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Kenya Weather & Climate

It’s generally sunny, dry and temperate most of the year in Kenya despite being situated directly on the equator. Central Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau is situated at an altitude that keeps temperatures comfortable. Coastal areas are obviously hotter, but the ocean breeze helps to maintain pleasant conditions for most of the year. There are two rainy seasons—the heaviest rains (called masika) usually fall from mid-March to May and a shorter period of rain (called vuli) occurs in November and December. January and February are mostly dry, although there may be a chance of rain. The dry season, with cooler temperatures, lasts from May to October.

Many travelers assume that because they are traveling to Africa, it must always be warm. This is not the case in Kenya during the night and early morning, however, particularly in June, July and August. You can expect days to be absolutely beautiful, temperate and sunny, but nights and early mornings will be chilly, possibly near freezing, so we recommend you bring warm layers you can peel off as it warms up through the day. A lightweight down jacket or fleece pullover is ideal. Gloves, hat, scarf and warm long pants are also essential at this time of year for early-morning wildlife drives.

AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURES & RAINFALL:

(In Fahrenheit and inches)

Kenya weather chart

Please keep in mind that these are averages, and that weather can be unpredictable. Be sure to check current weather conditions a few days before your departure at: www.weather.com. Remember to check the weather for each location on your itinerary, as conditions may vary.

Kenya Monthly Weather Information and Recommendations

JANUARY

January is hot and dry. Temperatures tend to gradually increase over the course of the month. Average highs range from the mid-70s F to the mid-80s F, while average lows range from the mid-50s F to the mid-60s F. During the hot days, we recommend a short-sleeved shirt, shorts or zip-off pants and plenty of sun protection, including sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. A lightweight, long-sleeved shirt may also be useful for shielding your arms from the sun.

FEBRUARY

February in Kenya remains hot and dry with long, hot, sunny days and little or no rain. February is usually the hottest month of the year. Highs are typically in the upper 70s F to low 90s F. Travelers should be prepared for the heat with a short-sleeved shirt, shorts or zip-off pants and plenty of sun protection, including sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. A lightweight, long-sleeved shirt may also be useful for shielding your arms from the sun.

MARCH

March in Kenya is still hot, although it sometimes brings the beginning of the long rains, which last until June. As summer comes to an end, highs will be mainly in the 80s F. Average lows will be in the mid-50s F to mid-60s F. We recommend rain gear, including a rain jacket or lightweight poncho and rain pants.

APRIL

April is the true beginning of the long rainy season, which is likely to bring either lengthy periods of rain or sporadic heavy downpours in the late afternoon. All this moisture turns the landscape lush and green. When it is not raining, daytime temperatures will be warm, with highs in the upper 70s and 80s F. At night it may cool down into the upper 50s F. Travelers should be prepared with a lightweight, “breathable,” waterproof rain jacket, rain pants and inexpensive rain poncho.

MAY

Much the same as April, May is characterized by heavy rains. It also marks the beginning of winter. High temperatures are generally in the mid- to upper 70s F and lows are usually in the 50s F. Raingear is a must, with a lightweight, “breathable,” waterproof rain jacket, rain pants and inexpensive rain poncho for the best protection.

JUNE

By June the rains have typically subsided, and the drier winter season has arrived in Kenya (although you may still want a rain jacket just in case). High temperatures are usually in the 70s F while lows are mostly in the 50s F. As it is cooler this time of year, we recommend a sweater or fleece at night and in the early mornings, as well as a warm hat, gloves and a scarf for early morning wildlife drives that may take place in open vehicles.

JULY

Winter continues through July with high temperatures in the 70s F and lows in the 50s F. Nights and early mornings can be very chilly, especially during wildlife drives in open vehicles. We recommend a warm fleece jacket as well as a hat, gloves and scarf. As the day warms up you’ll want to shed these layers and will likely be most comfortable in a T-shirt and shorts or zip-off pants.

AUGUST

August is the final month of winter in Kenya, and conditions are very similar to those in July. High temperatures will be in the 70s F with lows in the 50s F. Nights and early mornings can be very chilly, especially during wildlife drives in open vehicles. We recommend a warm fleece jacket as well as a hat, gloves and scarf. As the day warms up you’ll want to shed these layers and will likely be most comfortable in a T-shirt and shorts or zip-off pants. In the Maasai Mara, light rain showers are possible in the afternoons and evenings.

SEPTEMBER

September in Kenya is characterized by the end of winter. It is typically dry with high temperatures in the upper 70s and low 80s F and lows in the mid-50s to low 60s F. Because it can still be chilly in the evenings and early mornings, we recommend a warm fleece jacket as well as a hat, gloves and scarf. As the day warms up you’ll want to shed these layers and will likely be most comfortable in a T-shirt and shorts or zip-off pants. In the Maasai Mara, light rain showers are possible in the afternoons and evenings.

OCTOBER

Kenya’s short rains begin in October. High temperatures generally range from the upper 70s to the low 90s F, with lows in the upper 50s to mid-60s F. Be prepared for rain showers with a lightweight, “breathable,” waterproof rain jacket, rain pants and inexpensive rain poncho. You will also likely want a T-shirt and shorts or zip-off pants for warmer periods when the sky clears and the sun is out.

NOVEMBER

The short rains continue into November, and travelers should be prepared for conditions similar to those in October.

DECEMBER

By December the short rains have ended for the most part, and, as summer begins, Kenya tends to be sunny and dry. High temperatures tend to be in the 70s and 80s F, while lows are in the mid-50s and 60s F. For the hot daytime temperatures, we recommend a short-sleeved shirt, shorts or zip-off pants and plenty of sun protection, including sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. A lightweight, long-sleeved shirt may also be useful in shielding your arms from the sun.

Header Credit: Joel Davidson
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The Great Kenya Migration Safari

The Great Kenya Migration Safari

Experience one of the world's most incredible wildlife events in Africa's most classic safari destination—Kenya, home to the massive movement of creatures that is the Great Migration!

  Photo departures available
8 Days / Jul – Sep, From $9495 (+air)
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