September is peak season for travel to Tanzania. Drier, cooler conditions make it a great time to go on safari, while clear skies and waters make Zanzibar an appealing destination for beach lovers and divers. Active travelers may want to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru. Find out more about traveling to Tanzania in September below.


Tanzania is a tropical country and temperatures are quite consistent year-round, at about 77°F–86°F (25°C–30°C) on 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. September is right in the middle of the long dry season, also known as Tanzania's winter. Low humidity makes outdoor activities more comfortable, and the lack of rain makes the sea good for diving.

Crowds & Costs

September is the peak season for travel to Tanzania. While many North Americans and European visitors may be back at work and school after their summer vacations, for those without constraints September is a perfect time of year to visit Tanzania. Lodges and hotels around the national parks, the mountains, and on the coast around Zanzibar will be fully open in September, 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.

Where to Go

The Great Migration in the northern parks comes to an end by the end of September, but you will still see herds of wildebeest crossing the Serengeti, especially the Western Serengeti, during this month. A highlight—for visitors, if not for the animals—is to watch wildebeest and zebras attempting to cross the Mara River while staying out of the jaws of crocodiles. Elephant lovers will enjoy the Tarangire National Park in September, where there are a lot of these creatures. 

The northern parks will certainly be busy in September, but if you'd rather avoid the crowds, consider heading to the southern parks instead. Ruaha National Park has large prides of lions and more than 500 species of birds, while the UNESCO-listed Selous Game Reserve is the largest protected game reserve in Africa and one of the largest remaining wildernesses. There's more forest than in many of the northern parks. There are fewer camps here than in some parts of Tanzania so although it doesn't see as many visitors, it's still a good idea to book accommodation early.

Plan your trip to Tanzania
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

What to Do

Being a tropical country, it's technically possible to climb Tanzania's mountains year-round, but you'll get the most enjoyable (and safest) experience in the dry season. Active travelers seeking an adventure should hike or climb Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft/ 5,895 m) or Mount Meru (14,967 ft/ 4,562 m). Various routes can be done, 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. 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.

Whether you add on some relaxing beach time to an active trip or make it the main event, Zanzibar is a worthwhile destination in September. In September the skies are clear and conditions are good for lounging on the beautiful white beaches, plus the waters are also clear, attracting divers. You may also see turtles hatching on the beaches of many of the Indian Ocean islands.

Events in September

Bagamoyo Arts Festival, Bagamoyo. This long-running 7-day arts festival is held in September or October. Watch music, dance, drama, and acrobatics performances in the coastal town.

Traveling to Tanzania in September? Check out this great itinerary

Wildlife Adventures in Tanzania: Tarangire, Serengeti, Lake Manyara - 17 Days. Perfect for the wildlife enthusiast on the hunt for Africa's "Big Five," this trip includes visits to some of the country's best big game reserves, including Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks. Visit the big cat capital of Africa, walk with flamingos at dawn, and enjoy sunsets with views of baobab trees and volcanoes while giraffes, elephants, and zebra graze in the distance. 

Tanzania Wildlife Safari & Beach Holiday - 10 Days. Experience the best of Tanzania on this 10-day excursion that covers the fertile plains of the Serengeti and the crystalline waters of Zanzibar. You'll even travel to off-the-beaten-path national parks like Manyara and Tarangire to marvel at herds of elephants and countless flamingos.

More Helpful Information

Tanzania in August: Travel Tips, Weather & More
Tanzania in October: Travel Tips, Weather & More
Best Time of Year to Visit Tanzania
How Many Days to Spend in Tanzania