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Zanzibar in September

Africa's best authentic tailor-made safaris

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Zanzibar in September

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By Vihann Van Wyk

Safari Travel Planner

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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).

Tropical beach in Zanzibar.
Tropical beach in Zanzibar.

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 season is slowly drawing to a close.

Matemwe beach in Zanzibar
Matemwe beach in Zanzibar

With the gentling breeze, the seas of Zanzibar are also calm, and by the middle of September, the more challenging deep-water dive sites are usually accessible.

Beach hammock in the sunset, Zanzibar.
Beach hammock in the sunset, Zanzibar.

The sea starts to warm up (to around 26°C / 79°F), and September and October can produce some of the best diving conditions of the year.

Dolphins in the waters of Zanzibar.
Dolphins in the waters of Zanzibar.

September is a wonderful month all over Zanzibar, but the Mafia archipelago has something special to offer. Not only are the turtles of Juani Island still hatching, but the calmer seas allow for some incredible diving in the deeper channels.

Tropical coral reef in the waters of Zanzibar.
Tropical coral reef in the waters of Zanzibar.

Here you’ll find colossal 3-meter grouper, and for even bigger thrills, it’s the start of the annual whale shark season.

Free diver swimming with a whale shark, Zanzibar
Free diver swimming with a whale shark, Zanzibar

Above the waves, September is ideal for the beach, and all the islands’ resorts are popular at this time of year. Nungwi and Kiwengwa can get particularly busy, but it’s quieter in the less developed regions such as Matemwe and Pingwe.

Travel Tips
  • Swimming with whale sharks is one of the most astounding wildlife experiences on the planet, and these giant, gentle creatures begin to arrive off Mafia Island in September. By the end of the month, the water visibility increases – up to 25m (82ft) on the calmest days. All over Zanzibar, the diving is excellent, and the warm, sunny days make for perfect beach time too.
  • September’s major disadvantage is its popularity and unless you book well in advance, you may not get your first-choice hotel. The smaller boutiques can fill up especially fast as they’re often in the most sought-after areas, where the beaches are least busy.

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