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Tanzania/Rwanda timing - last two weeks of Jan or Late Feb/Early March?

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Jul 15th, 2009, 08:37 AM
  #1
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Tanzania/Rwanda timing - last two weeks of Jan or Late Feb/Early March?

Looking to rebook after canceling last year due to the economy. Not sure our economic circumstances are any different, but we're one year older and decided we're just going to do this!

We will be in Africa for 7 or 8 weeks - likely 3 or 4 weeks in South Africa (Capetown area and traveling) and a safari in Tanzania, plus Gorilla Trek and maybe a few days in Zanzibar.

I am looking for advice as to the timing of our Tanzania/Rwanda portion - could do it first (mid-January for approx 18 days) or last (late February and first week of March). In each case we would do the Rwanda portion first.

Thanks for any advice!
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Jul 15th, 2009, 09:30 AM
  #2
TC
 
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Hi Elizabeth, I can't speak from experience for all parts of Tanzania, but we will be in Southern Tanzania the first part of January next year and I've been told that its a very good time. It is supposed to be the best time for birding in area and quite good shoulder weather. We have been to Northern Tanzania in January on a previous trip and the weather was spectacular. The short rains had already come making for a bit of green, but the long rains held off so the days were clear and clean and the evenings were very comfortable for sleeping. Are you going North or South? I'm guessing south, if you are then on to Zanzibar. Maybe we'll bump into each other. Cheers
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Jul 15th, 2009, 09:41 AM
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Hi TC - thanks for your advice - I should have been clearer about our Tanzania itinerary - roughly as follows

- Arusha
-Tarangire
- Manyara
- Ngoronogoro
- Serengeti


And then onto Zanzibar.............
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Jul 15th, 2009, 01:50 PM
  #4
TC
 
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That is the round that we did a few years ago. The weather was outstanding in January that year. Seemed like we saw newborns at every turn in the road -- elephants galore in Tarangire. Wasn't too impressed with Arusha and thought Ngorongoro was a bit too crowded and felt a little contrived with all the drivers radioing back and forth with spottings. However, the setting is breathtaking there. I do think the later you wait, the more likely you are to hit rain. Guess we won't bump into each other after all, but do enjoy.
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Jul 15th, 2009, 02:33 PM
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Never any guarantee when the rains will start - Apr/May - are the expected times, but can start earlier. There's often even rain during the dry season. Whether it will or not, who knows, but rarely full-days, rather showers and then totally beautiful. The rains also make everything green... so rain can be good.

However, end-February is still good. In fact, the migration should be in the southeast Serengeti and/or Ndutu area where the wildies are "calving" their young.

Jan - early/Mar is summer in East Africa so while the mainland temps can be quite high, nights and mornings are pleasantly cooler (jacket still needed). On Zanzibar, expect heat, heat and more heat (often 100-degrees) and humidity almost as high! Nighttime temps don't drop much.

If doing Rwanda, Tanzania and then Zanzibar for R&R, it makes sense to visit South Africa first. SA though will be in their winter!
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Jul 15th, 2009, 08:34 PM
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Weather seems to be less predicatable than it ever was, but I'd avoid anything near March for Rwanda.

Late Jan, Feb should be good.

7-8 weeks is fantastic.
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Jul 15th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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http://www.africaguide.com/country/rwanda/info.htm

Here's a temp and rain chart for Rwanda.
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Jul 16th, 2009, 04:15 AM
  #8
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Thanks everyone - I'm going to try to do the Tanzania/Rwanda portion first - hope Delta's schedule agrees!

Zanzibar might be too hot for us - going to think about that.

But re SA - I believe it's summer there too, isn't it?
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Jul 16th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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Sorry, I turned the world upside down!
Shame on me!
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