When is the Best Time to Visit Zanzibar?

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Written by
Amie Larsen

Published on: July 5th, 2017

Last modified: July 27th, 2023

The stunning island of Zanzibar is visited all year round by tourists looking to experience white, sandy beaches and a vibrant blend of culture and history.

Temperatures tend to stay around a balmy 30 degrees celsius, whether it’s rainy or dry season so there's not really a best time to visit Zanzibar.

Luxury hotels, pristine beaches and a wealth of marine life combine with superb local cuisine and a rich cultural heritage to provide opportunities for both relaxation and exploration. Often combined with a safari trip, it is the perfect place to unwind after a thrilling wildlife adventure.

June - October
Heavy rainfall
March - June
Pemba Island - Tanzania

Things to do in Zanzibar

For a relatively small island, there are plenty of festivals and events to partake in all year round.

In February each year...

Sauti za Busara is one of Africa’s most renowned music festivals, with hundreds of artists performing. Held in the ancient walls of Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, expect plenty of colour and festivities.


Sauti za Busara Zanzibar

Throughout the month of July...

Zanzibar International Film Festival is another annual event, showcasing the best new documentaries and films from Africa, and even further afield. It takes place in various locations across the island, allowing you to experience much of what Zanzibar has to offer.


September welcomes the arrival of...

two very different events: Jahazi Literary & Jazz Festival and Zanzibar Beach and Watersports Festival. The literary and jazz festival provides a platform for Africa’s most talented writers and musicians. The beach and watersports festival takes advantage of the beautiful beaches and holds sports tournaments, as well as other activities such as music sessions and bartending competitions.

Snorkelling Zanzibar

Best time to go...

Jun - Oct

For watersports

The days are long and the rains are almost non-existent from June through to October, leading to endless blue skies and glorious sunshine. Take advantage of the clear seas and indulge in a variety of watersports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, snorkelling and diving.

Jan - Feb

On a winter escape

Sandwiched between the rainy seasons, January and February are also great months to visit the island, making it your perfect destination for a winter getaway.

Bwejuu Beach Zanzibar

When to avoid

If you are looking for a beach retreat, it’s best to avoid March through to June as these generally see heavy rainfalls, with prolonged downpours throughout the day. Many beach lodges close during this time due to the rains, opening up again in June. The other wet season is during the months of November and December, but with much lighter and less predictable showers.

"Perfect trip"

“Our first experience with Jacada. It was flawless. Great attention to detail, perfect selection of areas to visit and camps where to stay and, most importantly, a great choice of service providers. They (Jacada) will be the first ones we call to plan our next trip.”

Jorge, 5 Stars

Zanzibar Meditation

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