As September begins, the dry season has been in effect for months. Rainfall has been scarce and since about June, the weather has been cool and dry. The effect this has is that the landscape has turned to a uniform brown and grazing grass is scarce. Animals will almost all be concentrated around water sources.
Temperatures do begin to rise in September, even though the mornings and evenings can still be frigid (bring warm clothing!). The average daily temperature on the mainland ranges from a low of 15°C to a high of 28°C. The air is thin and still, with only the occasional dust cloud interrupting perfect photography conditions.
Accommodation in September
As with other months of the dry season, September can be particularly busy in terms of tourism. Popular accommodations can be booked up well in advance as canny visitors anticipate the excellent safari and game drive conditions, so you would do well to contact us to book in advance too!
It is also worth noting that lodges, resorts, and camps will price accordingly in September. Being peak season and expecting a big influx of tourists, many accommodations will be more expensive compared to how much it might be in April or May.
Visiting the Northern Circuit of Tanzania in September
The wildebeest migration in September
The dry season is always an excellent time to spy the massive herds of the Great Migration, though it’s hard to miss approximately two million wildebeest in any season. In September, much of the herd may still be north in Kenya, but many are on the move southward.
While it’s hard to predict exactly, you can potentially see the herd cross the famous Mara River. An important source of water, particularly in the dry season, the Mara becomes a focal point not just for the Great Migration, but for other groups of animals eager to benefit from the great life-giving river.
Climbing mount Kilimanjaro in September
September weather generally makes for fine conditions to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The dry season is still in effect at this time of year, meaning the temperature is cool, the air is clear, and the skies are comparatively devoid of clouds – allowing for a relatively easy climb and spectacular views from Africa’s roof.
Regarded by the experts as the ‘optimal time’ to climb, September can become busy on the mountain – it remains the most popular climbing destination on the entire continent, and September is a busier month than most. However, to those who enjoy teamwork and sharing their experiences, this can be a rewarding ascent!
Game drives, wildlife and birds in September
In general, at this time of year the animals of the African savannah are increasingly desperate for food and water. There has not been heavy, sustained rainfall for months and the landscape is brown and dry, leading wildlife to become densely packed around a few sources of water.
These conditions make it perfect to spot animals while out on a game drive around one of the northern circuit’s world-famous parks. However, a walking safari or fly-camping in the Tarangire are also fantastic alternative options for tourists who are a little more daring!
Visiting the Beaches and Islands of Tanzania in September
Zanzibar Island in September
While Zanzibar is world-famous for its clear blue skies, glassy turquoise waters, and relaxing beaches year-round, September offers one of the best opportunities of the year for fishing or diving off the coast of the gem of the Indian Ocean. Sea life is teeming in the reefs around the island!
September is the beginning of the viewing season for the world’s biggest fish – the gargantuan whale shark, along with a plethora of other fish life. Avid anglers can also try catching their own dinner, or even try their hand at wrestling with one of the giant groupers along the coast.
Mafia Island in September
September is one of the best times to park off for a relaxing beach holiday on Mafia Island. With an average of nine hours of sunshine (and fewer than five rainy days all month), September is an ideal time to set up on the beach and work on your tan, cooling off in the crystal waters.
Pemba Island in September
A September trip to Pemba Island is sure to be unforgettable. Right in the middle of the long dry season, there are fewer rainy days in September than in any other month except for January. You will be treated to delightfully warm weather, beautiful blue ocean water, and soft breezes as you traverse Pemba.
Visiting the Southern Circuit of Tanzania in September
Game drives, wildlife, and birds in September
For people with a sense of adventure, a desire to reject the popular trends, and carve their own path when travelling, we recommend the southern circuit. A blissfully wild atmosphere greets visitors to the southern parks – each of them less popular but no less beautiful than the northern circuit.
For those of you who want to avoid the larger crowds and peak accommodations of the more popular northern parks like Serengeti or Ngorongoro, we recommend a visit to Ruaha National Park – off the beaten track and allowing for a more intimate safari experience.
Ruaha National Park in September
In September, the land has been without significant rainfall for three or four months. This will mean that the food and water sources of the animal populations in Ruaha will be in only a handful of places, despite the park’s sprawling area. With the seasonal drought going on so long, you may even see some desperate predators go for a kill.
Nyerere National Park (formerly known as Selous Game Reserve) in September
September offers an excellent opportunity for photography, animal spotting, and enjoying mild weather in Nyerere National Park. Amidst the dry season, the park’s vegetation dries up and the animals tend to cluster around certain sources of water, meaning they are much easier to find than other times of the year.
Visiting the Western Circuit of Tanzania in September
Mahale National Park in September
Like August, September is an optimal time to glimpse one of Mahale’s most famous residents, the eastern chimpanzee. As the temperature and humidity drops, large groups of chimps will scale down the mountains in search of food and a temperate habitat, making the dry season the best time to spot one!
Katavi National Park in September
Katavi boasts one of the largest buffalo populations on the planet, meaning September’s dry season is an ideal time to see the herd in all its glory. However, Katavi is a multitude of different landscapes and ecosystems, meaning that a new iconic animal is always right around the corner.
Gombe National Park in September
September is an excellent time to travel to Gombe Stream National Park. September is in the middle of the dry season, meaning less dense foliage and forest canopies to obstruct your sight. Chimpanzees are often seen down in the lowlands in search of food in September.