Kenya Weather in March: Travel Tips for First-Timers

Kenya Weather in March: Travel Tips for First-Timers

By Edward | Updated Feb. 21, 2024

The monsoon season starts in the middle of March, and storms and floods hamper tourism. It is a low travel season, and the weather turns cooler at the end of the month. Good options for March are shopping and dining in urban areas, enjoying beaches and water sports, and going to specific national parks while prices are low.

Read on for our travel advice and weather information, including average temperatures, rainfall, and humidity, and travel tips…

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Weather in March: Overview

Averages:

  • Temperature range: 20–31°C (68–87°F)
  • Rainfall: 10 cm (4 inches)
  • Rainy days: 11
  • Sunshine hours/day: 9

In the middle of March, the climate turns from dry and hot to rainy and cooler. This makes touring in the savanna areas less enjoyable due to flooding and muddy roads. In the north, the wet weather makes travel more difficult because the transportation system is worse than in the south, and there is a problem with malaria and disease outbreaks.

So, the best things to do is enjoy the developed urban areas such Nairobi, Mombasa, and Malindi and the southeast coast beaches and surfing. In spite of the rain, many on a budget would love the chance to be on the savannas near Nairobi when the crowds are gone.

Weather of Kenya's Major Cities in March

Kenya City Temperature Rainfall
Nairobi (Capital, largest city, travel hub) Warm Low
Maasai Mara (Game reserve) Mild Moderate
Mombasa (Beaches, second largest city) Hot Low
Turkana (Beautiful desert lake, ethnic culture) Very Hot Low
Kisumu (Lake Victoria, wildlife, 3rd largest city) Hot Moderate
Amboseli (Nature Reserve, Kilimanjaro) Warm Low
Kenya City Daily High Temp. Daily Low Temp.
Nairobi (Capital, largest city, travel hub) 28ºC (82ºF) 14ºC (57ºF)
Maasai Mara (Game reserve) 27ºC (81ºF) 12ºC (54ºF)
Mombasa (Beaches, second largest city) 34ºC (93ºF) 23ºC (73ºF)
Turkana (Beautiful desert lake, ethnic culture) 36ºC (97ºF) 27ºC (81ºF)
Kisumu (Lake Victoria, wildlife, 3rd largest city) 30ºC (86ºF) 24ºC (75ºF)
Amboseli (Nature Reserve, Kilimanjaro) 30ºC (86ºF) 17ºC (63ºF)
Kenya City Rain (cm) Rain (in)
Nairobi (Capital, largest city, travel hub) 9 4
Maasai Mara (Game reserve) 15 6
Mombasa (Beaches, second largest city) 6 2
Turkana (Beautiful desert lake, ethnic culture) 6 2
Kisumu (Lake Victoria, wildlife, 3rd largest city) 17 7
Amboseli (Nature Reserve, Kilimanjaro) 9 4

Highland plateau: The beginning and middle of the month is hot, but it turns cooler and rainy by the end of the month in the highlands where Nairobi, Maasai Mara, Kisumu, Amboseli, and Mount Kenya are. Beware of flash floods in mountain canyon areas.

Coastal lowlands: To escape the rain, you could go down to the southeast coast. The weather in the coastal lowlands in March is hot during the day, and it can be hot at night too. Most of the lowlands get moderate rainfall. For example, the city of Mombasa gets about 6 centimeters (2 inches). Beaches and water sports are great.

The Best Places to Visit in Kenya in March

Top things to do in March: enjoying the developed urban areas and going to the southeastern lowlands for hiking, beaches and surfing.

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1. Nairobi — Vibrant Downtown, Natural Parks, and Airport Gateway

Nairobi is the big capital city with 7 million people, and most tourists enter the country through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. It has only about 9 rainy days in March with low total rainfall, and most of the rainy days are after the middle of the month. In March, the temperature is comfortable in Nairobi and the surrounding highland plateau savannas. You can go on excursions to the countryside as the weather permits.

Urban highlights: In late February or early March, you can see the East African Community Arts Festival at Nairobi's Kenyatta International Convention Centre. There are musical performances and artwork from East African countries. You could also visit the Nairobi National Museum.

Natural highlights in the Nairobi area: Nairobi National Park is just outside the city. You can choose from Lake Naivasha National Park (2½ hours' drive), Lake Nakuru National Park (3½ hours), Amboseli National Park (4 hours), and the Maasai Mara region (4½ hours). Of these, Mara and Naivasha are the best during monsoon season.

2. Maasai Mara — Stunning Wildlife and Natural Beauty in March

In March, for seeing lots of wildlife in a natural savanna, we recommend Maasai Mara. The grass is still short, and the roads are not as muddy as in the other national parks. Because of low tourist season rates, budget-conscious people and those preferring solitude may find it an ideal time to go.

