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The best time to visit Kenya is greatly determined by your expectations for your Kenya Safari adventure or what you simply wish to achieve while on a safari to Kenya. The Great Migration in Masai Mara, which takes place every year between July and October, is one of the most popular attractions which makes these months some of the best times to visit Kenya for many travelers. Kenya attracts a lot of visitors at this time of year, so if you want a less crowded safari, you should know how to time your Kenya safari accordingly.
However, as a safari enthusiast, don’t assume that during the great migration is the best time to visit Kenya; the wildlife can be seen all year, with baby animals born at the end of the year and migratory bird species visiting from September to April.
During the long rains, which last from March to May, travel may be difficult. This on the other hand offers Photographers a chance to enjoy the challenge of stormy skies and vibrant green landscapes. Short rains in November and December cause less disruption and refresh the vegetation.
Fortunately, Kenya has pleasant weather all year round, so no matter when you visit, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking flora and fauna. Even during peak seasons, there are so many places to visit that if you know where to look, you can avoid the busiest areas.
Visiting Kenya in January and February: The month of January is ideal for game viewing in Kenya because it is the height of the summer season. January is a good time for beach vacations on Kenya’s coast line because it falls outside of the two notable rain seasons, but though temperatures are high.
As for February, it is another excellent month for a Kenya safari; the central highlands are warm during the day and cool at night, whereas the coast is extremely hot during the day and cool at night. In the Masai Mara, February has the lowest levels of precipitation compared to the rest of the year, and the chances of encountering wild species at watering holes are higher. Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak, is best conquered in February.
These two are such fantastic months for wildlife sightings, both on the ground and in the air. Temperatures remain high, and the occasional shower may fall, while long grass should still cover the landscape from the short rains that fall in November and December.
At the beginning of March, the weather gets wetter as Kenya approaches the long rains, but nevertheless, game viewing is still good.
As the months transition through April, we experience one of Kenya’s wettest and rainiest months. Nairobi and the central highlands are hot during the day but cool at night, as well as Mombasa is also hot during the day and cool at night. Still in April, game drives on muddy roads can be difficult, but it’s an excellent time for photographers to go on safari. There is no dust, the landscape is lush and beautifully green, and the skies provide moody backdrops for stunning wildlife photography.
In May, the long rains of the previous moths of April and March can turn the park trails into quagmires and the beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline hot and very wet, so this isn’t recommended as the best time to visit. Long rains have settled in to quench the African plains in May, and the beaches along the coast are no longer a sunny paradise. It’s not the best time for a powder-soft sand, ocean getaway.
The rains have mostly stopped, but some light showers are still possible in the early days of June, and the nights can be really cool at some altitudes. The long dry season is approaching, and while grasses are high, making game difficult to spot at times, it is a lovely time to visit. People begin to look forward to the arrival of the Great Migration into the Masai Mara.
The weather starts to become mild and dry in the month of July, but not too dusty, with occasional showers still possible, making this an ideal time to visit. The first migratory herds from Tanzania have arrived in the Masai Mara, and peak travel and game viewing season is just around the corner.
August is when the temperatures are pleasant and the weather is mostly dry, making this one of the most popular times to visit. With the Great Migration at its peak in the Masai Mara, there is plenty of action at the river crossings as countless wildebeest and zebra gather and cross the Mara and Talek Rivers.
Thousands of zebras and wildebeest perform their death-defying river crossings with hungry crocodiles in the background.
In September, the weather is generally dry, and the game-viewing action continues to its peak.
As October arrives, slow showers are possible as the temperature gradually rises. However, if you want to avoid crowds while still seeing plenty of wildlife, this is still a great time to visit. The migratory herds are leaving the Mara now, but there are still excellent resident populations. At this time of year, all other Kenyan destinations are fantastic.
The short rainy season begins in November, and most parks and camps remain open, though some camps on the Laikipia Plateau close. Despite the rain, now is a good time to take advantage of a less crowded Kenya safari at a fairly lower price.
December – the last month of the year can be very hot and rainy, but viewing the local wildlife is always spectacular. December is also a great month for birdwatchers because bird populations increase dramatically at this time of year.
Generally, the months of June through to October mark the beginning of the long dry season, which is considered the best time to visit Kenya for an authentic Africa safari experience. It is considered the best time to visit Kenya by very many safari travellers as during these dry months, the weather is at its best, wildlife congregates around water sources, and there is a sense of anticipation for the arrival of the Great Migration’s mega-herds into the Masai Mara.
The wet season in Kenya lasts from November to May. The landscape comes to life with lush green vegetation during this time. With all of the new plant life, there are also many new animals. The wet season is ideal for viewing many migratory birds that visit the area between September and April. Except between March and May, when rainfall can be continuous, expect short afternoon showers during this time.
The off-season, which runs from March to May, is the most affordable time to visit Kenya for budget travelers. While game drives can be difficult due to muddy roads, the region has spectacular scenery this time of year.
Photographers will enjoy a Kenyan safari during this season because there is no dust and everything is lush and green. Some camps and lodges close during the low season, so check with our team in advance if you plan to visit between November and May.
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