When is the best time to visit Kenya? 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.
The rainy seasons (April-May and November) are also good times to travel, as there are fewer visitors and you can admire the striking emerald vegetation. December in particular is a great time to travel to Kenya, since the rains are short and you have the chance to see newborn animals and migratory bird species. Only the peak of the ‘long rains’ in March, April and May are very wet.
Located near to the equator in southern Kenya, the Masai Mara is warm year-round, with higher temperatures from October to March and slightly cooler weather from June to August. There are two rainy seasons: March to May (known as the “long rains”) – April being the wettest month – and November to December (known as the “short rains”). The months of June to October are the driest in the year.
Weather wise, the best time to visit the Masai Mara is from June to October for the low rainfall and comfortable day time temperatures, although wildlife viewing is good in the park all through the year.
From January to March (Lion Season)
The lion season falls when most big plain game wildlife like the wildebeest, zebras are giving birth to their young ones. Along with the overwhelming numbers of newborn calves come the predators. Masai Mara host to one of the highest concentrations of lions in Africa. There is no rain during this season.
From April to June (Green Season)
Early spring is a particularly magnificent period in Masai Mara. These are the months that typically receive the largest amounts of rainfall. The savannah becomes clear, free of dust and haze making Africa’s stunning landscapes look at their absolute best. Is is still the time on new-borns. This is also the best time for bird watching when migrant birds arrive in their thousands. The beautiful blooming trees and flowers create ideal shelter and food for a variety of birds. There are also fewer visitors compared to peak periods.
From July to September (Migration Season)
From the end of June onwards, the Mara gets dotted with the migrant wildlife. This is the best time for witnessing the Great Migration.
From October to December (Wildlife Season)
From mid-October to December, the herds pick up the pace as the short rains lure them southwards. The grass on the Mara plains are short due to the constant grazing by the large herds of zebra and wildebeest. As the rains decrease and the grass begins to dry up, the wildebeest head south in search of greener pasture.
Maximum day temperatures in Samburu can be hot, ranging from 84 F (29 C) to 90 F (32 C) degrees, and nighttime lows swing from 61 F (16 C) and 66 F (19 C) degrees. As the sun sets, temperatures drop, so bringing a fleece or sweater for the night is a good idea.
Wildlife experiences vary during the dry and rainy seasons, with sunny, blue skies with almost no rain. The long dry season from July to October is the best time to visit Samburu Reserve. Water sources are limited due to the absence of rainfall, so the animals congregate along the Ewaso River to drink and feed. Vegetation is limited, making wildlife easier to locate and observe.
The short rains arrive by late October into November and December and road conditions may be less than optimal. The short dry season in January and February is followed by the long rains from end of March through May, dusting off by middle of June. Sometimes, rainfall is limited to short afternoon and evening showers. Road conditions migth be challenging in April or May.
For the finest birdwatching, visit Samburu from October to April when resident avi-fauna are joined by migratory species.
Temperatures vary during the year from the daytime highs of 71 F (22 C) in the cooler months to 90 (32 C) in the hotter humid months to nighttime lows of 50 F (10 C) to 57 (14 C) degrees. It tends to be cooler in the highlands, especially in the evenings through early mornings. Southern Laikipia is much cooler being closer to Nanyuki compared to Northern Laikipia where you are bordering the Northern Frontier District. Bringing a jumper for the night is a good idea.
Like other locations in Kenya, Laikipia experiences two dry seasons and two rainy seasons. The long, cool-dry season occurs from July to October, and the short, hot-dry season occurs in January and February. During these times, water sources are quite limited, so wildlife are easily found gathered near or around the last remaining water sources. The conservancies in Laikipia have many wetlands that attract yet disperse an abundance of animals during the short rains in November and December, as well as the long rains from April to June.
During the long rainy season the landscape is transformed by the increased moisture. Lush grasslands and the arrival of newborn animals, especially antelopes, make this time of year perfect for an intimate and riveting bush holiday at Laikipia. Bird lovers should visit from October to April when migratory species arrive at Laikipia from as far as Europe and Russia. When there is little rainfall, the moisture evaporates quickly because Laikipia is located near the equator where it is normally warmer. More significant rainfall, though, makes the roads muddy and somewhat difficult to navigate.
As with other areas in Eastern Africa, the Kenyan Coast has two rainy seasons, the longest of which is in April and May, and dusting off in June, during which time you can expect heavy rain in the afternoon, but it does not rain all day nor every day of the week. You have hours of sunshine, overcast and also few days of “rain-break”, thanks to Kenya being positioned right on the equator. The rains are followed by the long dry season from July through October, which is the best time to visit as the sky has few, if any, clouds, and sunshine is abundant. The short rains in Mombasa begin in November and last until the end of December when the shorter hot-dry season begins.
Average temperatures vary only slightly over the course of the year, with January and February with parts of March being the warmest month averaging 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) during the day and the coolest months being June, July and August with an average day temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). The water temperatures are quite comfortable even during the cooler months. Humidity levels can be quite high.
For scuba divers and snorkelers, October to March is the best time to explore the marine life of Kenya.
Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast is generally humid and hot all year round with Mombasa’s annual daytime temperatures averaging between 27 and 31°C. There is the chance of rain on the coast throughout the year though it’s wettest and hottest during the mid-March to late May rainy season. It is best to avoid the coast at this time.
October to January (especially November) is usually considered the best time to visit Kenya’s beaches as these months offer the best conditions for diving and snorkelling. If you want an opportunity to see and swim with whale sharks, then visit the Kenya coast between October and April – the best whale shark sightings occur between January and March.
Tsavo West is best visited in the dry months from June to October and January to February. Although the park can be visited any time of year, wildlife viewing during the height of the Wet season (November, April and May) is not recommended. In the wet months animals tend to spread out due to the abundance of water.
The weather in Amboseli national park is moderate and pleasant throughout the year with hot and wet climatic conditions. The Amboseli national park weather like any other part of Kenya is hot and dry. The temperatures per day are average around 28 degrees Celsius during the day and 15 degrees Celsius during night time.