Kenya’s climate varies greatly from coast to highlands, with tropical humidity on the coast, dry heat in the savanna or semi-arid areas, and cool air in the highlands. Temperatures in these places are very consistent throughout the year, with an average of 27°C along the coast, 21°C to 27°C in the hinterland, and 19°C to 24°C in Nairobi and the highlands over 1,500 metres.
Kenya’s safari seasons
LOW (WET) SEASON – April/May and November/December
The ‘long rains’ fall during a ten-week period between April and June, and the ‘short rains’ fall over a five-week period between November and December in most sections of the country. The rain falls primarily late afternoon and evenings and is typically a brief and strong tropical rainfall.
|Lots of baby animals around||April and May are wettest months of the year|
|Green landscapes with the best light of the year for photography||More difficult to get around by vehicle|
|Accommodation is more affordable||Hot and humid on the coast|
|Less crowded with tourists||More mosquitoes|
|April and May Great time for bird-watching|
SHOULDER SEASON – June, January, February and March
The rains have finished for the most part, although some light showers are still possible, and the nights can be cool at altitude.
|Still a chance of rain||Grass can be high which can impede the viewing of wildlife|
|Cloudy, cooler weather, making for very comfortable conditions||November can be quite hot|
|Grasslands are still green||Nights can be very cooler in June, especially in the highlands.|
|Good time for bird watchers|
|Anticipation of the arrival of the great migration into the Masai Mara.|
HIGH (DRY) SEASON – July, August, September and October
July and August are winter, and highland areas north of Nairobi can get very cold at night or early in the mornings so travellers should bring some warm clothing with them.
|July, August and September are best months to see the wildebeest migration||Winter - cooler mornings and nights, particularly in highlands|
|Accommodation is more expensive||Can be very crowded with tourists|
|Need to book well in advance||Not many baby animals around|
|Sunshine and blue skies|
|Lower Malaria risk|
|Water sources are lower and animals tend to gather around water holes|
When to visit Kenya’s national parks and game reserves
One of the best times to visit Kenya is from July to September, during the country’s dry season, which also coincides with the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra. Kenya has two distinct rainy seasons. The ‘short rains’ from November to December last about five weeks, while the ‘long rains’ from March to May include frequent downpours, cloud cover, and high humidity. Although temperatures will remain warm and rains will most likely fall overnight, this is the time of year when visitor numbers are at their lowest.