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A year on Chumbe Island: Best time to visit Zanzibar

You want to know when is the best time to visit Chumbe Island? We tell you what to expect at different times of the year, bearing in mind that temperatures in the Zanzibar archipelago rarely fall below 27 degrees.

June – July – August: windy months and humpback whales

Beginning of June we usually start our new season after two months of maintenance. June, July and August are the windiest months of the year in Zanzibar. They can bring some rough seas and snorkelling conditions will not always be favorable.

Starting in July it is also the time of the year when humpback whales start to migrate and pass by our little island on a regular basis. Birdwatchers might want to mark these months in their calendars! At this time of the year (usually between July and August) the Southern islets of Chumbe welcome roseate terns for breeding. Be prepared for some stunning sunsets during these months!

Cool dry season from September to October

From September to October is the cool dry season, with many sunny days. Humpback whales may still be sighted.

Short rainy season in November and December

This is the time of the short rains, meaning that there might be a few wet days, but overall very pleasant weather. The ocean is warm at this time of the year and very calm with snorkelling conditions at their best! Particularly in November you will have excellent visibility!

January and February: Lots of sun and great snorkelling conditions

The Zanzibar high season brings hot temperatures and usually plenty of tourists on Unguja and Pemba. During these months sunshine is guaranteed and you will enjoy spending most of the time in the water. The sea is clear and conditions for snorkelling are perfect. It is also more humid and hot.

Mixed weather conditions in March

Hot weather and sunshine awaits you, interrupted by frequent rain showers. This is the start of the green season also known as the long rains. During the wet season there is usually intermittent rain and sunshine, when the rain stops and you can expect bright sunshine. The rain won’t stop you from enjoying the Coral Reef Sanctuary! The visibility at this time of the year is good, as the winds drop and the sea is very calm.

Rainy Season in April and May

These months are part of the long rainy season locally known as the green season. This is the time of the year when it is wettest in Zanzibar, meaning our rainwater harvesting tanks get filled for the rest of the year. We will be closing Chumbe Island in April this year to work on the maintenance of our eco-architecture buildings.

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