You could enjoy extended stays at lower rates in the hotels and guesthouses and stay longer at more Maasai towns and villages.

The weather in March is generally warm during the day, comfortably cool for sleeping at night, and sunny, with heavy rainfall of 17 cm (7 inches) that mostly falls at the end of the March, giving rise to beautiful green scenery.

3. Mombasa — Beaches, Hiking, Dining and Water Sports

Mombasa is a city of a million people on a unique island on the southeast coast, and during March there are discounted rates at the luxury hotels and guesthouses, as it is low tourist season.

There are a variety of international dining experiences. When the weather is fine, sunny, and hot, as it is most days in March, the pristine white beaches have less crowds. You could visit the historical places, such as the 15th century Portuguese fortress called Fort Jesus and Old Town. The Bamburi Natural Trail is convenient. People scuba dive at Mombasa Marine National Park and Wasini Island.

You could also surf. The wind pattern makes March one of the best months to surf at Bamburi Beach. In the mornings, the calm winds make conditions good for beginners. In the afternoons or when there are storms at sea, there are stronger winds and bigger waves for expert surfers. Wave breaks may be as high as 3.9 meters (12 feet) in March.

4. Malindi — Beaches, Water Sports, Nature, and Possibly Surfing

For beaches, fun, and sun, you can go to Malindi. There is a mix of urban and outdoor activities similar to Mombasa, but it is a lot smaller and quaint with a big Italian influence. There is a big Italian community, and it is known for Italian food and culture.

It is 120 kilometers (70 miles) from Mombasa. The water temperature averages about 29°C (83°F) in March. If the conditions are right, you could even surf at Malindi Bay in March, but the main surfing season is May and June. There may be large swells for more advanced surfers.

When it is not raining, fishing and boating are options. Nearby are coastal forests and mangroves at Arabuko Sokoke National Park and Marine National Park.

5. Amboseli National Park — Seeing Nature and Wildlife

Amboseli National Park is a good place for sightseeing and having a safari. There are amazing views of Mount Kilimanjaro. You may see wildebeest, hyenas, leopards, giraffes, and more. There are many bird species to see.

It is a 4-hour drive from Nairobi. Temperatures are warm during the day and comfortable at night, and there is low rainfall in March.

6. Kisumu — See Beautiful Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is a famous scenic highlight. It is the largest freshwater lake in Africa. You can enjoy boating and resting in a local guesthouse or hotel and enjoy lower rates when it is moderate tourist season. Dunga Hill Camp is a place for picnics and kayaking.

It is a warm month in Kisumu, and, though there is 17 centimeters (7 inches) of rain and about 17 days when rain falls, it is still a sunny month because the sky is usually clear and blue.

Low Tourist Season: Bargains and Touring Advice

March begins a low tourism season in Kenya and crowding and costs are much less. Since there are relatively few tourists doing safaris and visiting the national parks, people on a budget can arrive and take advantage of days of hot, sunny, and dry weather to enjoy the wildlife and the culture with more solitude. Airfares will also be cheaper this time of year.

However, once the rainy season begins, it might be better to avoid places where flash flooding might occur such as at Hell's Gate, Turkana, and sometimes Amboseli.

There are no Kenyan public holidays in March.

What to Wear in March

On the highland plateau: In general, dress in layers with spring/autumn clothes for protection from both mosquitoes and sunburn. Wear a sun hat, light cotton long-sleeved shirts and shorts/trousers or dresses. When visiting parks and reserves, wear neutral-colored clothes so as to avoid alarming the animals. Bring rain gear or umbrellas. In the higher mountains, bring winter clothing too. A mosquito net might prove handy.

Coastal areas: Bring comfortable clothing for warm and hot weather. To avoid sunburn and mosquito bites, bring a hat, long-sleeved shirts, light trousers or dresses, mosquito repellent and a mosquito net.

Mosquitoes: Since 2020, there have been malaria epidemics in Kenya. Rubbing or spraying natural oils of lemongrass or citronella on your clothes can help ward mosquitoes away.

Monthly Weather in Kenya

Recommended Tours for Kenya in March

In Kenya in March, having things professionally arranged for you by local experts who know the local conditions benefits your comfort, speed, enjoyment and safety. Having the services of a private driver and a local guide makes getting around the relatively large country and surrounding region easier.

At Global Highlights, we recognize that you may want some private time with your traveling companion(s) such as hiking or going on safari in a national park. So, we are flexible to do as much itinerary tailoring and expert arranging as you want to make the best trip for you. Contact us to begin a tour inquiry.

Why Travel with Global Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

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