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Climate

Zanzibar is a few degrees south of the equator and enjoys a tropical climate that is largely dominated by the Indian Ocean monsoons. The kasikazi winds are from the north and occur in the winter months bringing the short rains. The long rains, known as mwaka, arrive in March and last until late May or June.

January through March is generally hot and dry with little rainfall.

April through June is wet because of the long rains which start to taper off in May.

July through October are ideal months for visiting Zanzibar because the average temperature is 25 C, the air is dry and breezy and there is little rainfall.

November and December are when the short rains appear.

Average rainfall in Zanzibar is about 165 cm (65 inches) and the average temperature is 26 C (79 F).

The name Zanzibar came from a combination of two Arabic words, ‘Zinj’, meaning black, and ‘barr’, being the Arabic word for land, the result meaning ‘Land of the Blacks’.