Best Time to Visit Kenya

_Y1A1471 (ninara)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
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On this page, you will find information about the climate and the best time to visit Kenya. We created climate tables and charts for the locations of Nairobi und Mombasa. These contain details about temperatures, precipitation and more.

Furthermore, we analyzed all climate data and provide a recommendation about which months are best to visit Kenya for your holiday.

Climate Overview

Thermometer Symbol 11 °C to 34 °C
Waves Symbol 25 °C to 29 °C
Rainy Cloud Symbol 0.479.33 in (1 – 18 Days of Rain)
Average Annual Temperature is between 18.6 °C (Masai Mara) and 26.7 °C (Diani Beach)
Show temperatures in degree

Geographical location

Kenya has been an independent state in East Africa since 1963 and borders Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia, among others. Kenya is a very popular holiday destination due to its unique game reserves with great safari opportunities and its snow-white beaches on the Indian Ocean.

Around 45 million people live in Kenya, the country’s largest city, Nairobi, is also the country’s capital and has one of the most important airports in Africa.

Basically, the holiday destinations in Kenya can be divided into two starting points: Most safari holidaymakers land in the capital Nairobi and travel from there to the national parks and protected areas by car or small plane.

Beach vacationers and visitors to the coasts usually land in Mombasa in the southeast of the country directly on the Indian Ocean. The central highlands of Kenya are crossed by the so-called Rift Valley, the Great Rift Valley of Africa.

In this area lies with the nearly 5200 meters high mountain Batian in the massif of Mount Kenya also the highest elevation.

The climate in Kenya

African Sunrise, Amboseli National Park (Ray in Manila)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources' Geography also determines the climatic conditions in Kenya, which can be fundamentally divided into two important climate zones. The highlands are largely based on our values in the capital Nairobi (see climate table) and reach the lowest temperatures in the period from early July to early September. Especially at night it can get very cold, safari game drives in the morning and after sunset (e.g. in the Aberdares) start only with proper outdoor clothing and a thick jacket.

On the coast and in the lowlands there are no such cold periods, on Kenya’s coasts tropical climate prevails all year round. In Mombasa and the neighbouring holiday region Diani Beach you can enjoy daytime temperatures above 28 °C from January to December, even the water temperature never drops below 25 °C. As is usual in the tropics, the coastal regions have quite high humidity, especially during the so-called”rainy season” from April to June. Effective (see rainfall in Mombasa), April and May are the rainy months of the Kenyan coast.


Best Time to Visit Kenya: Overview

JanuaryJan
Best time to traveltime
hot but Perfecthot but Perf.
climate in Kenya
FebruaryFeb
Best time to traveltime
hot but Perfecthot but Perf.
climate in Kenya
MarchMar
Good time to traveltime
especially in the first half of month perfect conditionsfirst half still perfect
AprilApr
Rainy SeasonRainy Season
MayMay
Rainy SeasonRainy Season
JuneJun
Very good time to traveltime
mostly perfectmostly perfect climate
in Kenya
JulyJul
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate
in Kenya
AugustAug
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate
in Kenya
SeptemberSep
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate
in Kenya
OctoberOct
Good time to traveltime
PleasantPleasant climate
in Kenya
NovemberNov
Small Rainy SeasonSmall Rainy Season
DecemberDec
Good time to traveltime
occasionally rain in the first half of monthoccasionally rain in first half

When to travel to Kenya?


The so-called dry season in Kenya, i.e. the periods with the lowest rainfall, generally lasts from mid-December to mid-March and from June to October inclusive. Both periods are considered the best travel time in Kenya, both for bathing holidays and wildlife watching on safari. While the beaches now offer the best conditions, the Indian Ocean shines in its most beautiful blue and the snow-white sand offers the perfect backdrop, the reserves and national parks are rather lacking water.

But it is precisely this drought that causes the animals to gather at rivers, lakes and waterholes, giving you the best opportunities for extraordinary discoveries. The phenomenal natural phenomenon of “Big Migration”, i.e. the large herd migration of thousands and thousands of wildebeests and zebras from the Serengeti in Tanzania into the fertile expanses of the Masai Mara, usually takes place between July and September.

