When is the best time to go to Zanzibar?

Throughout the year, temperatures fluctuate between 22 and 33°C in Zanzibar. Therefore, heat will be present no matter when you choose to travel.

However, the best time to visit Zanzibar is during the months of June to October. Indeed, rainfall is less frequent during this period and the heat is tempered by the southeast trade winds. By planning your trip during this time, you can fully enjoy the sun and the beautiful beaches while experiencing more comfortable temperatures for sightseeing.

On the other hand, the dry season, in January and February, is also pleasant for a trip. However, one must not fear the heat as it is one of the periods when temperatures are the highest, often exceeding 30°C.

Moreover, it is important to note that many people take advantage of the summer school holidays and year-end festivities to plan their trip to Zanzibar. Tourist traffic is therefore very high at the end of December-early January and in July-August.

Therefore, if you are wondering when to go to Zanzibar to get better rates and a calmer atmosphere, you can consider the months of September, October, and February which also offer good weather conditions.

Finally, for a diving trip, the months from October to February provide the best visibility conditions, with calm and warm seas.

Where and when to go based on the weather?

Kilindoni (Mafia Island), Utende, Chole Bay...

January, February, June, July, August, September, October, November and December
83°F to 90°F°C
2 to 11 days
79°F to 85°F
March and May
85°F to 90°F°C
13 to 15 days
85°F to 86°F
20 days

Wete (Pemba Island), Chake Chake, Mkoani...

4 days
January, June, July, August, September and October
79°F to 85°F°C
4 to 9 days
79°F to 85°F
March, November and December
85°F to 86°F°C
13 to 15 days
83°F to 86°F
April and May
83°F to 85°F°C
21 to 24 days
85°F to 86°F

Stone Town, Nungwi (Unguja Island), Pingwe...

January, February, June, July, August, September, October and November
81°F to 86°F°C
4 to 12 days
79°F to 85°F
March, May and December
85°F to 88°F°C
14 to 19 days
85°F to 86°F
23 days
85°F to 86°F

Best time to travel to Zanzibar by cities

Chargement en cours
Mafia Mafia Pemba Pemba Unguja Unguja

See full list of cities

Climate and Weather in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an archipelago attached to Tanzania, located in the heart of the Indian Ocean. With its white sandy beaches and turquoise water, it is a paradise destination where travelers come primarily to relax.

To help them, the island benefits from a wonderful climate with constant warmth and a high level of sunshine. The sea temperature is always ideal as it ranges between 25 and 29 °C.

However, the climate in Zanzibar is equatorial, which means that showers are also very common in this region of the world. Thus, it can rain all year round, but precipitation tends to be more intense and frequent during the wet season.

Indeed, the Zanzibar archipelago experiences two rainy seasons and two dry seasons:

  • a dry season from January to March, where rainy days are less frequent but temperatures are high
  • a rainy season from March to May, where the heat is intense and it rains 15 to 20 days per month
  • a slightly drier season, called the cool season from June to October, where frequent winds allow temperatures to drop slightly. Rain is present, but it is less significant than during the wet season.
  • the period from November to December corresponds to a small rainy season.

Zanzibar: Plage de rêve et bateaux de pêche à Zanzibar

The dry season: January to March

Zanzibar's dry season corresponds to the hottest period of the year on the archipelago, with average temperatures around 30°C during the day. There is a peak of heat between February and March, where the mercury often reaches 33°C.

It is also the season with the lowest precipitation. Indeed, the north wind pushes the clouds away, allowing for beautiful sunny days.

Of course, it is not uncommon for it to rain, but these precipitations fall in the form of brief showers lasting only a few minutes. Moreover, they can be anticipated without any problem, as one can see the clouds forming in the distance.

This period is therefore ideal for holidays in Zanzibar. In fact, it is the season when the water temperature is the warmest (around 29°C).

On the other hand, with rainfall exceeding 120 mm and high temperatures, the month of March experiences less favorable weather conditions. The arrival of the wet season is felt...

The rainy seasons: March to May and November to December

In Zanzibar, there are two rainy seasons.

The first, which is also the most intense, occurs from March to the end of May. During this period, the heat is very high and the humidity in the air makes the atmosphere difficult to bear. Temperatures range from 25 to 33°C on average.

