• Lion with big mane, Kenya

Best Time to Visit Kenya on Safari

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.

We are experts in creating Kenyan safari and beach journeys, and find we often get asked the same questions from people planning their adventures. To help out, we’ve put together some practical planning FAQs to help you. If your question isn’t covered, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

In summary, the best time to go to Kenya is...

  • June to October is the dry season with clear skies and less humidity, but mornings can be cool, so bring layers for early game drives.
  • The coastal lowlands experience constant high temperatures and sea breezes which make it ideal year-round.
  • The spectacular annual wildebeest migration is a changeable and spontaneous natural event so cannot be pinned down to a particular month. As a general rule they tend to arrive between July and September and stay in the Mara between October and November. They then start their migration back towards the Serengeti around December or January.
Laura Hawksworth, Kenya

The Rainy Seasons

Kenya has two rainy seasons. The ‘short rains’ from November to December usually last around five weeks, while the ‘long rains’ occur between March and May; these include frequent downpours, cloud coverage and high humidity. Although temperatures will still be warm during this time and rains usually occur overnight, this is when visitor numbers are at their lowest (which may be a plus for some travellers).

Read more about each month on the following pages:

Kenya Wildlife Safari

when to go by region

Central Highlands & Rift Valley

This region of Kenya enjoys the most idyllic climate in the country, with temperatures averaging 20 °C. There are two rainy seasons, with the long rains falling from March to May and the short rains from mid-October to November, when you may see monthly rainfall top 200mm. Mount Kenya has its own climate, receiving the most amount of rainfall of anywhere in the country at up to 300mm. Average temperatures here decrease with altitude, lowering to 4 °C. Early mornings tend to be sunnier, with clouds forming around the mountains once the afternoon rolls around. It is easier to spot game during the dry seasons, as animals congregate around lakes, rivers and waterholes.

Coastal areas

In contrast to the inland areas, the coastal strip of Kenya is perennially humid, with a higher average temperature of up to 30 °C. The optimum time to travel here is December to March when the weather is drier. Monsoon rains occur from April to June and again from October to November. The ocean breeze that sweeps the coastline here tempers the constant heat, making it far more comfortable.

Kenya conservation: white rhino conservation

Other Events

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. 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.


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.

Balloon Safaris

A great way to mark a special occasion, these can be done year-round.


Exploring Kenya on horseback is best done outside of the rainy seasons, as the mud can make riding treacherous.

Bush Walks

Getting out of your safari vehicle and taking things at a slower pace is a great way to experience the little things you may usually miss, from bird nests to dung beetle racks. It is best to walk during the dry season when the ground is firmer.

Wildlife and Beach Combos

The Kenyan coast is hot throughout the year, however we recommend avoiding it from mid-March to late May when the heat and rainfall are at their peak.

Kenya Wildlife Safari

Your Next Steps

View our Kenya safaris, or talk to one of our specialists for more details on travelling to Kenya. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.