The Best Times(Worst Time) to Visit Kenya 2024/2025 for Safari /Beach

By Ruru Zhou | Updated Aug. 14, 2023
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Kenya will abolish visa requirements for global visitors starting in January 2024, guaranteeing a smooth and expedited entry process.

The best times to visit Kenya for a safari are from July to September or January to February during the country's dry seasons, however, these are also the most crowded travel times.

The best time for you to visit Kenya largely depends on what you want to see and your personal preferences. Read our article to find out the best times to visit Kenya based on different factors

Kenya Weather and Climate in Brief

Kenya is located on the equator and temperatures there are similar all year round, but it does have different climate zones: mild/warm in the highlands, warm/hot on the coast, and hot/scorching in the northern desert. There are major two seasons in the country: the rainy season and the dry season.

best time to visit kenya
  • Dry season: January to February, July to September
  • Rainy seasons: October to December (short rainy season), March to May (long rainy season)
  • Wettest month: April
  • Hottest month: March, 21°C (70°F)

The Best Time to Visit Maasai Mara for the Great Migration

Hot air balloon over Maasai Mara

The best time to see the wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara is from July to September. During this period, you would see enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra in Maasai Mara. If you want to see the animals cross the Mara River, the best times are July and August.

This is also the dry season and, apart from the spectacle of the migration, you would have the best chance to see much more wildlife than usual as they gather around the water holes.

This is also the summer vacation season, so it is a great opportunity to see this impressive occasion with your family.

  • Weather: sunny and dry
  • Temperature: min: 10°C (50°F), max: 25°C (77°F)
  • Travel conditions: high travel season, most crowded, most expensive; good lodges and camps are hard to book.

The Best Times to Visit Kenya for Wildlife and Safari

walking Safari, Kenya

The best times to go to Kenya for a safari are from June to October and January to February. These are the dry seasons. The weather is comfortable with sunny days and cool evenings. Animals are easy to spot as they gather around the water holes. As a bonus, there are fewer mosquitoes.

The period from January to February is relatively quieter compared to the migration period from July to September. Moreover, it is the optimal time to witness the presence of baby wildlife. Fortunately, in Maasai Mara and Amboseli National Reserves, you can encounter adorable baby elephants, lion cubs, baby zebra, and more.

  • Weather: sunny and dry
  • Temperature: June to October: 10–25°C (50–77°F), January to February: 9–28°C (48–82°F)
  • Travel conditions: It's the high travel season, which is crowded and expensive. Lodges and camps are in huge demand.

However, the best time for weather does not always mean the best experience. The smart arrangement and flexible schedule even matter more. Contact us to tailor a tour that offers the best possible experience by carefully arranging and maintaining a flexible schedule.

The Best Time to Visit Mombasa for Beach in Kenya

Diani beach in Kenya

The best time to go to Kenya's pristine coastline for a beach vacation is from October to early March due to the comfortable weather conditions. If you prefer water activities, such as diving and snorkeling, the best time for you to visit Kenya's beaches is in November. Kenya boasts some of the best beaches, including Diani Beach in Mombasa and Lamu Island.

  • Weather: Kenya's coast is humid all year round and rain could occur at any time, but it is pleasantly warm/hot.
  • Temperature: 24–30°C (75–86°F)
  • Travel conditions: high travel month

The Cheapest Times to Visit Kenya

Elephants in Amboseli during the rainy seasons in Kenya

The cheapest times to visit Kenya are during its rainy seasons. The short rainy season is from November to December and the long rainy season is from late March to May. March to May is definitely the cheapest time for a safari. But your travel experience may not be as good as hoped as the rain may interrupt your visit.

  • Weather: wet, cloudy
  • Animals: Animals are not easy to see as they tend to scatter around the park, but they may be very active.
  • Travel conditions: It's the low travel season, with cheaper prices and fewer crowds. Good discounts for lodges are easy to get.

The Worst Months to Visit Kenya

worst times to visit Kenya is during the rainy season when animals are hard to spot

The worst time to go to Kenya for a safari and beach vacation is from late March to May, which is the long rainy season in Kenya. Kenya's beaches around the Indian Ocean coastline are very hot and wet with tropical storms.

  • Weather: Very wet — there are usually frequent storms and showers during this period
  • Road conditions: The paths in the parks could turn pretty muddy and some roads may not be accessible because of the floods.
  • Animals: You might also see fewer animals as they tend to spread out when it's wet rather than gathering around water holes.
  • Travel conditions: Some camps may close because of the bad road conditions. It is the cheapest time of the year to travel.

