For most people, Kenya has a perfect climate. Stradling the Equator, Kenya has sunshine and warm weather all year long, with two rainy periods occurring usually around April and October.
The weather differs a great deal from one part of Kenya to another, simply because the altitude is so varied. Just as the landforms throughout the country are diverse, so is the climate. Kenya is bang on the equator so in the low-lying coastal areas, the temperatures are high and humid with sunshine all year round, tempered by warm sea breezes. Most of the game parks are covered in semi arid bush-land and have temperatures of around 30-40º and rainfall spread evenly throughout the year. Unless you’re very unlucky, rainstorms don’t tend to last for very long out in these arid areas, and no sooner has the rain stopped, the sun will come out again immediately! There are deserts up in the north and north east of the country and cooler climates are found in the higher regions of Mount Elgon, the Aberdares and Mount Kenya which is usually snow capped.
The best times to visit:
There really is no “best time” to visit in our opinion! Being on the equator means that Kenya has the same length days all year around (roughly speaking it always gets light at 6am and dark at 6pm). Kenya also doesn’t have 4 seasons, as found in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. It’s sunny and warm all the time, with a couple of rainy seasons! The subtle differences; however, between the times of year, mean that you may want to choose to go at a particular time:
June, July and August are the cooler months with the country looking green and lush after the rains. This is the time when the wildebeest migrate to the Maasai Mara.
September, October and November are a colourful time with the Jacaranda trees in blossom all over the country at this time of year. It’s an attractive time of year and the short rains in November freshen up the countryside.
December to March are the ‘summer’ in Kenyan terms. At around 90°F or 30°C the weather isn’t ever VERY hot, but just pleasant and not particularly humid. There are cool mornings and nights and the light rain storms can continue into December.
April and May are known as the long rains. Although there is usually spells of heavy rain every at this time, often the rain is at night and morning and once the rain has fallen, the hot sun comes out in the afternoon leaving the ground to steam. The mixture of sun and rain at this time of year means you’ll have a very good chance of seeing rainbows.
In recent years, the rains have not always been easy to predict and not always confined to the above months. No matter what though, being on the Equator means that you can be sure to get a a fair amount of sunshine and warm weather each day, whatever time of year you visit.
October to January is the best time to visit the coast as there is less seaweed, although any time of the year is just gorgeous if you like long stretches of white sandy beaches, swaying palms and plenty of sunshine!