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As one of the top safari destinations, Kenya is visited by people from all around the world for wildlife, culture, beaches, business, and more. Depending on the specifics of your trip, there is the best time to visit Kenya for the various activities and preferences.

Kenya lies across the equator and enjoys a warm sunny climate all through the year. This is why Kenya can be visited at any time of the year for both wildlife and coastal activities.

In this article, we'll look at the best time to visit Kenya - overall, and also explore the best times based on popular activities like wildlife migration.

masai mara national reserve kenya

Best Time To Visit Kenya

When it comes to narrowing down the best time, we - like many others have to agree that the dry seasons are the best time to visit Kenya for a safari. The two dry seasons occur between June and October, as well as January and February.

The biggest factor in what will be the best time for you to visit Kenya is the activities you are interested in. Some people are all about watching the great migration and yet others are more attracted to the animal calving of the wet season months.

We've broken down the article into separate sections that cover the various aspects that would greatly determine what your specific best time could be for visiting Kenya.

Kenya's Seasons

Kenya's climate is determined by altitude as well as the winds of the Indian Ocean. This means that the Rift Valley, as well as Mombasa ( areas of low altitude), are going to be warmer than Mount Kenya areas which are raised.

 1   January & February  Dry Season  Short dry spell
 2   March - May  Wet Season   Heavy rains
 3   June - October  Dry Season  Cold Mornings, No Rain 
 4   November - December   Wet Season  Light rains

Best Time For Kenya Wildlife Safari

Kenya has 2 dry seasons that are very ideal for wildlife safaris in the national parks and game reserves. The dry season makes it easier to spot wildlife, and large herds of animals can usually be found congregating near the water bodies.

Wildlife safaris in the dry season can easily become overcrowded - especially in July and August. If you prefer smaller crowds, you should keep this in mind and ask your travel planner to schedule accordingly.

lion pride in maasai mara

Of the 2 dry seasons, the mid-year season is ideal for those who are interested in witnessing the great migration in Masai Mara. The January and February dry season is great for smaller crowds, especially in February.

Not everyone has to visit in the dry season because some activities such as photography could require the wet months when the landscape is lush and alive with animals and birds. Once again, the best time is supposed to meet your goals.

Best Time For The Great Migration

great migration safari

The great wildebeest migration is a spectacle that overshadows the fact that the Masai Mara can be visited for incredible wildlife outside of the migration. This is rightfully so because it is a wonderful experience.

If your intention for going to Kenya is to see the migration of more than a million animals, as they dodge toothy crocodiles, you should visit between August, September, and October.

The movement of the animals is not guaranteed since they follow the rains as they look for fresh pastures. As the climate changes, sometimes the crossing starts happening earlier (in July) and can last up to around November.

Related article: Interesting facts about wildebeest

Best Time To Visit Beaches

quirimbas white beach

Because of the location along the equator, Kenya's beaches can be visited at any time of the day and there is no guarantee on the weather since it could rain at any time.

The months between March and May have a lot more rain and see the least beach and diving activity. The best time for visiting Kenya's Indian Ocean beaches is between June and January when there are fewer rainstorms.

Cheapest Time To Visit Kenya

Kenya's tourism infrastructure is very well developed and you have a chance of drastically reducing your costs without compromising the experience. This can be done at all times of the year.

For the extremely budget-conscious traveller, the best time for you to get deals and discounts is during the wet season months of March, April, and May. This is when you will get great discounts, especially on accommodation because of the low occupancy in the low season. 

Any savings you can get on a safari is always great because it could mean an extra day for you to explore.

Another advantage of this low season period is that you won't find crowds, so it will feel very intimate having so much wilderness (or beach) to yourself.

We have to mention that you shouldn't let cost-cutting lead you to work with questionable people and bad experiences.

Final Thoughts

While there is a best 'recommended' time to visit Kenya which works for very many people, your choice should be made based on the activities you want to do. Going at a time that doesn't have your activity is one way of greatly ruining your safari experience.

The great migration and wildlife game drives attract many people but Kenya's culture, coastal beaches, bird watching, and Mountain climbing attract many people and might be suited for different times. 

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