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What's the best time in Kenya for traveling around?

by Virginia Carmona | October 6, 2022
giraffe enjoying the savannah in Kenya best time to travel kenya

Kenya is a magical country with sun-dried savannas, snow covered mountains and nomad tribes. There are also incredible cities in Kenya.

This country has breathtaking scenery and a wide range of natural habitats that are home to a huge variety of wildlife; zebras, wildebeest, hippos, lions and elephants. Apart from its amazing national parks it also has its fair share of white sandy beaches where you can relax under a palm tree after your Kenya safari.

If you’re planning on travelling to this country and you don't know what's the best time to visit Kenya, you will find out here.

General weather in Kenya

In general, the Kenya weather has temperatures ranging between 20°C (68°F) and 28°C (82°F) most of the year, and there are no defined seasons as it is very close to the Equator. 

However, the Kenya weather tends to be hot and dry from January to March and, when the rains come from April to June, the weather in Kenya is usually hot and wet.

From July to October it gets warm and dry, and then it becomes warm and wet in November and early December. 

When is the time in Kenya perfect for traveling?

The time in Kenya for the high season is from July to October and January to February and these are particularly good times to see the great migration in the Masai Mara when herds of wild animals move from Serengeti. It’s easier to spot animals during this time as there is little rainfall and the grass is shorter and animals also gather around waterholes to drink. 

Traveling during November and December can be good if you want to see the national parks at their freshest after the short rainy period. These months are less busy so it can be a good time in Kenya for traveling: the costs are a bit cheaper and the rains aren’t overly hard during this period, but the combination of light and cloud can make for some great photography opportunities. It’s also a good time in Kenya to do underwater activities such as diving and snorkeling. Some good areas to see marine life are Watamu-Malindi National Marine Reserve or Kisite Marine Park

In March, April and May there are stronger rains in Kenya, but this can be a great time to enjoy nature undisturbed by other tourists as it is the low season. 

Whatever season you travel to Kenya in, there is plenty going on for you to enjoy. 

zebras in Kenya

Best festivals and events

Here are some local festivities and events that you might want to check out when picking the time in Kenya you wish to travel in. 

Mombasa Carnival

This festival is a meeting of cultures from around Kenya. People congregate in Mombasa every November to dance, sing and celebrate their colorful traditions in a festival full of parades and stalls selling traditional food. It is truly a fun occasion. 

Lamu Cultural Festival 

This festival, which takes place on the island of Lamu, seeks to promote Swahili culture and heritage through readings, concerts, dances and food. There is also a dhow boat race during this festival. These boats are traditional in the Indian Ocean and the red sea. This is a cultural display you can´t miss out on. 

Tobong'u Lore or the Lake Turkana Cultural Festival 

This festival is a celebration of local indigenous culture around Lake Turkana. There are dance, music and poetry performances by local artists. You can expect to see a lot of local politicians at the festival as its aim is specifically to foster peace and communication in the local community. This festival takes place in December. 

Rhino Charge

This is a 4x4 off-road competition in Kenya to raise funds for Ark, the Rhino charity. If you take part in the competition, you have to reach 13 points by driving along the shortest off-road path possible but never going above 40 Km/hour.  In 2022 it was held in June, and in 2023 it will be held on the 3rd of June in Mosiro. 

What to pack and tips 

  • A light waterproof jacket is recommended when you travel to Kenya in the rainy season as you might experience showers at any time. 
  • Don’t forget to pack all the necessary documents for your trip: learn about the Kenya travel requirements.
  • If you are going to use the internet in Kenya it is advisable to set up a VPN to keep your connection secure, as there can be a lot of hackers. 
  • If you are planning on going on safari, a head-torch is recommended as the nights can be very dark out in the countryside. 
  • Don’t forget your binoculars when you travel to Kenya so you can spot all the incredible wildlife in this amazing country!