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When to visit Kenya

The best time to visit Kenya is between June and October. Due to Kenya’s equatorial setting, the country enjoys year-round warm weather and relatively low annual rainfall. However, with a range of altitudes and the country’s two rainy seasons, it is possible you will experience some variation depending on when and where you visit. The temperatures vary greatly from Nairobi to Laikipia, and from Nakuru to the coastal regions.

Kenya's best time to see wildlife coincides with the dry months of June through October. During this time, there are fantastic possibilities to see the Great Migration, when millions of wildebeests and zebras travel over the savannah, in national parks like the Maasai Mara and Amboseli. The combination of this show with the open skies and lush surroundings creates an outstanding safari experience. Additionally, viewing the Big Five and a variety of other African species in their natural habitats is perfect during the dry season.

KEN St Kenya Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Shutterstock Gudkov Andrey
KEN St Kenya Masai Mara Lion Shutterstock Maggy Meyer

Talk to a Kenya Destination Specialist

The Best Time to Visit Kenya

  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

January is generally a warm and dry month in Kenya, with hot temperatures and low humidity. The weather is ideal for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing, making it a popular time to visit the country. The average temperature in Kenya during January is around 25°C (77°F), with average highs of 29°C (84°F) and lows of 21°C (70°F). In terms of rainfall, most parts of Kenya experience little to no rain in January, making it a great time to visit for those who want to enjoy the outdoors without being hampered by wet weather. However, some areas along the coast may experience occasional brief showers. January is a great time to go on safari in Kenya, as wildlife is abundant and easily visible in the dry, open plains. It's also a great time to visit Kenya's beaches and coastal areas, as the weather is sunny and warm, and the sea is calm. It's important to note that January is peak tourist season in Kenya, so prices for accommodations and tours may be higher, and popular destinations can be crowded. It's advisable to book in advance to secure preferred accommodations and activities.

June to October in Kenya

This long dry season coincides with the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra, a great time to visit Kenya.

November to May in Kenya

Known as the low season, this period of rain brings about beautiful green scenery, ideal for wildlife photography. This can be one of our favourite times due to the quieter parks, the green back drop and plentiful game.

Experience the Great Migration

The exact timing of this renowned natural event can never be guaranteed, as it is ultimately up to the whims of the wildebeest, but it goes without saying that this is one of the best times to visit Kenya if you are wanting impactful wildlife events! The animals' movements can be estimated to a fair degree of accuracy, however: they can arrive in the Masai Mara as early as July, but as a general rule they can be found in abundance between August and September, beginning their journey back to the Serengeti around October. This is a spectacular event where you can witness river crossings and predator-prey interactions.

Experience Kenyan Culture

There are many cultural events throughout the year that ignite the whole country. Visitors are welcome to join in with festivities but should always observe religious and private gatherings from a respectful distance, unless otherwise invited of course! Of particular note, are the Mombasa Carnival in November and the Ramadan celebrations of May/June.

Additional Kenya Information

When is the best time to visit the Masai Mara?

The optimum time to visit the Maasai Mara for a safari is determined by what you want to see and do during your trip. The Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is famous for its spectacular wildlife and the Great Migration, which comprises enormous herds of wildebeests and zebras migrating in search of fresh grazing. Here are the two most important variables to consider:

While the Great Migration is surely a highlight, the Maasai Mara offers superb animal watching possibilities all year round. The dry season, which lasts from July to October, is often favoured because wildlife congregates around water sources, making it easier to spot animals.

If you want to avoid crowds and enjoy more beautiful greenery, visit during the wet season, which runs from November to June. Due to the abundance of water throughout the area, animals are likely to be spread over greater distances.

Ultimately, both the dry and wet seasons provide distinct experiences, so the optimum time to visit is determined by your choices and interests. If seeing the Great Migration is important to you, plan your trip during the dry season. Consider going during the wet season if you like a more calm ambiance and lush sceneries.

Things to do in Kenya

Visit a National Park

Kenya boasts a remarkable array of national parks and reserves, each with its own unique ecosystem and wildlife population. These protected national parks are at the heart of Kenya's incredible commitment to wildlife conservation and offer some of the most spectacular and well-known safari experiences in Africa.

National parks include:

  • The Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Amboseli National Park
  • Tsavo National Park
  • Samburu National Reserve
  • Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Aberdare National Park
  • Meru National Park
  • Mount Kenya National Park
  • Nairobi National Park
  • Hell's Gate National Park

Discover more on where to go in Kenya in our detailed guide.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Safari

A hot air balloon safari in Kenya offers a truly unique way to experience Kenya's wildlife and landscapes. It can provide an opportunity to see African wilderness from a new perspective, high above the savannah, and offers a serene and magical experience. Trips are typically offered in several Kenyan wildlife reserves and parks, with the Maasai Mara National Reserve being one of the most popular due to its abundant wildlife and stunning vistas. Flights typically occur as the sun because to rise over the African plains where the stillness of the early morning make for a breathtaking and peaceful experience. Witness animals in their natural habitat without disturbing them with opportunities to spot elephants, giraffe, antelopes and even big cats like lions and cheetahs.

Explore the Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is a journey through one of the most geologically significant and visually stunning regions on Earth. The massive geological trench, often referred to as the "Cradle of Mankind", stretches from the Middle East down through East Africa. Your visit to the Great Rift Valley could include wildlife viewing, hiking and trekking, exploring the many lakes and cultural encounters with the various ethnic communities.