In August, the weather is as close to perfect as one could wish for when visiting Tanzania. Cool in the mornings and evenings (bring a warm jacket!), warm in the daytime, and dry all month long, skies are clear and sunny most days in August allowing for prime game viewing.
While the weather is ideal for safaris, hiking, or mountain climbing, there are always pros and cons to each weather pattern. Due to the dryness, dust can be kicked up, hazing the view of the majestic landscapes. Similarly, there may be small wildfires that sweep through grasslands as part of the natural ecosystem
Accommodation in August
Like July, August is a fairly popular time of year to travel to Tanzania. With the dry season in full swing and the northern hemisphere’s summer break happening at the same time, August will see a large number of overseas tourists flow through Tanzanian parks.
August, therefore, is peak season for tourists and thus accommodation becomes a little trickier compared to planning a trip in less popular seasons. Sometimes, hotels or popular destinations can be packed up unless you book in advance, so try to be prepared when booking a trip in August by contacting us!
Visiting the Northern Circuit of Tanzania in August
The great wildebeest migration in August
You may have heard that August is potentially the most popular month – and the Great Migration may have something to do with that. With over a million of the iconic plains antelope in motion during this time of year, August is the best opportunity for you to witness their crossing of the Mara River.
This crossing in the Lamai region of the northern Serengeti is something of the Migration’s biggest spectacle, with a river of wildebeest crossing a river of water. The trip can often be perilous, with crocodiles dogging the herd’s heels.
Climbing mount Kilimanjaro in August
Mount Kilimanjaro in August is – in a word – spectacular. Tanzania’s long dry season is in full effect in August, meaning that while there might be the occasional wisp of cloud, skies are blue, the sun is shining, and the weather is temperate for your ascent to the highest free-standing peak in the world!
The dry season, however, can be colder than the more humid wet season which allows the heat to linger. As the air thins the further up you climb in August, the colder it will become, so dress like you are expecting to see snow-caps!
Game drives, wildlife and birds in August
The best thing about going on game drives and safari in August is that the bug populations go way down. Because there is much less rain, mosquitos are less of a hazard when trekking through the wilderness of Tanzania.
While most will be making their way to Serengeti in August for the spectacular game viewing, Tarangire National Park also offers some incredible sights with fewer tourists around. Tarangire is famous at this time of year for spotting the biggest land animal, the African Elephant, roaming the open plains!
Visiting the beaches and islands of Tanzania in August
Zanzibar Island in August
Pristine stretches of sand, soft breezes, and warm waters greet you when you step onto the white beaches of Zanzibar in August. Right in the middle of Zanzibar’s long dry season, August is an excellent time of year to schedule a trip and experience the island’s tropical paradise.
The temperatures in August are warm without being scorching, and gusts of the southern ‘kusi’ wind can provide some welcome relief from the overhead sun while lazing the day away on the beach… if you’re not using it for kite-surfing! August is also one of the best times for fishing.
Mafia Island in August
If you’re wondering when to hit the pristine white beaches of Mafia, August is an excellent time to choose. While there may be a tad more tourists than usual due to northern hemisphere school vacation time, Mafia is less frequented than Zanzibar, so there will still be a blissful feeling of intimacy with the island.
Pemba Island in August
August is one of our favourite times to visit Pemba. With daily temperatures ranging between 20°C and 28°C, you can’t help but be lulled by the perfect weather into lounging on the beautiful beaches of Pemba, enjoying a cool swim after soaking up some sun.
Visiting the Southern Circuit of Tanzania in August
Game drives, wildlife, and birds in August
The southern circuit of Tanzania’s national parks and wildlife scenery feels like a secret – just as beautiful and iconic as many of the more well-known northern parks, but with only a fraction of the tourists! A safari in Ruaha or Nyerere will show the incredible landscape and feel less crowded.
Of particular note in August are the African wild dogs in Ruaha National Park. While the dogs are found in pockets all over the continent, they are very prevalent in Ruaha and August is their ‘denning’ period, meaning you may get to see a rare sight indeed: African wild puppies!
Ruaha National Park in August
August is an excellent time to make your trek down south to Ruaha. With the dry season still going strong, most of the animals can be found with relative ease – no dense foliage will get in your way, making for incredible photography. The animals also tend to congregate around watering holes and rivers.
Nyerere National Park (formerly known as Selous Game Reserve) in August
With the park dried out to a monochrome landscape of brown and beige, August offers incredible opportunities to see wildlife. As opposed to the wet and green seasons, the vegetation in August is less dense and makes spotting the animals much easier. Just remember to book early, as the dry season is also peak season when it comes to accommodation.
Visiting the Western Circuit of Tanzania in August
Mahale National Park in August
August is the peak of the dry season, but don’t let that deter you – because of the relative remoteness compared to other popular parks, Mahale almost never feels crowded, even in peak season. Dry season sees less abundant plant life, making it easier than other times to see the animal life.
Katavi National Park in August
August is one of the best times of the year to visit Katavi National Park. With the dry season well under way, the mighty Katuma River has gone from a torrent to a trickle: animals can easily be seen out and about searching for food. While remote, Katavi offers the experience of a lifetime.
Gombe National Park in August
August (along with July) are the best possible months for chimpanzee tracking – the most popular pastime in Gombe. While you may think this indicates an influx of people, Gombe is relatively quiet in spite of its international reputation. You may see other visitors, but it is never overcrowded!