Zanzibar in July

This time of the year finds the scent of drying cloves hanging in the air to lend a sweet smell to the island

July is generally dry and warm across Zanzibar, with daytime temperatures averaging around 28°C (82°F). This is about as cool as the islands get throughout the year, but even so the nights rarely dip below 18°C (64°F). The surrounding seas are also at their coldest in July and August, but sea temperatures of 25°C (77°F) are still the norm and the shallow lagoons often feel even warmer. July is Zanzibar’s windiest month, with a more or less constant, stiff breeze blowing from the south. This southern ‘kusi’ wind can get up to 35 km/h (18 knots), but is far more gentle on the islands’ leeward sides.

When the kusi blows from the south, Zanzibar’s north-facing resorts are the most sheltered, so head to Nungwi and Kendwa if you’re after the calmest diving and beach conditions. Elsewhere across the islands you can expect a light to moderate breeze daily, except on Zanzibar Island’s east coast where’s there’s an ever-present stiff wind. July is arguably the best month for wind sports in Paje and you’ll find the beach and lagoon full of swishing, leaping kite surfers. Across the islands, but on Pemba in particular, July is also the start of the clove harvest season, and the scent of cloves is everywhere as they lie in piles in the sun. But perhaps the best place to be on Zanzibar is Stone Town where the unmissable Festival of the Dhow Countries takes over the Old Fort district for the first two weeks of July each year.

Travel tips

  • Two of Zanzibar’s most vibrant cultural festivals take place in July: Stone Town’s Festival of the Dhow Countries (organised by ZIFF, the Zanzibar International Film Festival), which is held over two lively weeks at the beginning of the month and, at the end of the month, the Mwaka Kogwa festival which takes place in the southern village of Makunduchi. The Festival of the Dhow Countries has grown and grown in recent years into perhaps the largest cultural festival in East Africa. Incorporating music, film and dance from all over Africa and Asia, it’s a reason all on its own to visit Zanzibar in July. Mwaka Kogwa is much smaller, but no less energetic, an originally Persian new year festival that includes plenty of dancing, singing and even some mock fights, and attracts locals and foreigners from across the islands.

  • July is a busy month on Zanzibar and you’ll need to book your accommodation well in advance. This is true all over the archipelago, but especially if you’re staying in Stone Town while the Festival of the Dhow Countries is on. July is also not an ideal time for diving. The protected northern reefs are usually unaffected, but the open water sites may be too windy and rough.


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

Zanzibar in January

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…

Pingwe, Dongwe & The Michamvi Peninsula

The Michamvi Peninsula just north from Chwaka Bay, a narrow, thumb-like headland that boasts some of Zanzibar Island’s most exclusive hotels and resorts. The north-western tip has the added advantage of being the only true sundowner spot along the east coast, with a kilometre and a half of pristine west-facing beachfront and magnificent views across Chwaka Bay. Most of the…

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…

Solo holiday in Zanzibar

Travelling on your own presents some special challenges. Will you be safe? Will you get lonely? Will you be able to make the most of the activities on offer? Then there are all those varying priorities – a comfortable hammock and a good book for a week, or immersion in the local culture, great food, perhaps the chance to meet like minded people? Zanzibar caters to all kinds of solo…

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…

Pemba Island

Credit: alchetron.com About 50km northeast of Zanzibar Island (more accurately, ‘Unguja’) lies the archipelago’s second largest landmass, Pemba. Pemba has forever been Zanzibar’s most green and fertile isle, and most of the cloves for which Zanzibar is famous are grown here. The annual harvest runs from July to January when the scent of drying cloves lingers on every passing…

Popular Zanzibar Safaris

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

 | Tanzania couples safari

Tanzania couples safari

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

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...

 | 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...

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:

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