The weather in Tanzania is as varied as the country itself. Located directly below the equator, it has a tropical climate and while consistently temperate throughout the year, the weather can be different depending on the region travelers decide to venture to. Adventurers should keep this in mind when deciding which part of the nation they will visit and which activities they will partake in while there.

The country is climatically divided into two sections based on the amount of precipitation it receives and when. The north and northern coast of Tanzania experiences two separate rainy seasons lasting from March to May and October to December. Due to the severity of the weather during Africa’s autumn, locals refer to this period as Masika, or the long rains. Conversely, the fall is known as Vuli, or the short rains. The remainder of the country has a drier, less varied climate and experiences its wet season between December and April.

Individuals who wish to plan a trip to Tanzania would be wise to do so during the dry season, as the weather can get wild and dangerous during the rains. While the central region of the country is very arid, the islands off the coast are wonderfully tropical. For those interested in a beach-side getaway, the best place may be Zanzibar, where the weather is warmest in January and February. Though temperatures are consistently in the 70s and 80s throughout the country’s summer, thermometers have been known to reach up past the 90-degree mark on the hottest days. As such, travelers visiting one of Tanzania’s glorious sunbathing locales during this season should be sure to pack sunblock, sunglasses and drink plenty of water.

For travelers who would prefer to visit Tanzania in cooler temperatures, July, August and September are the best times to plan a vacation. Jackets and long pants are necessary during this season, though depending on the altitude of the destination, travelers may need to pack clothing that is appropriate for subzero weather. In general, regions located in the Tanzanian highlands tend to be significantly cooler than in the country’s lowland and coastal areas, which are humid and warm. Visitors who will be traveling to the mountainous areas that are home to Meru and Kilimanjaro should expect a consistently cold climate.