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Zanzibar in March

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Zanzibar in March

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By Vihann Van Wyk

Safari Travel Planner

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Zanzibar’s main rainy season begins in March, but the first heavy downpours may only arrive mid-month. Until they do, the archipelago remains at its hottest and most humid as the summer winds subside and the beaches bake in the sun. 

Tropical beach in Zanzibar
Tropical beach in Zanzibar

Daily highs reach over 35°C (95°F) before the monsoon hits, bringing some relief. Early March is prime beach holiday time across the islands, but the towering thunderheads signal the low season, and a number of hotels and resorts close.

Beach in Zanzibar.
Beach in Zanzibar.

Overall, however, March weather is difficult to predict. Some years the rains come early or late, and even once they begin, there can be some very fine days in between.

Red colobus monkey in the trees of Zanzibar rain forest
Red colobus monkey in the trees of Zanzibar rain forest

March’s unpredictable weather extends across Zanzibar, and throughout the islands, it can be fine and hot or pouring. As the rains arrive, the prevailing northeaster dies completely; March is the least windy month anywhere on the islands. 

Mafia Island, Zanzibar.
Mafia Island, Zanzibar.

Many visitors avoid Zanzibar in March, but on good days the glassy seas are wonderful for diving and snorkeling, with excellent visibility and few other visitors on the reefs.

Tropical beach in Zanzibar.
Tropical beach in Zanzibar.

West-facing resorts are treated to simply incredible sunsets as vast banks of clouds glow pink and purple over the sea.

Travel Tips
  • March is the start of pineapple season in Zanzibar, with pineapples so sweet you may wonder if you’ve ever tasted one before. Although some hotels and resorts in Zanzibar close, many others offer discounts, and March to May are the best months for deals. Glassy seas and spectacular sunsets are the rewards for those who travel to Zanzibar in the low season. Afternoon storms can be heavy, but most mornings are clear, and you’re more likely to find a piece of paradise all to yourself.
  • Some hotels and lodges close from March to May, so your preferred Zanzibar accommodation may not be available. The rains themselves put many people off, which is ideal if you’re after solitude, but a definite drawback if you’re not. March is undoubtedly the worst month for wind sports in Zanzibar. If that’s what you’re after, avoid this time of year.

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Copyright © Discover Africa Safaris | Zanzibar in March | Last Updated: 29 September 2023