Zanzibar in January

Climate

January marks the start of the short dry season in Zanzibar, a period of relatively hot, humid weather that builds gradually from late December and runs through to the beginning of March. Average temperatures remain fairly constant throughout the year, but January is one of the hotter months, with daytime highs regularly up to 35°C (95°F). Although generally sunny, there may still be the occasional afternoon thunderstorm. These clear quickly however, and won’t disrupt your beach time too much. With sea temperatures of up to 30°C (86°F), they’re unlikely to put you off swimming either, but expect a few blustery days as the north-eastern ‘kaskazi’ wind blows.

Best regions in January

The north-eastern kaskasi is a major factor in choosing where to holiday in January. Beaches along Zanzibar’s north and east coasts bear the brunt of the wind – a steady, stiff breeze that’s usually between 20 and 30 km/h (11-17 knots). Wind and waves can also wash seaweed onto the eastern beaches although many resorts make a point of clearing the bathing areas in front of their properties. If you’re a kite surfer all this is great, of course, and the stable, moderate winds are also ideal for beginners. Paje in particular is very popular at this time of year, as is Kiwengwa, although it’s a bit more low-key. If you’re looking for a something more sheltered, then try Kendwa or Ras Kizimkazi. Day trips to the west coast atolls of Chumbe and Prison Island are also ideal at this time of year.

A view of Prison Island

Highlights and disadvantages of visiting Zanzibar in January

Highlights: January is mango season across Zanzibar and the markets are full of fresh, ripe fruit. It also marks the end of the clove harvest in Pemba, with fragrant piles of the islands’ main export drying in the sun. January is prime time for swimming with whale sharks off Mafia Island and the visibility is at its best over the coral gardens of Chole Bay.

Disadvantages: Kitesurfing aside, January’s only real disadvantage is the kaskasi wind, which although rarely so strong as to be unpleasant, can nevertheless blow seaweed onto the eastern beaches and erode the sand along the north-eastern coast. The seas may also be too rough for some off-shore dive sites, but there are always other options along the more sheltered west.


Our Recommended Itinerary

The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 1

Nairobi, your arrival
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 2

Early flight into Amboseli
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 3

Amboseli elephant and views of Kilimanjaro
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 4

Into the Masai Mara
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 5

The Mara confluence and paradise plains
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 6

Find the migration

Jun

Jul

Western corridor and Grumeti River

Jul

Oct

Kogatende and the Mara River


day 7

and stay with them

Jun

Jul

Western corridor and Grumeti River

Jul

Oct

Kogatende and the Mara River


day 8

Dunia's big cats
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 9

Make sure you find leopard
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 10

Hot air ballooning and your flight to Rwanda
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 11

Genocide memorial and onwards to Volcanoes
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 12

Your time with the Gorillas
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)
  • The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

day 13

Fly home

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Kiwenga and Pongwe

Region explained The sleepy village of Kiwengwa lies on Zanzibar Island’s north-eastern coast, roughly half way between Nungwi and Chwaka. Large, all-inclusive hotels and stylish upmarket lodges dot Kiwengwa’s long, immaculate beach, which runs nearly unbroken all the way north to Matemwe. A few breezy kilometres to the south, the even sleepier Pongwe supports around a dozen, mostly…

Zanzibar in April

Climate 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 breeze…

Matemwe

Region explained Matemwe, and neighbouring Kigomani, are the northern-most villages on Zanzibar’s east coast. A quiet fishing community under gently swaying palms, Matemwe village lies half concealed behind a modest line of beachfront resorts, which range from simple cottages to plush private villas. An excellent beach spills into a narrow, sheltered lagoon where dhows and outriggers…

Zanzibar in September

Climate If August is a great time to be on Zanzibar, then September just gets better. It’s one of the sunniest, driest months across the islands, with average daytime temperatures gradually climbing over 30°C (86°F). The southern ‘kusi’ wind has blown steadily since May, but now eases back to a cooling breeze. In Paje some kitesurfing is still possible until October, but the…

Zanzibar in December

Climate Early December can see showers across Zanzibar, becoming more sporadic as the month goes by. Temperatures throughout the islands gradually climb and hot days can peak around 35°C (95°F). December’s prevailing wind is the north-eastern ‘kaskasi,’ which gets increasingly fresh along the islands’ east coasts. As the northern wind builds it whips up the sea and the exposed…

Highlights of Zanzibar

It’s impossible to soak in everything Zanzibar has to offer without maxing out your visa and staying the full three months. The main Zanzibar Island itself is already more than can be explored on the average summer holiday, and Pemba and Mafia are wonderful destinations in their own right. With its superb diving, myriad islands and inlets, rich cultural history, delicious seafood and…

Popular Zanzibar Safaris

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

 | Tanzania honeymoon safari

Tanzania honeymoon safari

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

Sea view | 3 Indian Ocean Islands (EA 11 days)

3 Indian Ocean islands 

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 Group needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy.

Submitting your inquiry

Oops something went wrong.

We couldn't save your enquiry, sorry for that.

Please sent us an email on: info@discoverafrica.com

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:

 +27 21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2