When is a good time to travel to Kenya?

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.

Plus SymbolLots of baby animals aroundMinus SymbolApril and May are wettest months of the year
Plus SymbolGreen landscapes with the best light of the year for photographyMinus SymbolMore difficult to get around by vehicle
Plus SymbolAccommodation is more affordableMinus SymbolHot and humid on the coast
Plus SymbolLess crowded with touristsMinus SymbolMore mosquitoes
Plus SymbolApril 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.

Plus SymbolStill a chance of rainMinus SymbolGrass can be high which can impede the viewing of wildlife
Plus SymbolCloudy, cooler weather, making for very comfortable conditionsMinus SymbolNovember can be quite hot
Plus SymbolGrasslands are still greenMinus SymbolNights can be very cooler in June, especially in the highlands.
Plus SymbolGood time for bird watchers
Plus SymbolAnticipation 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.

Plus SymbolJuly, August and September are best months to see the wildebeest migrationMinus SymbolWinter - cooler mornings and nights, particularly in highlands
Plus SymbolAccommodation is more expensiveMinus SymbolCan be very crowded with tourists
Plus SymbolNeed to book well in advanceMinus SymbolNot many baby animals around
Plus SymbolSunshine and blue skies
Plus SymbolLower Malaria risk
Plus SymbolWater 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.

Green DotOrange DotYellow DotRed DotWhen to go on an African Safari
Amboseli National ParkOrange DotOrange DotOrange DotRed DotRed DotOrange DotGreen DotGreen DotGreen DotGreen DotOrange DotOrange Dot
Masai Mara Game ReserveGreen DotGreen DotGreen DotYellow DotYellow DotOrange Dotdot-light-green-388d02dot-light-green-388d02dot-light-green-388d02dot-light-green-388d02Orange DotGreen Dot
Samburu National ReserveGreen DotGreen DotGreen DotYellow DotYellow DotYellow Dotdot-light-green-388d02Green DotGreen DotGreen DotYellow DotYellow Dot
Laikipia Plateau AreaGreen DotGreen DotGreen DotYellow DotYellow DotOrange Dotdot-light-green-388d02dot-light-green-388d02dot-light-green-388d02Orange DotYellow DotOrange Dot
Aberdare National ParkGreen DotGreen DotOrange DotRed DotRed DotYellow DotGreen DotGreen DotGreen DotOrange DotYellow DotOrange Dot
East and West Tsavo National Parks
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