Best Time To Visit Kenya

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What is the best time to visit Kenya?

The best time to visit Kenya is from December to late March and June and September. December to March offers excellent safari conditions with mild, mostly dry weather and remarkable wildlife sightings. Additionally, July to August is the prime period to witness the Great Migration. Visiting from late-March to May is not advisable as it rains during this time and gets muddy.  October to November means fewer crowds and lower lodge rates.

Peak Season (June to September and December to late March)

  • July & August are the best months to witness Wildebeest migration
  • Enjoy cool and dry weather.
  • Thinner vegetation and fewer water sources.
  • More dust, less mud.
  • Best time for wildlife spotting.
  • Highest number of visitors.
  • Accommodation rates are the highest.
  • Recommended to book 12 months in advance.
Shoulder Season (October to November)
  • Experience warm and wet weather.
  • Lush vegetation and more water.
  • More mud, less dust.
  • Challenging wildlife spotting but great for birdwatching.
  • Fewer visitors for a quieter safari.
  • Lower accommodation rates (except holidays).
  • Recommended to book 2-6 months in advance.
Off-Season (April to May)
  • Muddy and difficult to move around and spot wildlife
  • Too much rain 

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More about Best Time to Travel to Kenya

Peak Dry Season (June to September)

The dry season from June to September is the best time to visit Kenya for safaris, outdoor activities, and to witness the Great Migration. The weather is warm and dry with no rainfall. During the day, the temperature is around 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F. But at night, it can get cooler, especially in higher altitude areas.

The Great Wildebeest Migration (July to September) in Masai Mara is the major highlight during this period. It is an excellent time for all safaris as animals gather around water sources, making them easier to spot. This is also the peak season. Hence, expect more crowds and higher accommodation and tour prices due to the demand.

Shoulder Months (October to November)

October to November act as the transition months between dry and rainy seasons. The weather is warm and humid but pleasant for activities and safaris. Similar to the peak dry season, ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). While it's harder to spot wildlife, it's great for birdwatching as migratory birds arrive. With fewer tourists, safaris are quieter, and accommodation and other costs drop (except during holidays). You can expect some rainfall towards November's end.

You can join the Lamu Cultural Festival (November) in Lamu Island, celebrating Swahili culture with traditional activities.

Short Dry Season (December to Late March)

December to late March is another excellent season for wildlife safaris and beach holidays in Kenya. The weather is dry and sunny, with temperatures ranging from 22°C to 32°C (72°F to 90°F). You can expect the same advantages of the peak dry season but with lesser crowd.  With a slight possibility of rain at the start of December, birdwatching can be rewarding too. Accommodation and tour costs are higher due to increased demand around the holidays.

February is also perfect for climbing Mount Kenya, Africa's second-highest peak. You can also participate in the Watamu Turtle Festival in February, celebrating turtle conservation with activities for all ages.

Rainy Season (April to May)

The rainy season is typically the least preferred time to visit Kenya. Temperature is cooler ranging from 18°C to 28°C (64°F to 82°F). The landscapes are lush and perfect for birdwatching. However, the heavy rainfall makes wildlife safaris and commuting difficult due to muddy roads and dense vegetation. With fewer tourists, the accommodation and tour costs are also the lowest in the year.

Festivals of Kenya

There are a couple of cultural events that are celebrated in Kenya. To name the most popular ones:
  1. Lamu Cultural Festival: Celebrated annually on Lamu Island in November, it showcases Swahili culture through dances, dhow races, and poetry readings, promoting heritage preservation.
  2. Mombasa Carnival: Held in Mombasa, usually in November or December, it features parades, music, and street parties to celebrate cultural diversity and unity.
  3. Turkana Cultural Festival: Celebrated in Turkana County, often in April, it displays Turkana culture through dances, camel races, and exhibitions, fostering cultural exchange.
  4. Rusinga Island Festival: Taking place on Rusinga Island, usually in December, it celebrates Luo culture with music, dance, and boat races, promoting cultural unity.
  5. Maulidi Celebration: Observed by the Swahili community, typically in Rabi' al-awwal, it commemorates the Prophet Muhammad's birth with prayers and processions, promoting religious harmony.

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