Kenya lies on the equator and has a pleasant tropical climate, but there are large regional climatic variations influenced by several factors, including altitude. Temperatures drop by about 6°C for every 1000m you climb (or 3.5°F per 1000ft). Kenya’s daytime temperatures average between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F, but it is warmer on the coast. The coast is hot and humid all year round, but the heat is pleasant and tempered by the monsoon winds. Kenya is too close to the equator to experience a real winter and summer. There is, however, both a dry and wet season.
Dry season – June to October
- June, July, August, September & October – These are the coldest months. Temperatures vary significantly per region and with their difference in altitude. Daytime temperatures are usually around 23°C/73°F at higher altitudes, like the Masai Mara, and 28°C/82°F at lower altitudes, like the coastal areas. During the dry season the sky is clear and days are sunny. Early morning temperatures at higher altitude are typically 10°C/50°F. It is advised to pack warm clothing as morning game drives in open vehicles will be cold. There is very little rain in most of the country so these are the least humid months, making this the best time to stay at one of Kenya’s beautiful beaches.
Wet season – November to May
During the wet season daytime temperatures are between 24°C/75°F and 27°C/81°F at higher altitudes. At lower altitudes daytime temperatures are more consistent and hover at 30°C/86°F. Mornings stay pretty cool at higher altitude and it is advised to pack warm clothes for early morning game drives in open vehicles. From December to April the humidity is intense in Tsavo and coastal areas.
- November & December – ‘Short rains’ – A period of unpredictable, short rains between November and December lasts about a month. The rain is sometimes heavy, but mostly falls in the late afternoon or evening and will seldom have a real negative impact on your safari.
- January & Februay – During these months a dry spell in the rainy season occurs and it rains less. How long the spell lasts and when it takes place, exactly, is unpredictable.
- March, April & May – ‘Long rains’ – These months get the most rain and it can downpour on a daily basis, although seldom the whole day. It’s very cloudy especially in the highlands, including Aberdare NP and the Laikipia Plateau parks. Humidity is higher and will be particularly noticeable in the coastal regions.