When to visit Kenya

Africa brings many colours to life, but Kenya's deep orange sunsets, shimmering blue coastline, desert landscapes and incredible wildlife are the hues you've been dreaming of. If you're wondering when to visit Kenya, the answer is always. But there's a perfect time for everything depending on which adventure you seek upon the country's glorious soil.

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Best time to visit Kenya

The beauty of Kenya is you can visit throughout the year. If you're hoping to do something specific, certain seasons or times of year are better to make sure you can enjoy that activity, but for the most part, every month in Kenya is magical. 

For beach lovers
Soft white sand and sparkling blue waters are one of the best things about Kenya, there are kilometres of spectacular coastline just waiting to be explored.
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For wildlife lovers
Kenya is no stranger to the animal kingdom. Many creatures call this part of the world their home and the open plains of Kenya's Masai Mara become the stomping grounds of the annual Great Migration.
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To explore metropolitan life
Nothing tops a sunset over the ocean, but as the blue sky over Kenya turns into an assortment of shades, Kenya's sweeping cityscapes are a good canvas and the perfect way to end a day of urban adventures.
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Did you know?

Pro tip for budget travellers
Kenya's safari destinations and beach resorts make it a popular choice among travellers hoping to visit Africa, but if you love a good deal or have a budget, don't let that put you off. The cheapest time to fly to Kenya is from March-June and September-November; the rest of the year is peak season for tourists. If you are flying in peak season, another way to score a good deal from the USA and Canada is to book a separate ticket to Europe and fly to Kenya from there. For Australia and New Zealand look for similar options from other regions. 
Pro tip for families
For families and travellers who are worried about malaria, visit during the dry season from June to December or January to February. Malaria epidemics are more common during the rainy season.

Best month to visit Kenya

Best time for activities

camels riding at the beach

Best time to visit the beaches

Kenya is the perfect setting for a beachside getaway for most of the year! Thanks to the sun shining down on the coastline consistently, the sand and sea are usually warm.

Best time to visit Kenya's beaches
  1. January: Pair rainfall that only lasts for an average of four days, with sea temperatures of 29°C (84°F), January is a great month to work on your tan and take a dip. 
  2. February: The probability of rain in February is low (an average of two days), and the sea temperatures hover at 29°C (84°F). 
  3. April, May and June: These months are not recommended. There's a high probability of rain. In May, you can expect an average of 17 rain days and 300mm of precipitation.
  4. August: An average of 12 rain days and this is when sea temperature will be at its lowest but still warm at 25°C (77°F).  
  5. September: 11 rain days on average, sea temperatures are still warm at 26°C (79°F).
  6. October and November: If you don't need to wait for the school holidays, these months are a good time to visit for a sandy escape. 
  7. December: One of Kenya's warmest months - for those that love hot weather this might be an excellent time for a beachside vacation. 

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gazelles in a national park

Best time for a wildlife safari

Depending on what wildlife you want to see, some months are better than others! Find out the best time to visit Kenya for wildlife from month to month below. 

Best months to see wildlife in Kenya
  1. January and February: These are the warmest months in Kenya, and it's possible to see animals in high densities in many of Kenya's popular parks. 
  2. March: This is the start of rainy season in Kenya which continues right through April and May. The wet season makes for poor wildlife spotting - but you will snag a deal! 
  3. June: As the dry season begins, animals congregate around waterholes and riverbanks, this is an excellent time to spot lots of species quenching their thirst at waterbodies scattered throughout Kenya's national parks. 
  4. July and August: During these months you can catch the Great Migration of wildebeest and other species through Masai Mara. It's a little more pricey but worth it! 
  5. September, October and November: As school holidays wind down, parks throughout Kenya become a little quieter, and this is a good time to visit if you want fewer crowds during your safari. 
  6. December: This is a beautiful time to visit if you want to see birds that have migrated to the region and baby animals. 
If you do opt to go for a safari in the wet season, you'll get lower prices but be aware that the risk of malaria goes up and families should take precautions in this case.

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wildebeest migration

Best time to see the Great Migration

The Great Migration is an annual journey that millions of animals embark on through Tanzania's Serengeti plains in the south and Kenya's Masai Mara in the north in a circular route (view migration map). July to November is considered the best months to view this spectacle, but in Kenya, July and August are when the wildebeest move to Masai Mara and cross the Mara River in droves, a sight that many travellers to this region hope to see. If you want to catch herds of wild animals crossing the flowing river, this is the best time to see the Great Migration in Kenya. To experience the migration, look for a cross-country Kenya-Tanzania safari.
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african town from above

Best time to visit the big cities

The slightly cooler months of July and August might be the best time to visit Mombasa in Kenya, but there are plenty of other fantastic cities you have to check out while you're visiting this beautiful country. 

Must-see cities in Kenya 
  • Mombasa - Renowned for its beach resorts and pristine coastline, Mombassa is also a cultural hub. Discover how Indian, Arabic and African influences have fused in this port city. 
  • Nairobi - Kenya's capital is home to lots of attractions that tourists will enjoy. You'll also find entertainment and a vibrant food scene.
  • Lamu - The oldest major town on the Kenyan Coast, Lamu appears idyll, but storms your senses with gusto. The eclectic mix of wooden architecture, a bustling waterfront, and culture makes this UNESCO World Heritage Site a delight to visit. 
  • Nakuru - Most travellers pass through this town (fast becoming a city) on their way to the stunning lakes and parks, but it's a great place to enjoy local culture and nightlife.

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Best time to visit game parks

Climate in Kenya

masai men walking in the bush
  1. Dry Season

    January to February and June to October

    Sunny, rain-free days defines Kenya's dry season, and the country has two, from January to February and June to October. Many people visit Kenya at this time because the sparse water and vegetation forces wildlife to congregate around available waterbodies, as such, it's the optimum time for game viewing. This also happens to be the most expensive time to visit. The days are pleasant, but the nights are cold, so it's important to pack layers for those chilly game drives at night!

  2. Rainy Season

    March to May and November to December

    During the rainy season or wet season, it rains frequently in Kenya. As a result, safari destinations are lush with greenery, and there are fewer visitors in the parks, and it's much cheaper to travel at this time! It's much harder to see wildlife at this time, but not impossible, and the landscapes during your game drives will be stunning. Kenya experience a second rainy season recognised as the ‘short rains’, where for a few weeks in November and December the region will experience some wet weather.

Temperatures and rainfall in Kenya

Kenya is an African country, bisected by the Equator, with three different climate zones: hot and humid along the coast, temperate in the west and south-west where there are mountainous regions, and hot and dry in the north and east. The table below shows average temperatures along the coast. Temperatures in Masai Mara are much lower (read more).

High°C Day31° C31° C32° C31° C29° C28° C27° C27° C28° C30° C31° C31° C
Min °C Night23° C24° C24° C24° C23° C22° C22° C22° C22° C22° C23° C23° C
Max °F Day88°F88°F90°F88°F84°F82°F81°F81°F82°F86°F88°F88°F
Min °F Night73°F75°F75°F75°F73°F73°F72°F72°F72°F72°F73°F73°F
Chances of rainlowlowhighhighhighlowlowlowlowlowmediummedium

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