at midday peak the sun often scorches to an extreme +40. When preparing to go to Zanzibar, you should take into account the UV index and stock up on protective gear. While the heat at the beginning of heavy rains is still offset by the replenishment of moisture, by the end of May, when the showers dry up and the dryness gets closer, staying in the sun is very dangerous.
Christ Church Cathedral
During the rainy season, discounts on lodging can go as high as 50-70%, so there are more vacation days available at this time. And they, too, will be a truly summer vacation: beach or excursions in the morning, then an afternoon rest before the evening entertainment. In Tanzania, Zanzibar, the holiday season can be spread over any month, it is a constant summer, with all the trappings of summer, including torrential warm rains.
The resort island is very popular precisely because of its climate and geographical opportunities, ocean scenery and richness of the color of the equatorial territories. The quality of recreation, service and natural beauty has long been surrounded by a variety of reviews. Choose your Zanzibar: at a time that suits you and in a season that suits you. The coastal weather always favors recreation and entertainment, but it can also change its usual mood. This is, after all, an island, and it is influenced by the ocean.
Therefore, choosing the right season for a holiday in Zanzibar by months, it is necessary before booking a tour to study the forecasts. The climate is variable, and the weather even more so. Although the archipelago of Zanzibar is part of the state of Tanzania, the weather conditions on the islands can be very different from the mainland, and this too should be considered when choosing your season in Zanzibar.
Author: Galina Coastal
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When to go to Zanzibar
Discover when to visit Zanzibar. Weather by month: air and water temperatures, perfect times for sunbathing and rainy seasons. Reviews of tourists about the climate in the “African Maldives”.
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When best to vacation in Zanzibar
The island archipelago belongs to Tanzania and is located in a zone of warm and humid equatorial climate. In Zanzibar there are no sudden changes in temperature. During the year, the air warms from +28°C to +35°C and the water in the Indian Ocean has a temperature of +27. +29°С.
Although the weather is flat, Zanzibar distinguishes two rainy and two dry seasons. In October-November and from March to May, the archipelago is humid and hot at +30. +33°С. During the low seasons, there is more rainfall. However, the islands are near the equator, so the rains in Zanzibar are not as long as in India, Thailand or Cambodia. During the rainy season, discounts on tours and hotels are up to 50-70%.
When is the best time to vacation in Zanzibar? Most tourists come during high seasons – from January to February and from June to October. During these periods, vacationers are waiting for a real African heat, cloudless skies and dry sunny weather.
Water and Air Temperatures. The archipelago is located in the southern hemisphere, so January is the calendar summer in Zanzibar. The air temperature is +35°C during the day and +28°C at night. The water in the Indian Ocean is also warm at +28.5°C.
Weather conditions. In January, the islands are dry. There are only 5 rainy days per month, and the rainfall does not exceed 80 mm. There are a lot of clouds, but it does not prevent a good tan!
Tourist reviews. If you want a break from the frosty and snowy winter, come to Zanzibar! A January vacation is suitable for beach vacations, deep-sea fishing and sea turtle watching.
The beach at Zanzibar. Photo: Humphrey Muleba / unsplash.com.
Water and air temperatures. It is hot on the islands. The air temperature is +32. +35°С. The water in the Indian Ocean is a comfortable +28.5 ° C, and you do not want to get out of it.
Weather conditions. February in Zanzibar is the driest month of the year. It rains for a day or two, with only 42 mm of rainfall. There are seven clear days. The sun is still out and about on cloudy days, so don’t forget to take a good sunscreen!
Tourist reviews. February is the best month to go to Zanzibar with children. Bright sun, warm ocean and sea air will help your child get stronger and heal from autumn and winter colds. Holidays in winter is suitable for fans of surfing. At this time of year near the islands it is easy to catch a good wind and waves.
Water and air temperature. March is the warmest month in Zanzibar. The average daytime air temperature is +33°C. Sea water temperature is +29. +30°С.
Weather conditions. The rains begin in the last decade of the month, so the first half of March can be considered a continuation of the high season. With the arrival of the monsoon, everything changes. The level of precipitation rises to 112 mm.
Tourist feedback. Because of the high temperature and humidity in March in Zanzibar it is hard to breathe. But many tourists do not see this as a big problem and are happy to rest on the islands.
You can find a lot of starfish on the beaches of Zanzibar. Photo: Eugene Kaspersky / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Water and air temperatures. In the middle of the Zanzibar autumn, air temperatures are a high of +30. +32°C, the sea water is warm to +29°C.
Weather conditions. April marks the peak of the rainy season in Zanzibar. It can rain for 3.5 weeks and the rainfall exceeds 450 mm. The rest of the time, the sky over the islands is covered by clouds.
