Seasonal Climates - what to expect
June to early August is Tanzania’s cold season. The early mornings and evenings can be cool to cold with sometimes a biting wind, but it rarely gets below 4°C/39°F — even at Ngorongoro which is 8,000 feet (2450m) above sea level. And although the days are cooler, it can still become warm in the afternoon and reach temperatures of 25°C/77°F.
From mid-August until late October, Tanzania starts to warm up and mid-day temperatures can be up to 28°C/82°F. The heat is a dry heat, so very pleasant and it cools down in the evenings.
November and December bring the first rains which bring welcome relief from the hotter days. If it is a clear day the midday heat of over 30°C/84°F is to be avoided. Still the evenings cool off because most safari destinations are at an altitude of over 4,000 feet (1225m) above sea level.
At lower elevations such as Lakes Natron and Eyasi and coastal areas the evenings are warm and humid– a blanket for sleeping is always tossed aside! This warmer weather continues until the rains of late March bring relief again. April and early May are wetter periods but excellent for safaris and animals.
Suggested Clothing and other essentials
We suggest taking the “layering approach” to prepare for warm days with cool mornings and evening. Since we will be looking for wildlife, please try to avoid strong colors and blazing white. Everything should be washable, and plan on bringing at least three changes of clothing to include:
- Jacket: water-resistant and lightweight.
- Warm Sweater or Fleece Jacket (1-2)
- Shoes: 1 pair comfortable, water-resistant hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes (tennis shoes will do) and 1 pair casual shoes or sandals for evenings in lodges or camps.
- For the ladies, a lightweight sundress is good for evening at the restaurant.
- Bathing sandals (flip flops etc.) are very useful for shower times.
- Socks: 3-5 pair.
- Pack at least three complete changes of clothing to include:
- Trousers: 2- 3 pair (lightweight); 1-2 pair shorts (optional).
- Shirts: lightweight fabrics (cotton or breathable synthetics) and long sleeves are best as they are adjustable.
- Hat or Cap
- Sun-block-factor 20 plus- the non-greasy type.
- Insect Repellant
- Sunglasses and reading glasses if needed (bring a spare of each).
- Personal Toiletry items that you will need for the entire safari (toilet paper is supplied).
- Personal medical items and a Small First Aid kit: 1 kit per group.
- Binoculars- 8 or 10 x 40’s are the best. One each is highly recommended!
- Your camera, with its carrying bag. We will not get into details about which camera but for wildlife shots a 200mm lens is the minimum required. Dust is the major problem for most cameras so a lightweight dust proof zipper bag is useful and should be large enough for your camera mounted on your largest lens.
- Your own small torch (flashlight). One can be supplied in some properties but never guaranteed.
- Small rucksack (day pack). This is very important and very useful.
- Small penknife. Ensure that you check it in with your luggage at airports!
- Field Guides – A large selection of guides are carried in the vehicle – but it can be nice to have your own.
Special Safari jeep
Land Cruisers have been the mainstay of safaris for decades. Our safari vehicles are all designed with the higher windows for better viewing and seat 5-7 guests comfortably which allow for great photographic opportunities. Our vehicles offer plenty of room which allow flexibility for professional wildlife photographers, have ample space for cameras, day packs and luggage. All vehicles have inverters that produce 110/220 volts for charging your camera batteries. Other comforts includes canvas seat covers and cushions and pockets for water bottles, cameras and books. There is a refrigerator in each vehicle for cold drinks and snacks. Each Land Cruiser carries a comprehensive first aid kit and has radio communication with other Tanzania Outdoor Adventure vehicles and base camps.
Tanzania in general
Tanzania, the largest of the East African countries, is rich with history; the discovery of human bones older than 1.75 million year in the Olduvai Gorge earned it the name, “The Cradle of Mankind.” Rich in culture, Tanzanians are comprised of about 120 tribal groups and are a polite and gentle people; and rich in landscape beauty, thanks to the preservation of wildlife and over 23% of its land protected by National Parks and Game Reserves
Tanzania has been home, haven, and stopover to countless people of many different origins. Her history has been influenced by a procession of people from the original Bantu settlers from South and West Africa to the Arabs from Shiraz in Persia and the Oman, from the Portuguese to the Germans and the British.
Tanzania was still known as Tanganyika when she achieved her independence in 1961. When Zanzibar became independent in 1964, the two countries united as the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. In late 1964 they renamed their country the United Republic of Tanzania.
Tanzania offers some of the greatest wildlife viewing on earth amidst a dramatic setting of snowy peaks, volcanic craters and the Maasai steppe of endless plains. Unfenced and untamed, the animals roam free across the vast grasslands, and hordes of wildebeest and Zebra migrate annually followed by a host of predators. Few countries in the world can compare to Tanzania in natural beauty and cultural diversity. Tanzania offers an incredible array of wildlife and unique cultures in a spectacular setting.
The Northern safari circuit, which is the most popular area for first time visitors, includes: The snowcapped Mt. Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa; Arusha National Park of Momella lakes, Ngurdoto crater and Mount Meru; Tarangire National Parks famous for its dramatic baobab trees; Lake Manyara National Park with its tree climbing lions and flamingos and water birds at its lake shores; the incomparable Ngorongoro crater, a natural 20 km Amphitheatre; and the mighty Serengeti, teeming with 3.5 million animals and famous for its dramatic annual migration of wildebeest.
All of the National Parks and Reserves abound with plains animals, bird life, and local tribal history. Here you find elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards, buffalo, elands, oryx, impalas, hyenas, jackals, foxes, crocodiles, kudus, waterbucks, bushbucks, dik diks, klipspringers, Grant & Thomson gazelles, topis, hartebeest, cheetahs, serval cats, spring hares and many other species. As for birdlife, Tanzania is a jewel for the ornithologist. Professionals and amateurs alike will find water birds, birds of prey, forest species, and plains species. Over 1040 species of birds have been sighted in Tanzania.
The Tanzanian climate is tropical. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights, while the north-west highlands are cool and temperate. June to September is the cooler season. The long rains are from March to May and the short rains are between October and December. The hottest months are between October and February. On the coast it rains in November and December and from March to May. Coastal areas are hot and humid throughout the year.
Official languages: Kiswahili and English
Currency: The Tanzania shilling (Tsh or TZS