Best time to visit Kenya
Kenya is a country which you can visit all year if you wish, though most people tend to avoid the long rains in the months of April and May. As for when the best time is to visit, well that is dependant on your reason for coming, and hopefully the information below will help you decide.
On the whole though, if wildlife is your main reason for visiting Kenya, the peak dry season months of July to October is the very best time, not least because this is when the wildebeest migration is in the Masai Mara.
Dry seasons in Kenya
(December to mid-March, and June to October.)
- The dry season tend to start around the start to mid-December and lasts until the long rains come in about mid-March. These are the hotter months, with average temperatures around the mid-20s during the day (though it can be much hotter in the north, eg Samburu and also on the coast).
- In June the land starts drying out again, and grasses slowly die back making wildlife viewing easier again.
- From July to October it's dry again but cooler than previously with average temperatures closer to 20°c and cool mornings and evenings - you'll need to dress in layers. This is peak season, both in terms of visitors and prices.
- The wildebeest migration arrives in the Masai Mara around July and stays until roughly the end of October.
Rainy seasons in Kenya
Short rains (November)
- The short rains come usually mid-November (though can be earlier) and can last into early or mid-December.
- These rains are lighter than the long rains, and it doesn't tend to rain all day, but rather there are sharp showers once a day, and not every day.
- Most people find that short rains don't badly affect their stay and when it's not raining it is still lovely and warm.
- The months of November to March are popular winter sun months even though some rain is to be expected in November and possibly December.
Long rains(Mid-March to May).
- The long rains generally start any time from about mid-March, though April and May get most of the rain.
- Some lodges and camps close in the long rains, though the ones that remain open offer some very good prices.
- Road travel in the long rains can be difficult at times on untarred roads in reserves especially.
- Wildlife viewing in the long rains is rarely as good as in the dry season, though you can still see wildlife and there are few people here so it's quiet.
- Birdwatching is particularly good from about October to April when migratory birds are in Kenya.
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High season: July to October, mid-December to mid-March.
Shoulder season: June, November to early December.
Low season: (Mid-March) April, May.
Kenya climate chart
when to go to Kenya