Best time to visit Kenya for a safari
Safaris in Kenya are amazing. Kenya is one of East Africa’s most popular safari destinations, with vast open savannah areas teeming with African wildlife. Kenya’s national parks are among the best in the world, with over 10% of the country protected in some way. A safari in Kenya nearly assures you will see the big five African animals: lion, buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, and leopard. Hundreds of other African animal species, including some of the world’s most diversified birdlife, coexist with these heavyweights.
Situated along the Kenyan coast, similarly to Uganda, the Rift Valley, a massive series of valleys stretched along a 5,000-kilometer fracture in the earth’s crust that extends through East Africa, dominates Kenya. Africa’s tallest peaks are found inside the Rift Valley, including Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon in Kenya. Coastal lowlands may be found east of the Rift Valley, whereas desert wastelands can be found in Kenya’s north. The Central Highlands and places inside the Rift Valley are the most popular safari sites in Kenya. Between June and November, the vast migration of plains animals and their predators takes place in the south of the country. Kenya safaris, in short, are among the greatest in terms of wildlife and landscape.
When exploring Kenya as a destination, self-drives are very important and are the methods that most travelers use to explore the wonderful Masai Mara National Reserve. A 4WD vehicle or jeep is required for full access to the most remote (and tourist-free) locations. Before you arrive in Kenya, check out our list of safari tour operators to see if you want to take a tour or hire your own guide and/or driver. A visit to Kenya allows you to simply extend your safari by visiting a resort on the Indian Ocean coast or participating in activities such as trekking, climbing, sailing, or diving.
When is the best time to go on a safari in Kenya?
When is the best time to visit Kenya? There is no straightforward ‘best time to visit Kenya,’ because excellent weather varies across the nation, and what one person considers great weather may be disappointing to another. Nonetheless, for the most of the year, most tourists will find something favorable in the weather. When the sun is out – which is a lot of the time, and frequently from dawn to dark for weeks at a time – it’s always fierce: you’re on the equator, and you’ll know it if you don’t use sunscreen.
We cannot know the best time to visit Kenya without taking about the weather of Kenya. The onshore monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean, as well as height, have a significant impact on the climate of Kenya. The hot northeast monsoon, or kaskazi, blows dry air in from the Persian Gulf from November to March/April, while the warm, moist kusi monsoon blows in from the southeast from April/May to October, determining the start of Kenya’s two rainy seasons. In late April, May, and early June, the somewhat colder kusi brings the heaviest rain, dubbed the ‘long rains’. From late June through October, the generally temperate season, there is far less rain.
A second rainy season, known as the ‘short rains,’ occurs for a few weeks in November and December, followed by a dry season of hot, mostly rainless weather from mid-December to March. Although continuous rain isn’t rare, the normal pattern is for rain to fall as a torrential deluge that lasts about half an hour to an hour, followed by the sun coming out and quickly drying the wet ground. Umbrellas are always provided in camps and lodges, even if your shoes become muddy and you will still get wet if you are outside. Bringing waterproofs is a waste of time.
The idea of Kenya’s climate is one thing; forecasting real weather for certain dates is becoming increasingly difficult as climate change has a growing influence, resulting in floods and droughts, as well as abnormally chilly and hot weather. In March 2010, a huge flash flood washed the seasonally dry channel of the Ewaso Nyiro, devastating the bridge connecting the Samburu and Buffalo Springs national parks and severely damaging numerous camps and lodges. The bridge was restored, but the same incident happened again in 2011, and it wasn’t reopened until 2015.
Two other things to remember about Kenya’s weather: first, swimming pools are rarely heated, and only those on the coast are guaranteed to be warm; and second, when people talk about Kenya’s “winter” – and Kenyans themselves make a big deal about temperatures that most visitors would consider quite warm – they’re simply referring to a slightly cooler time of year, not the kind of precipitate drop in the mercury that we experience at high altitude.
The huge wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara attracts many visitors to Kenya. This amazing migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra is a continual movement of enormous, nomadic herds, and it’s linked to yearly rainfall patterns and the growing of fresh grass. It is visible all year in Tanzania; all you have to do is know where to look. The migrating herds are only in Kenya for a few months, generally from July to October — however recent years have witnessed big arrivals as early as June and late-stayers in the Maasai Mara region until November or even later.
Therefore, visitors can visit Kenya any time but the dry season is the best time for you to go to Kenya and explore wonderful safari activities