Divided by the equator, Kenya has a tropical climate with constantly varying conditions during the year and across the country. There is therefore no simple answer to when is the best time to visit Kenya as it depends where you want to go and what you want to do and see. Generally, it is hot and humid at the coast, and the north and inland are more dry and temperate – yet all areas will face downpours at some times.
For those who are looking to head inland, Kenya’s long dry season is from July to October and what would be considered to be “high season” – fortunately this overlaps with the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra. The “green season” is when you will see the heaviest period of rainfall; it falls in late April to May. Downpours are typically heavy for a short burst of around half an hour to an hour with immediate sun afterwards. This can be an ideal time to visit as there are fewer tourists and the vegetation is lush and green.
At any time of year, early morning or night game drives can be very chilly, especially in higher altitudes such as the Masai Mara, Laikipia and the Samburu reserves. In an open sided vehicle you may be exposed to some winds as well, so bring layers of clothing that you can take off when it warms up in the day.
Sea temperatures are pleasant all year round ranging from 23°C in July to 27°C in March. If you plan to do any diving or snorkelling on the coast the water has good clarity between October and March.
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