However, we expressly point out that due to unforeseeable dry periods or particularly heavy rainfall, the migration is by no means exactly calculable. On the coast, however, you have almost a guarantee for a dream holiday, 8 to 9 hours of sunshine will inspire you as much as the warmth of the Kenyans and the high service quality of many hotels. Did you know that Diani Beach has already been awarded several times as the most beautiful beach in the whole of Africa and could even leave island paradises like Zanzibar behind?

Perhaps you should get your own impression of the beauty of the region at the best travel time, you will certainly not regret it! But don’t worry: the so-called “rainy season” is by no means a drama either, mostly short but strong showers in the evening or night hours. It rarely rains continuously for several days, shortly after the downpours the sun comes out again and you can enjoy the very special atmosphere (at great low season prices) to the fullest.

Best Time to Visit the Regions

Find the best time to visit the regions (Kenya) in the following overview.

LocationBest Time to Travel
Nairobiall except April, May, November, and December
Mombasaall except April, May, October, and November
Diani BeachJanuary, February, March, July, August, and September
Masai MaraJanuary, February, March, July, August, September, and October

Climate Charts Kenya

In the following, you will find climate charts for the regions.

Furthermore, there are some charts you can use for quick comparison of climate between the regions.

Show Climate Chart for    

Nairobi

Climate Chart Nairobi
Show temperatures in degree

Mombasa

Climate Chart Mombasa
Show temperatures in degree

Day Temperatures

Show temperatures in degree

Night Temperatures

Show temperatures in degree

Average Temperatures

Show temperatures in degree

Precipitation

Hours of Sunshine per Day

Source of Data: German Weather Service (Offenbach) and Wikipedia

Climate Tables Kenya

In the following, you will find some climate tables for Kenya, containing information about Temperatures, Precipitation, Water Temperatures, and Hours of Sunshine.
Show climate table for    

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine in Nairobi (Kenya)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature27°28°28°26°25°24°23°23°26°27°25°25°
Night Temperature13°13°14°15°14°12°11°12°12°13°14°14°
Precipitation (inch)1.651.892.726.184.251.060.470.550.981.694.763.15
Rainy days447121042236136
Hours of Sunshine999765446778
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in Nairobi is 19 °C.

For comparison: London 11 °C, NYC 12 °C, LA 17.9 °C

Warmest month: March (20.7 °C)
Coldest month: July (16.7 °C)

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 29.37 inch on 73 rainy days

For comparison: London 24.06 in, NYC 41.57 in, LA 12.01 in

There is no rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation).

You cannot expect snow in any month in Nairobi.

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, February is the sunniest month with an average of 9.4 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 6.7 hours of sunshine per day on average. For comparison: London has 4.1, NYC has 7 and LA has 8.9 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine in Mombasa (Kenya)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature33°34°34°33°31°29°29°29°30°31°32°33°
Night Temperature22°23°23°23°22°20°19°19°20°21°22°22°
Water Temperature27°28°28°28°28°27°25°25°27°27°27°27°
Precipitation (inch)1.340.552.26.069.293.462.832.682.644.064.132.99
Rainy days3151014101089987
Hours of Sunshine999877788998
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in Mombasa is 26.3 °C.

Warmest month: March (28.3 °C)
Coldest month: July (24 °C)

The maximum water temperature in Mombasa is 28 °C. You can take a bath at these temperatures.

Months with water temperature of at least 21 °C (adequate for beach vacation):
all months

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 42.24 inch on 94 rainy days

Rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation): May
Overall precipitation in the rainy season: 9.29 in

You cannot expect snow in any month in Mombasa.

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, February is the sunniest month with an average of 9.1 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 8 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Highlights and sights


The most popular region for bathing holidays on Kenya’s sun-kissed coast is undoubtedly the world-famous Diani Beach on the south coast, which has become the epitome of a tropical holiday paradise. Nearby, the Kisite-Mpungutium marine reserve on Wasini Island is an ideal destination for a day trip and is not only popular with divers and snorkellers. Again and again the boats are accompanied by playful dolphins who jump through the waves full of joy. On the north coast of Kenya are the equally impressive towns of Malindi, Watamu and Kilifi, as well as beautiful beaches such as Vipingo and Shanzu.

