by Jessica Bothma on March 6, 2018
4 min read

So, you’re dreaming of visiting Kenya? Good choice – Kenya has so much to offer with its remarkable wildlife, friendly people and spectacular landscapes. If you are wondering when is the best time to visit Kenya, read on! From thrilling African safaris across plains and wetlands, to tranquil beach holidays at the coast, here are the best times to go.

Die malerische Savanne in Kenia mit Bäumen und dem Kilimanjaro im Hintergrund

Majestic Mount Kilimanjaro as viewed from the savannah – image credit: Sergey Pesterev

Kenya’s Climate in a Nutshell

Kenya has two rainy seasons that punctuate the changes between summer and winter, thanks to its location close to the equator. The first one is between March and May, which is also called the long rainy season because it can rain for few days in a row. The second, short rainy season is between October to mid-December just before summer hits. If you don’t mind the rain, then you can take advantage of the green travelling season to score specials and quieter attractions. Kenya’s dry season, between June and October, is the busiest time of the year because it gives great opportunities to go on safari and watch the Great Migration.

Best Places to go in Kenya: December – February

  • The Coast: when you picture an idyllic beach holiday, crystal clear, warm waters and welcoming resorts on the beachfront come to mind. Right? Well, Kenya’s coastline offers exactly that! Their summer season is perfect for the ultimate beach experience in Malindi and Watamu. Some of the coastal highlights include snorkeling or diving into the world of colourful coral reefs and swimming with the fishes at Watamu Marine National Park. And besides sunbathing and working on that tan, you can also ride on camels along Mombasa’s Diani Beach.
Camels on Mombasa beach in Kenya

Ride camels on Diani beach

  • Nairobi: Kenya’s bustling capital is one of the few cities that have a national park within its borders! You can visit national parks, animal sanctuaries, shopping malls, museums and more – there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Best Places to go in Kenya: March – May

If you don’t mind some downpours and dramatic skies, this time of the year is astounding for bird watching and spectacular landscape photography. Kenya boasts an impressive diversity of bird species and the numbers swell with migratory birds flocking to Kenya’s lakes.

  • Lake Nakuru: a popular destination for millions of flamingos that paint the shores pink when the food supply is at its peak. During this time, you can be lucky to spot Lake Nakuru’s larger residents, hippo and buffalo, wading in shallow water.

    Flocks of flamingo gather at Lake Nakuru, Kenya

    Flocks of flamingo gather at Lake Nakuru, Kenya

  • Lake Naivasha: a spectacular freshwater lake within the highest part of the Great Rift Valley gives you a sense of picturesque paradise. Here you can relish the hiking trails and plethora of bird and animal species, such as zebra, hippo and even the swift fishing eagle.

Best Places to go in Kenya: June – September

The Great Migration is truly a spectacle and if it’s not on your bucket list yet, it should be! After the long rainy season ends in May, it’s really a case of “the grass is greener on the other side” which propels hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra and various antelope species, to cross between the Maasai Mara on Kenya’s side and the Serengeti in Tanzania.

  • Maasai Mara National Reserve: prepare for plenty of striking moments of attacks and triumphs on safari and take many memorable snapshots and stories home with you. Gear up for this momentous experience with all the things you should know about the Great Migration here.
Thousands of wildebeest migrating in Kenya

Thousands of wildebeest migrating in Kenya – image credit: Daniel Rosengren

Best Places to go in Kenya: October – Mid-December

Just after the busy summer holidays have ended, grab the opportunity to enjoy safaris without the crowds. This gives you greater opportunities for interactions with rangers, guides and local communities in Kenya. With sporadic rains, migratory birds flock to the lakes and you can be lucky to witness births. It’s ideal to visit:

  • Tsavo National Park: this is one of the world’s largest national parks because it covers an impressive 4% of Kenya’s land. From vast plains to mountains and waterholes to swamps, many species of animals call this place home. See herds of red elephants, which appear so because they dust themselves with red volcanic sand only found in this area. Impressive birds such as the endemic Somali ostriches with distinct blue necks are also a pleasure to view.
  • Amboseli National Park: famed for their free-roaming herds of elephants and their local Maasai people, this park is great for safaris. You can learn from the semi-nomadic Maasai, who have safeguarded Kenya for generations. This area also serves as an ideal location for snapshots of wildlife with Mount Kenya in the background.
Maasai men performing the adamu, a rite of passage dance for warriors

Maasai men performing the adamu, a rite of passage dance for warriors – image credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Packing already? Let us make your journey to Kenya memorable with passionate and responsible consultants, giving everything you need with minimal fuss.

Before you go, have a look at expert tips from those who have “been there and done that”.

Asante – thank you!