Best Time to Visit Kenya

What is the climate like in Kenya?

The climatic conditions in Kenya differ depending on the altitude. In the East African state, it is warm year-round with average temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius. Thus, the climate in Kenya is divided into two zones: the climate of the highlands and the climate of the coast. The highlands are located in the middle, west and coast in the east of Kenya. In northern Kenya, other climatic conditions prevail. Due to the amount of precipitation climate researchers have distinguished between a dry season and a rainy season in Kenya. You can read more detail about the climate in Kenya just below. On the basis of climate tables just below, I will show you when is the best time to visit Kenya. In the article I will distinguish between Kenya’s highlands, the coastal region and the north. Get all the information you need now and get going to Kenya at the best possible time!

 

When is the best time to visit Kenya?

The best time to visit Kenya is the dry season between mid-December and mid-March. This is also the high season for travel in Kenya. If you want to escape this busy period and travel cheaply to the East African country, the months of June to October are great as well. During this time, the temperatures are not as high as in the winter months, but the probability of rain is very low. During the rainy season, you can travel much cheaper to Kenya. However, it could happen that the showers might have an impact on your tours. In heavy rain, some roads may be impassable. In addition, the animals are looking for protection from the rain, so you may not see them on your safari tours. On the coast of Kenya, apart from the rainy months April to May, when it can get uncomfortably humid, a holiday is possible year-round. Learn more below!!

Zebra running across the plains of kenya

 

Best Travel Time for Nairobi and the Highlands

Best Travel Time Nairobi: Mid December-Mid March & June-October

Kenya’s capital Nairobi is the first port of call for holidaymakers looking to explore inland. Another reason for this is that this is where the international airport is. If you want to spend your holidays in central or western Kenya, go on safari tours and discover the country, the best time to travel is between mid-December and mid-March. At temperatures of 25-28 degrees Celsius a day and with a relatively low rain probability, it is consistently dry in the highlands. As this season is the most popular for a Kenyan holiday, the prices for flights and hotels are slightly more expensive. In addition, there are more tourists in the country. An alternative travel time is from June to October. Here it is not as warm as in the winter months, but there is little rainfall so that the dry weather creates optimal conditions for exploration. A special highlight of this time is the wildebeest migration, which attracts many tourists to Kenya and neighbouring Tanzania.

Climate data for Kenya’s Highlands (Nairobi)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in °C 27 28 28 26 25 24 23 23 26 27 25 25
Min. Temperature in °C 13 20 21 20 19 18 17 17 19 20 19 19
Hours of Sunshine 9 9 9 7 8 5 4 4 6 7 7 8
Rainy Days per month 4 4 7 12 10 4 2 2 3 6 13 6

The climate in the highlands of Kenya

In the highlands of  Kenya, the rainy season is divided into two sections. Average precipitation is available from the end of March to May and from the end of October to mid-December. These two periods represent the rainy season in central and western Kenya. The precipitation is characterized by short but violent showers in the afternoon, evening or at night. The warmest months are January and February with maximum temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius. The dry season between July and August is also the coldest season in Kenya’s highlands with values between 21-22 degrees Celsius a day. At night, it cools down to 10 degrees Celsius. In the highlands, the climate is drier compared to the coastal region.

 

 

Kenyan man walking along the coastline

 

The Best Time to go to Mombasa (Indian Ocean Coast)

Best time to visit Mombasa: December-March & June-September

In the east, Kenya borders with its coast on the Indian Ocean. Here you can have a wonderful beach holiday all year round. The only two months that do not provide optimal weather conditions are the months of April and May. They represent the first rainy season on the coast of Kenya and are the rainiest months. With ten to 14 rainy days a month and temperatures of around 32 degrees Celsius, the weather is sometimes uncomfortably humid. The second rainy season between October and November is not the best time to travel to Kenya’s coast but is more suitable than the first rainy season. All other months of the year are blessed with blazing sun and daytime temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius. Thus, the best time to travel to Kenya’s coast in the east of the country is between December and March and between June and September. The prevailing trade wind brings a wonderful breeze so that the hot temperatures are very tolerable. In addition, you can not only take a swim in the ocean’s wonderful water, but you can also try water sports such as kiting and surfing.

Climate Data for Kenya’s Coast (Mombasa)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in °C 33 34 34 33 31 29 29 29 30 31 32 33
Min. Temperature in °C 22 23 23 23 22 20 19 19 20 21 22 22
Hours of Sunshine per day 9 9 9 8 7 7 7 8 8 9 9 8
Water Temperatures in °C 27 28 28 28 28 27 25 25 27 27 27 27
Rainy Days per month 3 1 5 10 14 10 10 8 9 9 8 7

The climate of the coastal region of Kenya

The climate on the coast of Kenya is characterized by the Indian Ocean. Temperatures and precipitation are higher in the east of the country than in the highlands. In the driest and warmest months of January and February, temperatures along the coast are 33 degrees Celsius. In the other dry phase between July and August, you can expect about 29 degrees Celsius on the coast. At night, the thermometer rarely drops below 20 degrees Celsius. The rainy season on the coast is from April to May and from October to November. The rainfall in the autumn months is much lower than in the spring, in which it can be uncomfortably humid.

 

 

The best travel time for Kenya’s north

In northern Kenya, it is warmer on average than in the other regions. The climate is sunny and dry all year round. Temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius in the hottest month of February at noon. In the border regions in the north at the lower altitudes in the inland, you can find comparable temperatures. If you do a Kenya tour, you can do the Samburu in the north, the Nilotic people, visit and observe their cattle herds. Other impressive parks in the north are the Buffalo Springs and Shaba areas. Since the climate in Kenya’s north is warm year round and with little rainfall, every month of the year is suitable for a holiday. Those who do not tolerate the dry heat well should avoid the hot months of February, September and October. Here the thermometer likes to reach the 35-degree mark during the day.

My conclusion on the best travel time for Kenya

In Kenya, it is warm year round. Therefore, the East African state is perfect for a holiday every month. The dry season in Kenya offers better weather conditions. In the months of  December to March and June to October, there is hardly any precipitation, so this time is best for a Kenya round trip. Depending on the altitude, other climatic conditions prevail in Kenya. If you want to relax on the beach, you can do it all year round on Kenya’s East Coast. Only the months of April and May are less suitable for this because it rains more frequently and is humid. The optimal travel time for a holiday in the highlands of Kenya such as in the capital Nairobi is from mid-December to mid-March. This is also the main tourist season in Kenya. Out of season is the best time to go to Kenya from June to October. Here it is less warm than in winter, and there is an optimal weather with little rainfall, which makes a great holiday possible.