Zanzibar in November

Zanzibar's lure lies in its rich cultural tapestry

November is the month of the ‘short rains’ in Zanzibar, a brief period of sporadic storms that may begin as early as mid-October and ease off during December. These short rains rains are generally much lighter than the main wet season (from March to May), but consecutive days can be cloudy, and good beach tanning time is not guaranteed. That said, November mornings are still quite often clear, there’s very little wind and there can be some very fine days too. Throughout the month temperatures continue to rise, with nights around 22°C (72°F) and daily highs above 30°C (86°F). Although sudden storms can hit unpredictably, the otherwise light winds can produce some wonderfully glassy seas. By the end of November sea temperatures are up to 29°C (84°F) and there’s great diving and snorkelling to be had, at the risk of a few squalls.

Visiting Zanzibar in November is not usually recommended, but if you find a good deal it can still be well worth the trip. You may find yourself caught indoors now and then, but the storms rarely last long and can be beautiful over the sea. As the rains ease off, the north-eastern ‘kaskasi’ picks up, but rarely exceeds a light breeze this early in the season. Even so the flattest seas are generally to the south – Ras Kizimkazi’s dolphin-spotting boat tours are ideal at this time of year. There’s good diving to be had all over Zanzibar in November, but again the calmest water and best visibility is off the southern shores. Mafia too can receive some rain in November, but it’s still possible to swim with whale sharks and enjoy some of the best diving in the archipelago.

Travel tips

  • November’s highlights include glassy southern seas, great diving conditions just about everywhere, and attractive deals at some hotels and resorts. November is one of Zanzibar’s least busy months – a pro or a con, depending on what you’re looking for.

  • The main risk in November is the unpredictable weather and although it’s generally warm and still, there’ll be some rain and a number of cloudy days. It’s certainly not Zanzibar’s best month for tanning, though you don’t necessarily need sunshine to swim in a 29°C (84°F) sea.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)

day 1 to 7

Welcome to Paradise
  • Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)
  • Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)
  • Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)
  • Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)
  • Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)
  • Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)

day 8

End of Journey

View Full Itinerary

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...

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...

 | 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...



You might also like

Family holiday in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is simply fantastic for families. It’s safe, laid back and there’s plenty for kids to do. Once you arrive the transfers are quick and easy – just a few minutes to your hotel in Stone Town or at most an hour and a half to the furthest beach resort. There are hotels and resorts all over the archipelago that cater specifically for families with kids. You’ll find…

Affordable Zanzibar Holiday

Credit: Zuri Zanzibar Hotel There are friendly, well-run, mid-range resorts scattered all across Zanzibar. And as with the more budget-friendly accommodation, you’ll find the most choice in Stone Town, Nungwi and Paje/Jambiani. All three areas have a good selection of mid-range options, from larger resort-style hotels to laid-back, beach-chic bungalows. If you don’t fancy relying on…

Zanzibar in December

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 northern…

Bwejuu, Paje & Jambiani

The 10km beach between Bwejuu and Jambiani Village starts relaxed and low key north of Bwejuu, swells with backpackers and kite surfers in Paje, then tapers off gradually into equally understated Jambiani. There’s plenty of excellent midrange and budget accommodation available, though only a handful of resorts that would qualify as exclusive. This stretch of coastline attracts…

Zanzibar in June

June marks the start of Zanzibar’s long dry season, and June itself is often the sunniest, driest month of the year. Daytime temperatures are warm, averaging around 28°C (82°F), with pleasant nights (c. 20°C / 68°F) and generally low humidity. By the middle of June, the southern ‘kusi’ wind is in full flow, a fresh, steady breeze that can blow hard up the eastern coasts. Wind…

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…

Ras Kizimkazi

A rarely visited corner of southwestern Zanzibar, Ras Kizimkazi offers a handful of quiet, laid-back lodges, plus a pinch of the ultra-exclusive. The region’s two small villages lie a few kilometres apart, Kizimkazi Dimbani is on the southernmost tip of the island and the busier Kizimkazi Mkunguni is up the coast to the northwest. Most of the region’s tourism revolves around dolphin…

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2