Tanzania has a pleasant, tropical climate but has large regional climatic variations influenced by several factors, including altitude. The hottest and most humid part of the country is the coast. Other low-lying areas, such as the western and southern parks, are also hot but less humid. The rest of the interior is much milder and cools down significantly at night. Tanzania has a distinct Dry and Wet season.
Arusha is the town closest to the most popular northern parks and has a comparably mild climate. The peak amount of rainfall in April is considerably less in most parks than in Arusha.
The Ngorongoro Crater rim receives quite a lot of rain and is very cold during evenings and mornings due to its high altitude (about 2,300m/7,545ft). Lower lying parks, such as Manyara, Nyerere, Mikumi, Ruaha, Gombe, Mahale Mountains and Katavi, are slightly warmer than Arusha.
Most of Tanzania’s popular tourist destinations experience two rainy seasons and two dry seasons every year. The long rains usually last from early March to late May, bringing with them heavy afternoon downpours and high humidity. Temperatures at this time of year frequently exceed 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
The short rainy season (November and December) sees lighter, less reliable rains and the start of the hottest time of year, which lasts until the end of February. Temperatures during this period can get as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).
January and February constitute the short dry season. The most pleasant time of year, however, is the long dry season which lasts from late June to mid-October. During this time, rainfall is uncommon, while clear skies and plenty of sunshine are to be expected.
Temperatures are relatively cool and can be chilly on early morning game drives. Of course, the higher slopes of famous Tanzanian peaks including Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru can experience sub-zero temperatures at any time of year.
Dar es Salaam Tanzania’s largest city. It stays hot and humid throughout the year, with rainfall a possibility even during the dry seasons. During the rainy seasons, precipitation is more reliable here than it is inland.
Afternoon downpours are heavy but brief, and often book ended by sunny weather. Even in the hottest months (December to March), the humidity is offset by cooling ocean breezes, making the coast the most pleasant place to be at this time.
Temperatures for Dar es Salaam are similar to those for other coastal cities like Pemba and islands like Zanzibar, the bustling destination that is just a quick ferry ride from Dar.