Giraffe, El Karama Lodge, Laikipia, Kenya

The best time to visit Kenya

The best time to visit Kenya is from July to September. Freshly nourished from the rains, the dry season sweeps in as if to herald the start of the epic Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest and zebra travel from Tanzania. However, this depends on the experiences you wish to have; if you are a keen birder, visit between September to April as migratory birds arrive or watch as newborns take their first steps in March. March to May is the peak of the wet season, with some accommodation shutting down.

Information & Highlights

House in the wild, game drive with lions, Kenya

Safari Packing Guide

Depending on your specific trip, packing requirements will vary; make sure to speak to your travel expert about what you will need for any sections that are particularly adventurous or where equipment may be provided. We recommend considering the following.

Read our safari packing guide

Explore the best time to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Visiting Kenya in January

high season

January is the hottest month across much of the country and is an excellent time to spot wildlife with lower visitor numbers. The seas are at their clearest, the landscape is still lush, but it is dry and sunny in general. The dry season is also particularly good for climbing Mount Kenya and other peaks and you may benefit from low season prices in the Masai Mara.

Dhow racing

One of the best time to go diving & snorkelling

Visiting Kenya in February

high season

High temperatures continue, and it remains virtually dry, but the landscape should still be fairly green. Conditions are still excellent for wildlife viewing, with lower visitor numbers, and it is a fantastic time for climbing and hiking. Experience Nairobi Restaurant Week to sample the incredible food available in Kenya’s capital.

Flamingos in Kenya

A popular safari time

Visiting Kenya in March

high season

March marks the beginning of the main rainy season, with temperatures becoming hotter and more humid. Rains often arrive in the latter half of the month, making wildlife viewing possible in the first half of March. Prices can be lower as Kenya enters its rainy season and there are fewer crowds.

Mount Kenya Festival

Newborns

Visiting Kenya in April

low season

The “green” season is well underway in April, making it a less than ideal time to travel. Some lodges close as the rainy season gets into full swing. Roads can be treacherous, and the coast becomes very hot and wet. Wildlife viewing can be challenging because of thick vegetation and fewer animals congregating at water sources.

Visiting Kenya in May

low season

May is the height of the rainy season and so many places will be closed with driving conditions becoming poor due to the heavy rainfall. The Samburu National Reserve can be good as wildlife gathers on the riverbanks of the Ewaso Ngiro River.

Visiting Kenya in June

medium season

The rains start to abate and the landscape is as green and lush as it gets. This does make spotting wildlife a little trickier, but it is a beautiful time across the country. There is an air of anticipation for the arrival of the Great Migration into the Masai Mara. Light showers are still possible and the nights can be cool at altitude; low humidity, walking and climbing become a little easier. The coast is mostly dry and prices are a little lower before the high season begins in July.

Lake Turkana Festival

Rhino Charge

Visiting Kenya in July

high season

The start of the mass migration into the Masai Mara. Dry weather dominates across the country with the occasional shower. This is the start of the high season and is the coolest month, with the coast, city and parks at their finests, resulting in visitor numbers increasing.

The Great Migration

Visiting Kenya in August

high season

This is the high season in Kenya, especially in the Masai Mara, where it is the peak of the Great Migration. Exceptional game viewing is possible as animals congregate around watering holes and rivers. If you are not in the Mara, August is an excellent time to visit other national parks and conservancies around Kenya. End your trip with the beautiful breezes of the idyllic Kenyan Coast.

Maralal Camel Derby

The Great Migration

Visiting Kenya in September

high season

The weather remains dry and there are still fantastic opportunities for game viewing in the Masai Mara as wildlife gathers around watering holes. September offers the best of July and August in terms of weather and wildlife, but with slightly fewer crowds, especially in the latter part of the month. Every two years, JAMAFEST, an East African arts festival, is a fantastic experience which rotates between East African nations.

Visiting Kenya in October

medium season

As the temperatures rise, so does the chance of a shower or two. The herds of wildlife begin to leave the Masai Mara, but plenty of residents can still be seen. Visitor numbers are lower and it is a great time to visit across the country. Keep in mind, 20th October marks Mashujaa Day, a public holiday, meaning Nairobi and coastal areas are buzzing as Kenyans head to the beaches and parks.

Magnificent birdlife

Visiting Kenya in November

medium season

The start of the short rainy season, as temperatures continue to increase. Many destinations are open, but around Laikipia, places close at this time. The crowds have started to disappear and you can often make the most of some good deals. November is a great time for festival lovers, with both Lamu Cultural Festival and Mombasa Carnival celebrating the rich heritage of Kenya’s communities.

Lamu Cultural Festival

Mombasa Carnival

Visiting Kenya in December

medium season

The end of the year brings the peak of the short rainy season. Hot and wet conditions dominate, but the scenery is beautiful and green. Some camps in the north are closed, but where camps are open, wildlife viewing is great with high numbers of birds present. Two festivals take place in December and make for spectacular viewing. Rusinga Cultural Festival is a two day event on Lake Victoria celebrates the culture of the Abasuba people while the Beneath the Baobabs Festival in Kilifi is one of the coast’s best music festivals, with East African and international performers, art and costumes.

Kenya climate guide

Drag the slider to see monthly temperature and rainfall.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
Maximum Temperature (°C) Monthly Rainfall (mm)
Amboseli National Park
Lamu Archipelago
Masai Mara National Reserve
Nairobi
Samburu National Reserve
Watamu

Explore Kenya

  • Amboseli National Park
  • Lamu Archipelago
  • Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Nairobi
  • Samburu National Reserve
  • Watamu

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