Benefits of Traveling during the Worst Months

However, the worst period is not too bad to travel, as the rain doesn't usually last all day and it often happens in the mornings or evenings. The sun also usually comes out quickly after a shower. There are some benefits to visiting Kenya aside from the weather.

  • Cheap prices: You could enjoy very reasonable prices. Safari lodges even offer discounted rates that are 30–50% lower than usual.
  • Very quiet: There are fewer travelers and you don't have to wait your turn to see the animals.
  • Animals are active: Some animals, such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hippos, are more active.

Don't let the weather stop your Kenya travel plans. If these months are your only opportunity, seize the chance! A flexible itinerary and being accompanied by an experienced guide could truly elevate your experience. Let's customize a private trip exclusively for you.

The Rainy Seasons in Kenya

Rains may cause flood in the animal parks in Kenya during rainy season

There are two rainy seasons in Kenya: the short rainy season from late October to December and the long rainy season from mid-March to May. The long rainy season sees a higher amount of rainfall than the short rainy season.

The short rainy season: This period has lower rainfall than the long rainy season and lasts from mid-March to May. You could expect brief but intense showers, usually in the afternoons or evenings. The sky is often overcast and temperatures are relatively cool. Due to the lower amount of rainfall, this season does not see much flooding, which the main rainy season does.

The long rainy season: This is the wettest period in Kenya. There are many heavy showers or downpours, which mainly occur in the evenings or at night. They usually last for about half an hour to an hour. The rain may cause floods and roads inside the wild animal reserves may become inaccessible.

Weather and Climate in Kenya

African savanna in Kenya's dry season

The temperature in Kenya is quite similar all year round. It has two types of seasons: rainy and dry seasons. It is dry with almost no rain in the dry seasons while the wet seasons are very humid.

The dry seasons typically occur from January to March and from July to October. During these periods, there is almost no rain. The weather is sunny, clear, and dry. The temperature is very comfortable. For example, Nairobi has average temperatures ranging between 20°C (68°F) and 28°C (82°F) during the day but is cooler at night at about 10°C (50°F) to 15°C (59°F).

The dry season is the best time for a safari trip in terms of the weather. It is also the busiest time to travel there.

Kenya weather and climate data

Month-by-Month Guidance for Traveling in Kenya

Visiting Kenya in January

It is one of the high travel months in Kenya. It is the dry season. It is a great time to see wildlife in Maasai Mara and to get stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro in Amboseli National Park. The land is green after the short rainy season and the animals are very active. You can also have the chance to see newborn animal babies.

The weather is very comfortable. In Nairobi, it stays around 24°C (75°F) going down to 13°C (55°F) sometimes. Over at Maasai Mara, the temperature swings between 12°C and 30°C (54°F and 86°F) on average. And if you decide to visit the coastal towns and resorts around Mombasa, expect it to be warmer at about 32°C (90°F) in the afternoon.

It is a great time to go on a safari and go hiking, diving, and snorkeling. However, it becomes crowded during this month, especially around New Year when prices and visitor numbers are highest.

Visiting Kenya in February

February is one of the best seasons for safari trips. It is the dry season. The tracks inside the park are dry, making it easy to drive along. Animals in Samburu National Reserve and Maasai Mara are very active. You will spot elephants, zebras, and giraffes in the park in large numbers.

The weather is very comfortable and similar to that in January. February is also the best month for bird-watching.

Visiting Kenya in March

The rainy season arrives in this month. Animal-view this month is a bit challenging, but you can still do it. The rains may make the tracks through the park full of mud, making them inaccessible. It is challenging for game viewing as animals may be dispersed from water sources and the thick vegetation may make it harder to spot them. However, your skillful driver would know where to find them.

It is the low travel season. There are fewer travelers in the national parks and on wildlife safaris. You may have the chance to get a better view of the animals if you're well-guided. You can travel at a very competitive price. Hotels offer great discounts and airfares are much cheaper.

Visiting Kenya in April

April is the wettest month in Kenya. If April is the only time you can visit Kenya, don't hesitate. Just go for it! And if you are after a bargain trip, April could be a top pick. You can get a great discount on lodges this month and the airlines may also offer great discounts.

In April, you may expect storms and showers but the rain doesn't usually stick around for too long. It often comes in the evening or as a quick shower, so it probably won't mess up your safari plans for the next day.

Animals are not easy to spot but our experienced drivers and guides still know where to find them. And you will see many hippo calves in Maasai Mara this month.

Be aware that some camps may close this month and the coast is wet and hot.

Visiting Kenya in May

Most travel guides suggest that you don't go during this month because of the rainy season. However, it is not actually that bad.

