Zanzibar in February

A view from a bungalow on Chumbe Island  I  Credit: chumbeisland.com Credit: Chumbe Island

February is Zanzibar’s hottest month and also one of its driest. Daytime highs regularly exceed 35°C (95°F) with sultry, humid conditions that build and build until the clouds burst in March. The north-eastern ‘kaskasi’ wind, having reached its peak in January, eases off gradually as February unfolds. It’s an excellent month for dedicated beach time, with minimal chance of an afternoon shower, moderate to light breezes and warm (if not hot!) seas, which can easily top 30°C (86°F), especially in the shallower bays and lagoons.

Although the kaskasi wind slowly dies down throughout February, Zanzibar’s southern and western coasts are still the more sheltered. Kendwa’s wide, protected beach is ideal for sunbathing and swimming and it’s a good time of year for dolphin excursions off Ras Kizimkazi. To the west and south of Zanzibar Town, Prison and Chumbe Islands make for great day trips – Chumbe for its protected snorkelling reef and Prison Island for its giant tortoises. None of this is to suggest that the east coast is off limits, in fact the mellowing kaskasi can bring welcome relief from the heat. February is a popular month all along the east coast, but especially in Paje which remains popular for kitesurfing.

A view from a bungalow on Chumbe Island  I  Credit: chumbeisland.com

Travel tips

  • February’s major highlight is the Sauti za Busara Music Festival, which takes place in and around Stone Town’s Old Fort each year. Over four frenetic days, some of Africa’s best musicians rock the crowds with a mix of African jazz, pop and local taarab beats. It’s a wonderful time to be in Stone Town, but bear in mind that the old quarter is much busier than usual and accommodation can be harder to find. For divers, the southern sites are at their absolute best in February, especially the coral reefs of Mafia’s Chole Bay.

  • February is an excellent month to be in Zanzibar, but if you struggle with the heat then May to September may be better. Swimming with the whale sharks is still possible off Mafia, but the deeper dive sites are usually too rough for safe access. The kaskasi may be lessening, but sand erosion and washed up seaweed can still be an issue along beaches on the northeast.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 1

Dar es Salaam, arrival
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 2

Mafia Island, your flight there
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 3

Start exploring

day 4

Diving, snorkelling relaxing

day 5

Pemba Island, your flight there
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 6

Pemba Island, to yourself

day 7

Gaps, walls and tranquility

day 8

Zanzibar Island, finally
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 9

Explore the east coast

day 10

Stone Town and its narrow streets

day 11

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Budget friendly Zanzibar holidays

Zanzibar can certainly be done on a budget, but you’ll need to pick your regions with care. Starting in Stone Town you’ll find a range of affordable guesthouses, offering basic double rooms and B&B. Further afield there are two main budget areas – around the northern village of Nungwi and along the south-eastern coast between Paje and Jambiani. Matemwe, northern Kiwengwa, Bewjuu and…

Zanzibar in April

Credit: Matemwe Lodge April is Zanzibar’s wettest month, the height of the main rainy season that runs from mid-March to the end of May. With the rains come slightly lower temperatures, but most days still climb above 30°C (86°F). A relatively windless month, April marks the transition between the north-eastern ‘kaskasi’ and southern ‘kusi’ winds. As the month progresses the…

Nungwi & Kendwa

On Zanzibar Island’s northernmost tip, the once sleepy village of Nungwi is still the traditional centre of dhow building on Zanzibar. An old favourite among backpackers and hippies, the scene has transformed in recent years with hotels, bars, hostels and dive centres now lining the sandy shoreline in a near continuous strip southwest to Kendwa. The still relatively quiet village of…

Natural attractions of Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s islands have been inhabited for many hundreds of years and although ancient records refer to imported elephants and other iconic species, you won’t find any of Africa’s major land mammals here today. For the best chance of seeing Zanzibar’s smaller, rarer and in some cases, endemic species, head to Jozani Forest Reserve just south of Zanzibar Town or Ngezi Forest…

Zanzibar in August

August is the last of the slightly cooler months on Zanzibar. Hot days can still be over 30°C (86°F), but somewhere around 28°C (82°F) is more common. Sea temperatures also reach their lowest in August, although far from icy at a very reasonable 25°C (77°F). August to October is perhaps the most pleasant period on the archipelago: not too hot, not too humid and with steadily…

Stone Town

Stone Town is Zanzibar’s historic heart, a bewildering maze of streets and alleyways that form the westernmost tip of Zanzibar Town. These days the island’s bustling capital is home to some quarter of a million people, but lost in the tangle of Stone Town’s narrow streets it’s easy to imagine yourself floating back in time. Twisting passages unfurl beneath delicate balconies as…

Popular Zanzibar Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Wildebeest Migration, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar Journey (12 days)

Wildebeest Migration, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar Journey (12 days)

This blockbuster Tanzania safari will show you the best of the country's outstanding wildlife and the beach paradise of Zanzibar...

 | Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)

Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)

Your dream beach holiday awaits. Explore the coastline of Zanzibar's famed Kendwa beach paradise on this ultra-luxe tour...

 | Tanzania couples safari

Tanzania couples safari

Enjoy the wildlife of Tanzania as well as the paradise of Zanzibar...

Sea view | Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

This island getaway to Mafia, Pemba and Zanzibar is ideal for honeymoon couples or anyone looking for white beaches and lots of diving, snorkeling and other ocean activities...

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa needs the contact information you provide, to us to contact you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:


   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2