Moreover, during this season, it rains almost every day. These precipitations take the form of violent showers that generally last less than an hour. Due to the intensity of the rainfall, floods are possible during this period and sometimes cause material damage on the islands.

On the other hand, a small rainy season occurs in November and December (and sometimes starts as early as mid-October). This period is characterized by numerous very brief thunderstorms that occur in the late afternoon. Thus, these conditions do not necessarily spoil a trip to the area. This is why the months of November and December remain favorable.

During the rainy season, it does not rain all the time. Moreover, it does not necessarily rain everywhere. Indeed, some areas of the archipelago are spared from precipitation. It rains three times more on the east side than on the west side of certain islands. This is particularly the case on the main islands of Unguja and Pemba.

There is always a region where the weather in Zanzibar is more pleasant.

Climate in Zanzibar: the cold season

Furthermore, there is another relatively dry period just after the wet season. It is the cold season, which extends from the months of June to October.

Generally, temperatures range from 24 to 31°C and the sea temperature is equal to or higher than 25°C.

August is considered the coldest month of the archipelago. However, temperatures remain pleasant.

However, if you travel during this period, you will need to pack warm clothes, as the temperature difference can be as much as 10°C between day and night.

Temperatures and rainfall in Zanzibar

On these 3 graphs, we present the evolution of temperatures of Zanzibar and month-by-month rainfall for the cities of Stone Town, Nungwi (Unguja Island), Wete (Pemba Island), Chake Chake and Kilindoni (Mafia Island), as well as the month-by-month sea temperature for coastal cities.

Peak visitor numbers and tourist seasons in Zanzibar

Find out when Zanzibar has its high tourist season (the period when the influx of tourists is highest) and off-peak tourist season using our data and figures.

Tourist seasons in Zanzibar

The months with low numbers of tourists are: March, April, May, June and July. The number of visitors to Zanzibar is high in: January, February, August, September, October, November and December.

  • Very low season in Zanzibar: April and May.
  • Low season in Zanzibar: March, June and July.
  • High season in Zanzibar: January, February, August, September, October and November.
  • Peak season in Zanzibar: December.

Figure: Visitor index for Zanzibar month by month

Where to go in Zanzibar?

This table allows you to see the maximum temperature for each city and our opinion on the weather month by month (see colour legend below the table).

Cities jan.feb.mar.apr.mayjun.jul.aug.sep.oct.nov.dec.
Stone Town86°F86°F88°F86°F85°F83°F81°F81°F83°F85°F86°F86°F
Nungwi (Unguja Island)86°F86°F88°F86°F85°F83°F81°F81°F83°F85°F86°F86°F
Wete (Pemba Island)85°F85°F86°F85°F83°F81°F81°F79°F81°F83°F85°F85°F
Chake Chake85°F85°F86°F85°F83°F81°F81°F79°F81°F83°F85°F85°F
Kilindoni (Mafia Island)88°F90°F90°F86°F85°F85°F83°F85°F86°F88°F90°F90°F
Bawe Island86°F86°F88°F86°F85°F83°F81°F81°F83°F85°F86°F86°F
Changuu (Prison island)86°F86°F88°F86°F85°F83°F81°F81°F83°F85°F86°F86°F
Chapwani Island86°F86°F88°F86°F85°F83°F81°F81°F83°F85°F86°F86°F
Chole Bay88°F90°F90°F86°F85°F85°F83°F85°F86°F88°F90°F90°F
Chumbe Island86°F86°F88°F86°F85°F83°F81°F81°F83°F85°F86°F86°F


perfect weather

good weather

tolerable weather

bad weather

very bad weather

About Zanzibar

What can I do in Zanzibar?

Beaches / swimming

Nature and countryside

Culture and heritage


Family travel

Crafts / shopping



Is this weather information for Zanzibar reliable?

Climate data for Zanzibar has been gathered every day since January 2009. The analysis of these meteorological data for Zanzibar allows us to determine the average for each month in Stone Town, Nungwi (Unguja Island), Wete (Pemba Island), Chake Chake, Kilindoni (Mafia Island), Bawe Island, Bwejuu, Bweni, and 24 other cities.

So yes: this data is reliable except in cases of temporary climate disruption in the region.

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