It is true that it's the rainy season, but the rains often come in the late afternoon or at night and don't last long. Sometimes there are short showers.

The rain brings inconvenience to a game drive, but you can still do one with an experienced driver. The roads through the park may be muddy and certain routes may be blocked, but our drivers can often take a detour.

Visiting Amboseli National Park in May can be an amazing experience — you'll see cloudy skies and huge herds of elephants enjoying the lush green vegetation in the swamps. If you're heading to Maasai Mara, just make sure to pick a camp or lodge that stays open in all weather conditions. Some camps close during the wet season because some roads can get too tricky to travel on.

Visiting Kenya in June

June is a good time to travel with children as you do not need to worry about the heat from the sun and the humidity. The large numbers of travelers are yet to arrive so you will have a bit of time to see the sights with fewer travelers in the park.

The rainy season ends this month, although there are occasional showers. June marks the beginning of the high travel season. The weather is comfortable, being warm by day and cool at night in the highlands/savanna. Although dry, it may be cloudy on most days.

June is not a good time for a beach vacation and underwater activities as it is hot and wet on the coast.

Visiting Kenya in July

From July to September, Maasai Mara and other parts of Kenya have the most traveler numbers. The Great Migration of Wildebeest in Maasai Mara attracts large numbers of travelers from all over the world.

July is one of the best times to travel, both for a safari tour and a beach vacation in Kenya. The weather is dry with almost no rain (except for on Mount Kenya and in Hell's Gate). Animals are easier to spot as the vegetation is less dense. The weather is sunny on the coast, so it is a good season for underwater activities.

If you're worried about travel costs, July might not be the best fit for you. Accommodation can get pricier — sometimes even double compared to the low travel season. And finding a place to stay could be a challenge due to high demand. But, on the upside, the experiences you'll have in Kenya are surely worth it.

Visiting Kenya in August

The Great Migration of Wildebeest in Maasai Mara is in full swing this month. You will have the chance to witness countless wildebeest and zebras crossing the Mara River. The weather is warm in the day and dry. This is the best month to go weather-wise.

August is also the best month to watch humpback whales off the coast of Kenya, breaching the surface of the water and displaying their might.

But be warned of the high travel season. It is the most crowded month of the year. You might see rows of vehicles lining up by the river banks, all there to witness the awe-inspiring river crossings of wildebeest. But the incredible views are absolutely worth it.

Be aware that the exact timing of the animal river crossings can't be predicted. But don't worry! Choosing a skillful travel guide and driver can definitely boost your chances of catching this unforgettable sight.

Visiting Kenya in September

September is a good time for an exciting safari trip without many crowds. You may see the last wave of wildebeests cross the Mara River. As the vegetation has dried out, animals tend to cluster around the water holes in the parks. So, it is easy to see them and also a good photo opportunity as there is no grass or other vegetation blocking your view.

Although it is still the high season, there are fewer travelers than in August. The chance to see humpback whales off the coast is also high this month.

Visiting Kenya in October

The early part of October can still be an excellent time for game viewing: it's the dry season without many travelers. The weather changes from the dry season to the wet season during this month. Rain usually arrives late in the month. You may still have the chance to see the migration out of Maasai Mara, depending on the weather.

Visiting Kenya in November

November is the shoulder season in Kenya. It is the short rainy season, which means that you may have short periods of rain or occasional showers during this period. The grassland is beautiful with lots of greenery and the sky is clear. If you are not worried about the haze and pollen in the air, this is a good time to go.

The animals may not be in large herds and are more dispersed across the parks, but tourist numbers are moderate.

Visiting Kenya in December

The rain in December should not affect your safari too much as it often falls in the afternoon and rarely lasts long. This is the shoulder travel season so you may enjoy a very reasonable travel price (but not as good as the low season from March to May). There are not as many travelers so you may find some beautiful quiet areas, where you can enjoy watching a cheetah or a herd of elephants all to yourself.

Although it gets busier in the latter part of the month, as the Christmas holidays come along, it is still much quieter than in the high travel season from July to October.

It's also a fantastic time of year to take a wildlife safari into any of the many national parks. In Samburu National Reserve, for example, you'll see zebras, giraffes, elephants, cheetahs, and all manner of African animals. Amboseli National Park has stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro and December is one of the best times to visit because the lack of haze affords better views of the giant mountain.

Visit Kenya with Us

Kenya Tour

A safari trip to Kenya can be a memorable adventure. But without proper planning, it might not go as you hope. You wouldn't want to travel all the way there and not spot any animals or have to deal with unwanted large crowds, would you? So, let's turn this around. We will tailor-made a thrilling safari trip to ensure that you'll have a fantastic time in Kenya.

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