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.
October marks the last chance in the year to catch Tanzania in a properly dry climate. For the first few weeks of October, you will experience the tail end of the long dry season, a season that has been going on since late May or early June.
The wildlife of Tanzania is huddled around sparse watering holes and the land is brown from lack of rain. This makes for incredible game viewing, but the temperature is still cold at night and in the mornings, so don’t forget a jacket! The end of October usually sees the rains return in the form of billowing thunderclouds
While the dry season is still in effect, October is still considered ‘peak’ season for tourist destinations. The heavier rains don’t often start up until late October or early November, so booking accommodation in October is likely to still have peak prices as well as full locations.
As with the other dry months of the year that are best suited for game viewing, bird watching, and other safari activities, it is key to book in advance if you are considering visiting Tanzania in October. October is also the last time in the year with predictably dry weather!
October’s opening days as a continuation of the dry period mean that the Wildebeest of the Great Migration are likely still congregated around a reliable source of water – which may be the Mara River in the north of Serengeti National Park.
However, once the thunderheads of rain begin looming on the horizon of late October, the massive herd will be on the move once again – heading southward to partake in the soon-to-be revitalised grassy plains of central Serengeti.
At the tail end of the dry season, October remains one of the most popular times to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbing conditions are fair and relatively calm (compared to rainy weather), however preparation in advance is key – climbing Africa’s highest mountain is no easy feat even for experienced climbers.
Because of the dry weather, humidity is low, meaning that thin, altitudinous air is going to feel a whole lot colder and sharper than it would in the wet season in Tanzania. This will mean that you should prepare thoroughly and bring warm clothes ready for snow-caps!
In general, wildlife is easier to spot in October. Early October is the end of the dry season in Tanzania, meaning for the first weeks of the month, the land is dry, brown, and dusty. However, this lack of moisture leads to animals congregating around rivers and watering holes – the only sources of water. The dryness of the land makes the animals sluggish, meaning this is one of your best opportunities to see hunting predators in action like cheetahs, leopards, and lions. October is also one of the best times to visit Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Meru!
In Zanzibar in October, you get the best of all worlds. It is at the end of the long dry season and temperatures will start rising before seasonal rains begin in November. With an average daily temperature of 30°C and 20°C at night, October in Zanzibar is positively idyllic.
Spend your time lounging on the beach, soaking up the sunshine or soaking in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Or, for the adventurous types, try your hand at diving. October offers still and clear waters around the reefs speckling Zanzibar’s coastline, offering incredible sights of tropical marine life.
As the long dry season comes to an end on the mainland, Mafia and the other Spice Islands feel like they have barely been touched by this prevailing season. With hot daily temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and warm, calm waters, Mafia remains a haven for relaxation in October.
October is one of our favourite months for fishing along the coast. One of the great gifts of Pemba Island is that it has much less traffic than other islands like Mafia or Zanzibar, meaning that the island has a more intimate feel, and the fishing is more plentiful!
As with the more well-known northern parks, the southern circuit of Tanzania is also in the middle of a long dry spell. The land becomes parched for water, and there is a scarcity of both food and water for grazing herds of animals.
Hunting season for predatory animals is common around this time – they can sense weakness in prey after a long season of dryness and the rarity of water sources (like rivers and watering holes) makes finding prey easy for them.
We like to think of October as the last ‘best’ month to visit Ruaha. While there are pros and cons to going in other months, the long dry season is often regarded as the best time to go due to the density of wildlife. October is the end of the long dry season, with November bringing much-needed rain.
October marks what is essentially the end of Tanzania’s long dry season. While the rainy season has not yet arrived, the wildlife is still densely packed around water and food sources like rivers and watering holes. October is still a very popular time of year to visit, however, so be sure to book in advance.
October is one of our favourite times of year to visit Mahale – not only is the whole park accessible, but it is still in the dry season, meaning chimpanzees are easily spotted in the park. The lack of rain and abundance of sunshine also makes Lake Tanganyika the warmest it will be all year!
Katavi National Park in October is one of the most fascinating natural sights you will see. Due to the wide expanses of open plains and the relative scarcity of water sources in the dry season, visitors are treated to spectacular scenes of wildlife rarely witnessed anywhere else.
On the northern tip of Lake Tanganyika, one of the world’s oldest and deepest lakes, you will find the fascinating Gombe Stream National Park. Visitors will tell you that it’s no surprise that this park has international notoriety due to Jane Goodall’s research. The beautiful vistas, stunning shoreline and animal