When to go to Kenya? What are the best months to take full advantage of this African country with its wild treasures? We explain how to choose the best time to go to Kenya, depending on the weather, cities, or national and religious holidays.
When to go to Kenya: The weather
Kenya is crossed by the equator. The sun rises between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. all year round and sets between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. It should first be noted that during the dry season, from December to March then between June and Octoberthem days are sunny with clear skies and fewer mosquitoes. During the wet season, from November to May, the rains can be heavy, but usually only last a few hours. Some lodges and camps may even be closed for part of the rainy season. However, the landscape remains magnificent and the temperature pleasant.
From January to March:
At this time of year you can enjoy a mild and pleasant climate, in addition to finding the parks in full splendor . It is the cheapest time, so it is ideal for traveling with the family or even as a couple. It is highly recommended to go during these months because you can see many animals and, although Kenya is not a country overcrowded with tourism, at these dates it is when there are the least. January and February is the best time to visit the Rift Valleyand let yourself be impressed by this natural jewel. You will find volcanoes, plains and impressive lakes, surrounded by a unique environment of this African country. In addition, you will find a great diversity of fauna in Lake Nakuru as you make your way through the savannah and the wild nature. At this time it is a good idea to go to the coast and enjoy the white sand beaches. But be careful! Kenya hooks up. You will want to stay there forever!
From March to May:
During the months of March and May, in the middle of spring, in Kenya it is the time of intense rains, but do not worry because the water will not affect your safari. In addition, you will be able to enjoy a lot of wildlife to see, and without tourist crowds! In addition, you will be able to see a totally different Africa. Can you imagine completing the green savannah? It is a unique experience!
From June to August:
The summer months, between June and August, are a very good time to go on safari and see a wide variety of animals. Also, as it coincides with school holidays, it is a good time to take a different family trip. The landscape that you will find in these months is much drier and yellower. This makes the cats look much better ! Taking advantage and visiting the northwest of Kenya at this time is sure to be right. Lake Turkana will greet you with its unique beauty and you will get to know the different ethnic groups in the area. And, if you like hiking, this area is perfect for it. You have routes for all levels, so take advantage! How many times are you going to be able to do a route like this through Africa?
From September to October:
Traveling to Kenya between the months of September and October has a great advantage: you will be able to admire the spectacle that is the Great Migration ! Wildebeest herds in the Masai Mara returning from their Serengeti trek, magical and unforgettable! In Tanzania, on the other hand, the Great Migration occurs in the months of July and August. These dates today are approximate and are not so exact due to global warming. It must be added that you will enjoy a good climate, warm and dry . So, what better time to get to know the most beautiful beaches in the country, like Shela Beach, one of the jewels in the crown. If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, Tiwi Beach is your destination. White sand and crystal clear water everywhere, whileyou relax in a lounger in the sun, surrounded by palm trees and with a drink in hand . I wish I was there now!
From November to December:
Traveling to Kenya during these months is synonymous with seeing a lot of wildlife. During this middle season there can be very occasional rains, but seeing it rain in Africa is an experience that adds up. It is a very good time not only to go on a safari but to take advantage of and enjoy the rest of the country. In addition, it is ideal for bird watching due to the arrival of migrant species. We recommend that you also go to the northwest of the country on these dates and take advantage of trying one of its hiking trails. This is also a very good time to do it!
Central Kenya: Nairobi, Laikipia…
Located at an altitude of 1660 m, Nairobi enjoys a pleasant climate all year round, with low humidity. Be careful though, in July and August, Nairobi can experience cold nights.
On the high plateaus, especially in the remote region of Laikipia, the days are hot and sunny with low humidity. The best months to go and avoid heavy rainfall as much as possible are from January to February, then from June to September.
The Masai Mara
Summer (July-August) is not the best time to travel to Kenya, and in particular the Masai Mara. This is when European school holidays are in full swing and animal migration reaches its peak. The best time to visit the Masai Mara is between October and November. The sun is still shining, the migration continues and most travelers have returned home. Another equally calm period: the months of February and March when the grass is green and the animals are lounging there.
West coast: Kericho, Lake Victoria…
Visit the beautiful mountains of Kenya on the West Coast. Kericho, the capital of tea, is a haven of peace and one of the most pleasant towns in Kenya. Covered with a beautiful mosaic of tea plantations, Kericho has a pleasant climate, but with significant rainfall, especially during the wet season, from November to May, (an important thing for producing tea!). Average daytime temperatures are above 20°C in both summer and winter. Nights are a little cooler in the hills, with an average of 20°C in summer and 10°C in winter.
The basin of Lake Victoria has a hot and very humid climate. The region has practically no dry season, but the rains are less present in January and February.
East coast: Tsavo, Mombasa, Lamu.
If you want to visit the national park of Tsavo East and Tsavo West, prefer the period from June to October and from January to February, when the conditions in the park are favorable for the observation of wildlife. At other times of the year, conditions will be more difficult. This is especially the case during the rainy season (November, April and May). The vegetation at this time is denser and the animals scattered, which makes them more difficult to observe.
To enjoy the beaches of Mombasa, it is best to visit during the months of October, January, February and March. The water is clear and the air temperature not too hot: ideal for diving or snorkeling. From early May to August, the region experiences “the Kusi”, a violent wind that blows and makes the sea rough.
Finally, Lamu Island experiences a long rainy season between April and May. The best would be to go there between January and March.
For game drives
When to go to Kenya to do a safari ? Nothing better than the dry season: Animals are present and visible in the grass and around water points. However, it can get crowded. If you prefer to go in low season, to avoid the crowds, choose the wet season. The air is fresh, the vegetation magnificent, and animal births generally take place at this time, even if most of the animals are sometimes hidden. Everything is therefore a question of compromise. It’s up to you to make your choice according to your priorities.
When to go to Kenya: National and religious holidays
In addition to the weather, a country’s holidays can have an impact on your stay. To know when to go to Kenya, try to take into account the holidays. For example, it is interesting to go to Kenya during the Madaraka Day which takes place on 1er June. On this occasion, in Nairobi in particular, one can attend a majestic parade highlighting police forces, soldiers, nurses, workers, schoolchildren, scouts… This celebration goes hand in hand with the Jamhuri DayDecember 12, which celebrates the independence of Kenya and which results in popular demonstrations, parades, parades…
Conversely, during the month of Ramadan (the month before Eid al-Fitr), activity can be slow in Kenya, with businesses closed at times.
How about discovering Kenya like a local?
Want to experience Kenya like a local? Visit unusual places devoid of the tourist bustle? The Club Mandalay offers stays off the beaten track in Kenya and even invites you to create your tailor-made trip!