When to go to Zanzibar: climate, best time and months to avoid

Who I am
Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Dream archipelago in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is to be considered one of the dream destinations for all kinds of tourists. The archipelago consists of two main islands, Unguja and Pemba, and a myriad of islets, some of which are uninhabited.
It enjoys the benevolent equatorial influence, which allows it to record pleasant temperatures all year round.
What is the best time to stay in Zanzibar? Let's find out together.


  1. Best time
  2. Period to avoid
  3. Climate and seasons
  4. User questions and comments

Best time

There are two main islands that make up Zanzibar: Unguja (also known as Zanzibar) and Pemba (divided into the north and south areas). The two islands are "kissed" by the same climate.

The period from June to October is the best from a climatic point of view.

Considering that staying in Zanzibar does not involve an excessively expensive expense even in "our" summer period, the June-August quarter is perfect for a holiday in the African archipelago.
June, in particular, is a perfect month: the rains are reduced and the temperatures are pleasant, but not suffocating. The only drawback: these are the months, until October, in which tourism is at its peak.

If you want to spend a quiet holiday, then January and February are the right months for a stay in the name of nature, without suffering the heavy rainfall that characterizes the intermediate months on the island.

Period to avoid

The months of November and December and the March - May quarter are not recommended. The rains, in fact, are constantly increasing and the risk of encountering phenomena linked to a cyclone could be quite concrete.
Furthermore, temperatures are quite high during these months, with rather unbearable sultry peaks.

Between December and May Zanzibar could be exposed to tropical cyclones, which often form at the edge of the Equator, which can cause the formation of anomalous waves that can hit the area.
To be fair it must be said that Zanzibar is practically never affected by cyclones and similar phenomena. However, the hypothesis cannot be completely ruled out.

Climate and seasons

Zanzibar enjoys a tropical climate, which allows for pleasant temperatures practically all year round. The two main islands of the archipelago have the same climatic conditions; we will therefore take as a reference the capital of the archipelago, Zanzibar City.

Average temperatures and precipitation

The whole archipelago records two important rainy seasons: the first, from March to May, is known as the season of long rains; the one known as the short rains, on the other hand, begins in mid-October and ends in December. The remaining months of the year, however, are rather "dry".

Recommended period: June - first half of October / January - February

What to bring in your suitcase

  • Rainy seasons: umbrella or raincoat, light clothing, bathing suit, a sweatshirt for cool evenings;
  • Dry seasons: sunscreen, a light jacket, hat or scarf for the breeze, cool clothes, swimsuit, snorkeling equipment, rubber shoes.


  • Capital: Zanzibar City
  • Population: 1.303.569 inhabitants
  • Area: 2.461 sq. Km
  • Languages: English, Swahili (to a lesser extent Arabic and Somali)
  • Currency: Tanzanian Shilling or Shilingi (x / y oTZS) / Exchange rate: € 1,00 = 2658,64 TZS
  • Documents: it is important to have a passport, while a visa can be obtained once you arrive by paying around $ 50 per person
  • Time zone: +2 h compared to Italy, +1 h when summer time is in force in Italy
  • vaccinations: Prophylaxis against malaria is recommended

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