Tanzania is a tropical country, and temperatures are quite consistent year-round, averaging between 77°F and 86°F (25°C–30°C) in the lowlands and at the coast, and around 59°F–68°F (15°C–20°C) in the highlands. The most significant variables are altitude and rainfall. August is right in the middle of the long dry season. This is sometimes referred to as Tanzania's winter, but really the temperatures are only slightly lower than they are during other times of the year. The low humidity further contributes to the month's appeal for outdoor activities.
Crowds & Costs
August is the peak season for travel to Tanzania. Not only are the conditions great for a wide range of activities, but many travelers from Europe and North America are also taking their summer vacation. Lodges and hotels around the national parks, the mountains, and the coast around Zanzibar will be fully open in August, with peak season rates. Book accommodation early to get your first pick. The national parks in the north are the busiest, but to avoid the biggest crowds and highest prices, head to the parks in the south, such as the Ruaha National Park or the Selous Game Reserve.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Where to Go
You can't beat the Serengeti National Park in August if you're looking for a classic East African safari experience. The wildebeest migrate at this time, and you may see herds of wildebeests and zebras trying to cross the Mara River while staying out of the way of crocodiles. The Western Serengeti is the best destination at this time. The dry weather means vegetation is less thick, providing unobstructed views, and the animals tend to congregate around watering holes.
For a less crowded wildlife experience, check out the underrated Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania. Although it doesn't have rhinos, it does have the other Big Five, as well as large prides of lions and hundreds of bird species. Bird enthusiasts will also want to check out Lake Natron in northern Tanzania. Not only are the mineral-rich waters a striking red color, but it's a breeding ground for flamingos. You can see hundreds of thousands of the beautiful birds here in August. There are also great mountain views here and hiking trails.
What to Do
Many travelers like to combine a Tanzanian safari with time at the beach in Zanzibar. The dry season is an excellent time to go to this archipelago because the skies are clear and conditions good for lounging on the beautiful white beaches. August and September are also good months for diving because the waters are especially clear; a few months have passed since the wet season rains have churned up the sea. Wildlife enthusiasts can also witness turtle hatching on the Indian Ocean islands.
Active travelers may want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft/ 5,895 m) or Mount Meru (14,967 ft/ 4,562 m) when the dry conditions make the climbing trails safer than in the wet season. Various routes can be accomplished, taking between four and 10 days. Both mountains are non-technical and are considered "walk ups." However, the height of Kilimanjaro can be a challenge for some travelers, so don't underestimate the climb's difficulty. For a less challenging experience, opt for Meru, or choose a hike that stays at lower altitudes. Either way, you can enjoy incredible views across Tanzania and Kenya and the chance to spot wildlife at lower altitudes.
Traveling to Tanzania in August? Check out these great itineraries
Tanzania Horseback Safari - 4 Days. Gallop across the plains of Tanzania on this short but unforgettable 4-day horseback safari. Starting in Arusha, you'll spend your days exploring the savannah on horseback, riding through herds of wildebeest, gazelle, and giraffes. Gather around the campfire for sundowners and stargazing in the African bush.
Climb Tanzania's Mount Meru – 5 Days. For an easier climb (over Mt. Kilimanjaro), take four days to summit Mt. Meru. Enjoy sweeping views over the plains toward Mt. Kilimanjaro. Spot wildlife, trek through different vegetation zones, and afterward, relax at the beautiful and historic Rivertrees Country Inn.
More Helpful Information
Tanzania in July
Tanzania in September
Best Time of Year to Visit Tanzania
How Many Days to Spend in Tanzania