Visit Tanzania in December

Most people have heard of the Serengeti, but not everyone knows that it is in Tanzania. This remarkable wildlife reserve is, however, just one of the reasons to come to this great African country. Wildlife is certainly one of the main attractions for visitors to Tanzania, but there are also the Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar, Mount Kilimanjaro, unique cultures and stunning scenery. Here is our top 12 list of things to do.

WEATHER AND LANDSCAPE

What’s the weather like in Tanzania in December? In the mainland, the average temperature ranges from a cool 16°C to a warm 29°C, so it’s ideal to pack some warm clothes along with your summer style! On our islands, you can expect a balmy 23°C to a hot high of 32°C, so whip out the sunscreen!

Generally, December is hot and humid, falling during our green season, so named for the rich, lush, green landscapes (perfect for photography!). Occasional rainfall provides a welcome respite from the heat.

ACCOMMODATION

Tanzania is a traveller’s paradise and there are so many beautiful accommodation options to choose from. December is part of our peak season for the Northern and Eastern circuits, which means that accommodations can get very busy.

On the other hand, it is much less busy in the Southern and Western circuits during December, so it depends where you would like to visit. If you need some advice, chat to us and we can help you choose the trip of a lifetime!

VISITING THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT OF TANZANIA​
THE GREAT WILDEBEEST MIGRATION

The trek, which started in October, moving from north to south, is coming to an end. After the seasonal rains begin, the herd moves south and through the central Serengeti looking for new food sources, and finding them in the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti.

With this abundance of food and water, the wildebeests will settle in Ndutu and the southern Serengeti region for a time to feed and calve. However, this does not mean that life will get any easier. With a herd on the move and calving happening, canny predators will try to pick off easy targets.

CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO

If you are looking to climb the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, January is the month to do it – although February is fantastic too. They are the warmest months on the mountain, gifting climbers with clear, sunny skies in the mornings and evenings (just imagine the view until you see it with us in-person!) and clouds provide a reprieve from the heat, along with a little bit of rain.

Naturally, the perfect month for climbing means it is the most popular month amongst trekkers so make sure you make those bookings nice and early as you prepare to tackle the highest freestanding mountain in the entire world!

GAME DRIVES, WILDLIFE AND BIRDS​

A trip to Tanzania isn’t complete without one of our iconic safaris! Hop into one of our game drive vehicles as we take you around our magnificent parks. Take in the lush, green vegetation bursting with migratory birds bolstering the resident population. Bird-enthusiasts are set to have the time of their life!

Game-viewing is excellent around Ndutu, the central and southern Serengeti, and the Ngorongoro crater is also teeming with wildlife. Mid-January can mean the start of the birthing season (if the rains arrive early enough), allowing for sightings of tiny cubs and calves, along with the uptick in predatory activity…and the excitement that accompanies it!

As with all summer fun, insect numbers are high in January, so ensure that you have your repellent at the ready to maximise your comfort. Ah, the great outdoors!

VISITING THE BEACHES AND ISLANDS OF TANZANIA
ZANZIBAR ISLAND

January is a beautiful time to explore the white sands, azure waters, and swaying palms of idyllic Zanzibar. Snorkelling and diving enthusiasts will love travelling in January because of the outstanding water clarity of over 25 meters! Let the steady wind of ‘kaskazi’ north-eastern cool you down in the hot temperatures, averaging over 30°C.

The vibrant coral reefs and their resident aquatic, technicoloured inhabitants will provide a visual feast as you while away your vacation in the sun, surf, and sand. January also happens to be mango season on the island of Zanzibar, with plentiful ripe and ready fruit just waiting to be enjoyed on the beach!

MAFIA ISLAND

This island paradise is exquisite in January, and remains relatively untouched by tourists! Enjoy snorkelling, diving, and fishing when you venture into the crystal waters, after lounging on the beach to soak up the January sun. If you’re lucky (and in the right place!) you can even spot a whale shark.

PEMBA ISLAND

Pemba is also relatively untouched by tourists, meaning it is the perfect place for some peace and quiet. With warm January weather, explore one of the oldest Muslim ruins in Africa, take in the rolling, verdant hills that grow tons of cloves or dip into the sea for some of the best snorkeling Tanzania has to offer!

VISITING THE SOUTHERN CIRCUIT OF TANZANIA GAME DRIVES, WILDLIFE, AND BIRDS​

January is a particularly good time to visit the Southern Circuit of Tanzanian parks for people who love to immerse themselves in the wildness of nature. Fresh from a short rainy season over November and December, January offers visitors lush, teeming wilderness.

While spotting game is not quite as easy in January as it is during the dry season, the Southern Circuit includes some of the biggest national parks in East Africa, let alone Tanzania. A visit to Ruaha or Nyerere will guarantee beautiful and memorable sights.

RUAHA NATIONAL PARK​

Visit one of Tanzania’s largest national parks in January! This is a wet season in the park, so the landscape is lush, green, and full! Reduced tourism at this time of year means you are likely to have more privacy while viewing the arrival of colourful migratory birds, ready to breed. January is the best time of year for bird-watching in Ruaha!

NYERERE NATIONAL PARK

The green season of January is a lovely time to visit Mahale Mountain National Park. The spectacular slopes are home to a massive chimpanzee population, along with a myriad of ape families. The sunsets in this region are exquisite, and the clouds that accompany rainfall in January makes it even more beautiful.

VISITING THE WESTERN CIRCUIT OF TANZANIA MAHALE NATIONAL PARK

The green season of January is a lovely time to visit Mahale Mountain National Park. The spectacular slopes are home to a massive chimpanzee population, along with a myriad of ape families. The sunsets in this region are exquisite, and the clouds that accompany rainfall in January makes it even more beautiful.

KATAVI NATIONAL PARK

Katavi is off the beaten track, allowing for greater privacy as you view the rivers, floodplains, and grasslands teeming with wildlife in January. If you pride yourself on taking the road less travelled, arrange to visit Katavi in January for your safari.

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GOMBE NATIONAL PARK

The iconic Gombe Stream National Park remains popular, ever since Jane Goodall completed her chimpanzee behavioural research. The park is also fantastic for viewing lots of other species and is one of our most diverse parks, despite its small size. January and February are good times to visit as the park is closed during March, April, and May.

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