Tanzania has a tropical climate, and temperatures are relatively consistent year-round, averaging between 77°F and 86°F (25°C and 30°C) in the lowlands and at the coast, and around 59°F–68°F (15°C–20°C) in the highlands. The biggest variables are altitude and rainfall. November is the start of the "short rains" season that lasts into early December. Unlike the long rainy season of April to May, the rainfall doesn't tend to be heavy or prolonged, and it mainly falls at night.
Also, be prepared for the seasonal trade winds known as kusi. The period between November and March is often referred to as the "green season" because the rain brings the vegetation back to life after the prolonged dry season (June to October).
Crowds & Costs
November is shoulder season for travel to Tanzania. There are fewer crowds than during the dry season, and you may be able to get a good deal on some accommodation because most lodges remain open during this shorter rainy period. Despite fewer travelers, there are still many experiences to enjoy, including the safaris that most travelers to Tanzania come for.
Where to Go
Divers, snorkelers, and adventurous swimmers won't want to miss visiting Zanzibar and the island of Mafia, south of Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. Whale sharks can be seen near the shore from November to March. Although the rain can affect sea clarity, you can still enjoy swimming, diving, or snorkeling with the world's biggest fish.
If (and when) it rains during your stay in Zanzibar, grab an umbrella and make the most of the opportunity to explore historic Stone Town, the old part of Zanzibar City. This UNESCO-listed area is full of Swahili, Arab, Persian, Indian, and European cultural and architectural influences. Music lovers won't want to miss the Freddie Mercury Museum in the singer's childhood house.
What to Do
Travelers seeking a classic East African safari will be able to see migrating herds of wildebeest with their calves arriving in Tanzania from Kenya in November. Northern areas of the Serengeti National Park are the best place to see these herds in November. However, you can see a vast range of migratory birds and other game animals around the northern parks, including Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Although travelers don't come to Tanzania in such large numbers during the rainy seasons, this is actually a lovely time to be in these parks as the vegetation is lush and the environment less dusty.
While the rainy seasons aren't the ideal time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru, you may still be able to catch great views of these impressive volcanic peaks on safari trips around neighboring parks, or on shorter day hikes, which are less likely to be badly impacted by rain.
Events in November
Karibu Music Festival, Bagamoyo. This three-day international music festival is held in the coastal town of Bagamoyo, between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Enjoy performances of dance, music, and other arts.
Traveling to Tanzania in November? Check out these great itineraries
Highlights of Serengeti National Park - 5 Days. Discover Serengeti National Park in five days and experience the majesty of Tanzania's crown jewel of wildlife reserves.
Zanzibar & Pemba Island - 7 Days. Visit tropical paradise Zanzibar and enjoy the island's famed white-sand beaches and discover its rich culture and cuisine on tours of its historic center. Then, head to Pemba for a little snorkeling, fishing, and communing with nature.