Tanzania offers an astonishing diversity and concentration of wildlife, from the immense Serengeti and towering Mount Kilimanjaro to the remote national parks of Katavi and Mahale.
The best months for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro are August to October and January to March. Tanzania boasts over 1 000 bird species, with Lake Manyara alone being home to more than 400. It is a year round birding destination, but at the height of the northern winter, some 160 species of migrating birds make their way south.
Botanically, Tanzania is a treasure-trove, with habitats ranging from Afro-Alpine to semi-desert. The months immediately after the two rainy seasons provide the best floral displays.
See under National Parks and Tourist Attractions for information on the migration. Tanzania offers excellent game viewing throughout the year as not all animals migrate and are year-round residents.
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Currency - Tanzanian Shilling
Cuisine - regional specialities, fish, spiced tea or coffee, international cuisine
Local Time - GMT +3
Temperature - between 20 and 30 degrees C
Size - Total 945,000 km2
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SUMMER: December - March
WINTER: March - May
Late March - late May is traditionally the long rainy season and is considered the "winter period" in Tanzania. June - late October is the dry season.
June, July and August can be very cold on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. Mnemba Island is lovely at this time of year, the evenings are cool (not cold) and the daytime can be hot.
Late October - mid December is when the short rains occur. These are usually in the form of daily thunderstorms. The Ngorongoro Crater rim has a wonderful climate at this time of year. The Serengeti and Lake Manyara are quite warm and Mnemba is very hot.
Mid December - March is summer weather. It is dry and very warm until March. Due to its altitude Ngorongoro Crater is much cooler than elsewhere.