For active holidaymakers, safari fans and nature lovers, Kenya offers mountain areas such as the evergreen vastness of the Aberdares or Mount Kenya National Park with countless hiking routes and impressive flora and fauna. The most popular safari reserves in Kenya include Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park just west of Amboseli National Park – world-famous for its incomparable elephant photos against the majestic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Masai Mara remains the flagship of the Serengeti ecosystem, and bird enthusiasts will love the Rift Valles lakes (Lake Naivasha, Nakuru and Lake Bogoria, among others).

We would like to recommend two special tips: The rather unknown parks in northern Kenya are breathtakingly beautiful and offer unbelievable experiences due to the comparatively low number of visitors. Especially Samburu and the neighbouring areas of Buffalo Springs and Shaba are real insider tips! If you are more interested in a seaside holiday on the coast, but would like to gain some cautious experience with a safari, then we recommend the Shimba Hills. Just a 45-minute drive from Diani Beach, you’ll get a real jungle feeling and with a little luck, you’ll see the first wild elephants, gazelles or giraffes of your life in no time. It’s a great start!

More information about the best things to do: Kenya

Popular Activities

More attractions

Half-Day Private Tour of Nairobi National Park | Nairobi National Park Full-Day Safari | Nairobi Highlights Wildlife Safari | Private Nairobi City 4-Hour Tour | Nairobi Park, Baby Elephants, Giraffe Center & Bomas Tour | Nairobi: Hell’s Gate National Park Full-Day Adventure | Nairobi Storytelling Tour with Former Street Kids |

Current Weather and Forecast

Current Weather in Nairobi (Station Nairobi South)
broken clouds     broken clouds, 25 °C
Clouds: 75 %       Wind: 9 mph ONO
Air Pressure: 1019 hPa       Humidity: 53 %
Last updated: 19th Dec 2018, 12:30 pm
The next days …
20th Dec 201821st Dec 201822nd Dec 201823rd Dec 201824th Dec 201825th Dec 2018
light rain10 °C to 24 °Clight rain14 °C to 25 °Clight rain14 °C to 24 °Clight rain17 °C to 23 °Clight rain13 °C to 26 °Clight rain15 °C to 27 °C
10 °C to 24 °C14 °C to 25 °C14 °C to 24 °C17 °C to 23 °C13 °C to 26 °C15 °C to 27 °C
Clouds: 8 %Clouds: 0 %Clouds: 8 %Clouds: 64 %Clouds: 13 %Clouds: 0 %
0.02 in of rain0.02 in of rain0.11 in of rain0.1 in of rain0.03 in of rain0.02 in of rain
Weather information provided by OpenWeatherMap. (CC BY-SA)
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Important Regions and Cities

We have extended climate information for the following regions:

Kenya: Experiences of our Visitors

There are 5 reviews for Kenya holiday already. Average rating is 4.2 of 5 stars.
  1. Avatar Preview
    Frank, 66 years old was there in February

    Very warm, light short showers, 2 times at night and 2 times in the morning. Last January half and beginning of February very windy.

    Weather Rating: 4 stars – Good

  2. Avatar Preview
    Barbara , 30 years old was there in February

    It was very hot. From time to time there were short showers! Perfect weather for swimming and safari 🙂

    Weather Rating: 4 stars – Good

  3. Avatar Preview
    Nicole, 48 years old was there in August

    The weather was perfect. Always a light wind between 25 and 28 degrees and no high humidity.

    Weather Rating: 5 stars – Excellent

  4. Avatar Preview
    Michael, 50 years old was there in September

    During the day often cloudy but pleasantly warm. A pleasant 25 degrees in the evening. Two short light showers.

    Weather Rating: 4 stars – Good

  5. Avatar Preview
    Sandra, 31 years old was there in July

    We were in Kenya for 16 days in July. First from Nairobi to the north (Aberdare, central highlands, Samburu), then via Mombasa to Diani Beach. In fact we had 15 days of fantastic weather and a rainy day (on the coast). In the highlands it was very fresh in the morning and in the evening, long trousers and sweaters were the order of the day, especially during the safaris. During the day it became very warm and at the coast it is tropical anyway

    Weather Rating: 4 stars – Good

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