What’s the best season for an African safari in Kenya?

There are several factors to look at if you want to determine the best season for an African safari in Kenya. Kenya is located under the equator and it’s hot throughout the year. In principle, the country is an all-year round destination. However, you have the dry and rainy seasons, and each has it’s pro and cons.

giraffe in naivashu, kenya

Dry and rainy seasons

Most tourists come during the dry seasons: from December to February and, especially, from July to August. The popular parks (especially Masai Mara and Amboseli) are crowded then, and prices are higher. July-August is a bit cooler then December-January, when the average daily high temperature is 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

In between the dry periods, the rainy seasons take place: the ‘long rains’ (April to June) and the ‘short rains’ during October-December.

It depends on your own priorities what’s the best season for an African safari. The big plus of the dry seasons is that wildlife viewing is easier. The vegetation is less dense, and the animals come out to the water places, so safari guides know where to find them.

elephant in masai mara national reserve, kenya

The big advantage of the rainy seasons is a vibrant, exotic and lush scenery and flora, less tourists, and about 30-50% lower prices for accommodation and tours.

On the other hand, it’s harder to get around in some parks during the rainy seasons because of roads are turned into mud and cars break down quicker. You’ll generally need a 4WD in the parks then (and many safari companies use Nissan minibuses instead).

The best of both worlds?

Some say that March offers the best of both worlds, making this the best season for an African safari. Intermittent rains start during this month. Game viewing is excellent over short new grass of the plains. Spring-like conditions are moderated by cool nights and the average daily high temperature is 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are a bird lover, then the best time to go is between October and April. During that period, next to the many hundreds of bird species already present in Kenya, there are also more than 120 migrant species present who have arrived from the Northern hemisphere.

Related pages:

More about the climate in Kenya
Safari Guide: How To Do An African Safari In Kenya

So What Kind Of Kenya Wild Safaris Are There?

How to pick the best company for a safari tour in Kenya?

What clothes etc. to bring on a safari in Kenya?

Kenya National Parks

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