Tourist feedback. High humidity increases the feeling of heat, so vacation in Zanzibar in April is not to everyone’s liking. There is also a positive point. In the low season, local hotels offer great discounts, so you can save money.
Water and air temperature. In May, the average daytime temperature is +30. +31°С. The water in the ocean gets a little cooler +28°C.
Weather conditions. The weather in Zanzibar in May is similar to April, but with winds added to the frequent rains. The sun begins to peek through the clouds only towards the end of the month.
Tourist feedback. Heavy rains can be so strong that for safety reasons, the local authorities close hotels and entire islands. True, this happens rarely. Usually, even during the rainy season, tourists have time to rest at the sea and go on excursions.
Rain clouds on Nungwi Beach. Photo: Bradclin Photography / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Water and air temperatures. In June, winter comes to the archipelago. As it should, it begins with a cold snap. Zanzibar is close to the equator, so air temperatures only drop to +30°C. The sea water is still warm +28 ° C.
Weather conditions. The rains are ending in Zanzibar – the number of days with precipitation is reduced to 1-2. Compared to May, there are more sunny days. In June, tourists are happy with cloudless skies.
Tourist reviews. Vacationers enjoy pleasant dry weather, swimming in the azure waters of the ocean and sunbathing on the beaches. Many go to Stone Town, a town that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Popular are boat trips, excursions to places where spices grow, to Prison Island and the Jozani Forest Reserve.
Water and air temperature. The temperature in July is +29. +30 ° C, at night a little cooler +24. +25°С. Sea water is colder +26. +27°С.
Weather conditions. Zanzibar receives little rain in July – the rainfall does not exceed 60-70 mm. In continental Tanzania during this time, a real scorcher, and on the coast you can feel quite comfortable. Low humidity and fresh sea breezes perfectly soften the heat.
Reviews of tourists. Midsummer is the best time to go to Zanzibar for fans of windsurfing and kitesurfing. In July in the archipelago blows steady winds and there are good waves for riding.
The clearest water on Nungwi Beach. Photo: Malingering / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Water and air temperatures. Zanzibar winter is slowly coming to an end. The air temperature remains the same at +29. +30°C, and the water in the ocean cools to +26°C.
Weather conditions. Rainfall in August is rare. There are no more than 5 rainy days per month. There are 11 clear days. The rest of the time, the sky over the islands is covered by light white clouds.
Tourist reviews. In August, the high season in Zanzibar continues. There are a lot of people at the resorts, so the prices of tours and hotels are high. August is considered one of the best months for excursions, hiking, sailing, diving and snorkeling.
Water and air temperature. Just as we have a rainy autumn, Zanzibar has a calendar spring. In September, the weather changes little. The air temperature is +29. +30°C and sea water +26. +27°С.
Weather conditions. There is no need to be afraid of rain. In September there are no more than 4 days with rainfall. Perfect conditions for a beach vacation!
What tourists say. Because of the winds on the islands, the heat is almost not felt. Tourists sunbathe on the beach and spend hours swimming in the ocean.
Jambiani Beach. Photo: @antonyvisuals / unsplash.com.
Water and air temperatures. October weather in Zanzibar is similar to that of September. The air temperature is +29. +30°С. The water in the ocean is warm to +26. +27°С.
Weather conditions. About one third of the month skies are cloudless. The amount of precipitation increases to 95 mm. Short, warm rains come 1-2 times a week.
Feedback from tourists. Despite the high humidity, in October, Europeans willingly come to Zanzibar.
Water and air temperatures. The last month of calendar spring is hot in Zanzibar. The average air temperature during the day is +32 ° C and +28 ° C at night. The water in the Indian Ocean is even warmer at +28°C.
Weather conditions. The rainy season in October and November is called the “low season.” Zanzibar usually receives the same amount of rainfall as in March. November showers are brief. They do not come every day, so tourists do not pay too much attention to the vagaries of the weather.
Feedback from tourists. In addition to beach recreation, vacationers feed giant turtles, sail lightweight sailboats dau and go to the protected “Jozani Forest” to see the unusual monkeys – red colobus.
Red colobus in the Jozani Forest. Photo: Olivier Lejade / wikimedia.org / CC BY-SA 2.0.
Water and air temperatures. December is hot in Zanzibar. The air temperature does not drop below +30 ° C. The sea is warm and pleasant for swimming +29 ° C.
Weather conditions. With the onset of the calendar summer, the number of sunny days on the islands increases to 20 per month. It rains 2 times a week, but it is a short downpour, which does not affect the rest by the sea in any way.
The feedback from tourists. At the beginning of the winter tourist season, the influx of vacationers is large. Tourists come to Zanzibar to enjoy beach activities, travel to national parks, do water sports, celebrate Christmas and New Year.