The Question, “When is the Best time to visit Kenya?” is answered with other questions: which attraction do you want to visit? Which activities would you want to do while you are there? This helps you to know which attraction to see and what to do in a specific period of time. Of course most people love travelling to Kenya between June and October since it’s a dry season and the best time for wildlife viewing, but remember wildlife in Kenya can be viewed all year round and there are also other activities to enjoy not necessarily wildlife viewing only.
Below is a detailed information on when to travel, where to visit and what to do, it is a Month by Month Procedure.
One of the warmest periods to go for holiday in Kenya, its ‘summer’ time hence an excellent time for viewing wildlife, both those in the air and on the ground. In this season there are large numbers of animals in the famous tourist destinations, like Nakuru, Masai Mara and Amboseli National Parks. The temperatures are still hot though a once in a while shower may fall whereas the landscape is green with beautiful long grass from the November and December “short rains”.
This is a best time for divers to visitKenya since at the coast the days are sunny and hot and it’s when the Indian Ocean is at itsclearest.
In early March, the skies are still blue although the number of animals becomes scarce when the rainy season begins from late March through to April and into May. Due to the long rains of April and May most tracks through the National Parks become impassable and the sea coastline is also very wet and hot hence this might not be a good season to visit Kenya.
It’s when the country sees a dry season again and most river banks, lakes and waterholes start to receive numbers of animals such as elephants, buffaloes, among others – the rains reduce though a few light showers may fall and they tend to be cool at the altitude.
At this time of the year, the grass has grown higher hence making it a bit hard to view wildlife, but it is still a great time to visit Kenya. In fact most people are ready for the arrival of the annual wildebeest migration from the Serengeti plains into the Masai-Mara as July comes.
This is a verylong dry season and a very popular time to go for safari in Kenya. It is the best time to see the Great Wildebeest Migration, gazelles and zebras. In July, the weather is dry and temperate with occasional rainsand here the Masai Mara receives the first herds of the wildebeests from Tanzania.
August also is the driesttime with pleasant temperatures, fantastic game viewing, in this time you enjoy watching the wildebeests and zebras as they cross the Talek and Mara Rivers. There is nothing as breathtaking as watching the hungry predators hunt for prey especially the wildebeest which can be very many, it is a great time to capture on your camera yet its not for the faint-hearted.
All through to September wildlife viewing is still at its best in all Kenya’s National Parks and Game Reserves.
Generally in this time of the year is Kenya’s peak season.
In October, a few rains are possible. But still it is a good time to travel especially for those that want to avoid the crowds because also wildlife viewing is excellent in this time.
In November, the temperatures become hotter and in this time short rains are received. Game viewing is still enjoyable and other tourist activities. Most camps on the Laikipia Plateau are closed. However in the Mara and other destinations are still open in this time.
As the year ends, the weather is potentially wet and hot, some camps are closed especially those in the Northern region however some are open. This is a good time for birders because the numbers of birds including the migratory birds are many. The landscapeis covered with lush green grass hostingnewly born animals. Also if you are travelling in this time ensure to carry insect repellents because mosquitoes are more prevalent during the rainy season.
It is important to know Kenya’s weather conditions as you plan to travel. Since Kenya is situated at the equator, you will not expect winter or summer days. However, the dry and rainy seasons are experienced throughout the year. This includes short rains from November – December, the long rains from March to May and then the two dry seasons with longer dry season from June to October and the short one between January and February.
Safaris are most enjoyable in the dry seasons and different activities are involved, but game viewing at its best and this is because the grass is short animals are usually easily spotted, it’s in this time that you can catch the Great Wildebeest Migration. Also in this time you can’tmiss out on watching the predators hunt down their prey.
Game drives are one of mainactivitiesdone in Africa, they involve driving through demarcated tracks in national parks or game reserves in a comfortable pop up roof 4X4 vehicle.
The best and safest time is mainly in the months of January, February and Septemberwhich are dry months. In these months you expect clearer sunny days and chilly nights. Also from July to August mountain climbers especially those that don’t like crowds can enjoy hiking Mount Kenya.
Therefore whatever time of the year you think is best for you to get to the summit, ensure that you pack accordingly meaning pack for every occasion because depending on your elevation and time of the day, weather and temperatures vary dramatically.
At the coast, weather stays hot and humid all year round. Sometimes during the dry season rain falls – however, from March to May humidity and rainfall are at their worst. The hottest time is between the month of January and February but the cool breezes at the coast usually help to bear the heat.
Basically as you plan on when to visit Kenya’scoast also consider and prioritize the other activities for your holiday. For example, if you are planning to have a combined trip of watching the wildebeest migration and visitingMombasa, consider travelling in either August or September.
And for those that are interested in hiking to the summit of Mount Kenya and later relax at Malindi, January and February are really great months to visit and enjoy theseactivities.
Top events in Kenya include; Mombasa Carnival happening in November, the Annual Wildebeest Migration which starts from Late June all through, Lake Turkana Festival from June, Maulid Festival happens in November involving the celebration of Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday, and International Camel Derby and Festival, a huge event celebrated in August which involves serious camel racing and other fun like cycling and donkey rides, this occurs in Samburu District in Kenya.
Other events include; the Rhino Charge and Run with Lions (both in June), Kenya music Festival (August), East African Safari Rally (happening in either late November or Early December).
Please note that most of these events are celebrated annually, hence as you plan to travel to Kenya, you could plan in the season of any of the above events, hence you will not only enjoy a great time with wild animals but also with people celebrating culture and learning different things from Kenya’s culture especially though the cultural events.
Kenya is one of Africa’s major destinations for bird watching and this can be done all year round at any time. The country’s wonderful geographical range offers it spectacular landscapes and variety of climates types, hence the 2nd second highest numbers of species. Kenya still stands at a world-record of 342 bird species spotted in 24 hours!
In months of June and July, bishops and weavers are breeding as also a number of the Southern Africanmigrantbirds. And from October to February various numbers of Palearctic migrant birds come to both the inland and marine shores of Kenya. Many waders, terns and swallows are seen during this time
Most excellent bird watching is in the National parks of Kenya; the Maasai Mara hosts the Magpie shrike, Hamerkop Scopus umbretta, African Spoonbill Platalea Alba, Yellow-billed Stork Mycteris ibis and the Rosy-throated longclaw; Nairobi National Park is home to the Pangani longclaw and the Northern pied-babbler. In Samburu, Pink breasted lark, rare shinning sunbird and many others are found there.
You can also enjoy watching kenya’s endemics such as the Aberdare Cisticola, Hinde’s Babbler, Tara River Cristicola, Clarke’s weaver, William’s Lark and the Sharpe’s pipit.