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When-to-travel-in-east-africa

When to Travel East Africa

Tanzania Best Time and Not

If your main objective is to see large quantities of animals, then the easiest time of year to do this is between June and October - Tanzania's dry season. This is particularly the case in Northern and Southern Ruaha and Selous in Southern Tanzania, Katavi in Western Tanzania as well as Mahale Mountains on Lake Tanganyika, although in June and early July the chimps can still be high up in the mountains.

The Ngorongoro Crater Highlands can still be full of flowers in June and July but be prepared for changeable temperatures, it being often cold with low cloud through these months. Tarangire in Northern Tanzania, which acts as a dry season refuge for wildlife from the entire Maasai Steppe is at its best for game between late July to late October, but is always good for elephant and in the green season (December to May) has tremendous birdlife.

See our best Time Schedule

Location

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

NORTH:
Arusha NP
Lake Manyara
Ngorongoro
Serengeti
Tarangire

Weather: Price: Popularity:

Periodic Rains
Costs are elevated
Busy. Many lodges book full

Rainy Season*
Costs are reduced
Slow. Few travelers

Rains End Medium costs
More busy

Dry Season
Costs are elevated
Busy. Many lodges book full

Dry Season
Medium costs
Not as busy but still busy

Short Rains*
Medium costs
Slower

Rains end
Peak holiday
Full holiday

SOUTH:
Mikumi
Ruaha
Selous Udzungwa

Weather: Price: Popularity:

Rainy Season
Costs are reduced at selected locations
Some camps closed. Fewer travelers

Rains end Regular costs More busy

Dry Season
High Season. Costs are elevated/regular (the South has higher priced accommodations than the North)
Busy. Many lodges book full.

WEST:
Gombe
Katavi
Mahale

Weather: Price: Popularity:

Short Dry Season
Costs are reduced
Second best time to visit

Long Rainy Season*
Costs are reduced
Some camps closed

Dry Season
Costs are elevated (the West has higher priced accommodations than the North)
Peak Season. Most recommended time to visit

Short Rains*
Cost reduced
Fewer travelers

Rain ends Cost reduced Fewer travelers

Kenya Best Time and Not

One of the best times to visit Kenya is from July to September, during the country’s dry season, which also coincides with the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra.

The rainy seasons are also good times to travel, as there are fewer visitors and you can admire the striking emerald vegetation. December in particular is a great time to travel to Kenya, since the rains are short and you have the chance to see newborn animals and migratory bird species. Only the peak of the ‘long rains’ in March, April and May are very wet.

Kenya Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Amboseli National Park 86°F 2" 88°F 2" 86°F 3" 82°F 6" 79°F 3" 77°F 1" 75°F 0" 77°F 0" 81°F 0" 84°F 1" 84°F 4" 82°F 3"
Lamu Archipelago 86°F 0" 88°F 0" 88°F 1" 88°F 5" 86°F 12" 86°F 6" 84°F 3" 84°F 2" 84°F 2" 86°F 2" 86°F 2" 86°F 1"
Masai Mara National Reserve 82°F 3" 82°F 4" 82°F 5" 81°F 7" 79°F 4" 79°F 2" 77°F 1" 79°F 2" 81°F 2" 82°F 2" 81°F 4" 81°F 4"
Nairobi 79°F 2" 81°F 2" 81°F 4" 77°F 8" 75°F 6" 73°F 1" 72°F 1" 73°F 1" 77°F 1" 79°F 2" 75°F 5" 77°F 3"
Samburu National Reserve 90°F 1" 93°F 1" 91°F 2" 90°F 4" 90°F 2" 90°F 0" 88°F 0" 88°F 0" 91°F 0" 91°F 2" 88°F 6" 88°F 2"
Watamu 88°F 1" 88°F 0" 90°F 1" 88°F 7" 84°F 11" 82°F 6" 82°F 4" 82°F 3" 84°F 2" 86°F 3" 88°F 3" 88°F 2"

Month-by-month guide to traveling in Kenya

Visiting Kenya in January

The height of summer is an excellent time to spot wildlife, both on the ground and in the air. Temperatures are hot but there will be the odd shower to cool things down, while the landscape is lush with long grass from the 'short rains' that fall in November and December. Down on the coast, the days are hot and sunny and the sea is at its clearest.

Visiting Kenya in February

Another great month for spotting wildlife, both on the ground and in the air. Temperatures remain high and the odd shower may fall, while there should still be long grass covering the landscape from the 'short rains' that fall in November and December.

Visiting Kenya in March

The weather gets wetter as Kenya approaches the 'long rains', but game viewing is still good.

Visiting Kenya in April

The 'long rains' of April and May can turn the tracks through the parks into quagmires and make the beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline hot and very wet, so this isn't the best time to travel.

Visiting Kenya in May

The 'long rains' of April and May can turn the tracks through the parks into quagmires and the beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline hot and very wet, so this isn't the best time to travel.

Visiting Kenya in June

The rains have finished for the most part, although some light showers are still possible, and the nights can be cool at altitude. The long dry season is on the horizon, and while grasses are high, making game harder to spot at times, it is a beautiful time to visit. People start anticipating the arrival of the Great Migration into the Masai Mara.

Visiting Kenya in July

The weather is temperate and dry but not too dusty, with occasional showers still possible, making this a good time to visit overall. The first herds arrive into the Masai Mara from Tanzania and peak travel and game viewing season is just around the corner.

Visiting Kenya in August

The temperatures are pleasant and it's mostly dry, making it one of the peak times to visit. Fantastic game viewing can be enjoyed now, with The Great Migration at its height in the Masai Mara providing lots of action at the river crossings as countless wildebeest and zebra gather and cross the Mara and Talek Rivers.

Visiting Kenya in September

The weather is generally dry. The game viewing action continues in the Mara, and it is still excellent throughout Kenya for wildlife.

Visiting Kenya in October

As the mercury slowly starts to rise, a few showers are possible. However, it's a lovely time to travel if you want to avoid the crowds but still have excellent game viewing opportunities. The migratory herds are leaving the Mara now, but excellent resident populations remain. All other Kenya destinations are great at this time of year.

Visiting Kenya in November

The short rains are starting and the temperature is hotter, but the Mara, along with most other destinations, remains open. However, on the Laikipia Plateau many camps are closed. There is still good game viewing under the heavier skies and activities continue. Crowds dissipate and you can often make the most of some good deals.

Visiting Kenya in December

The end of the year can be hot and potentially wet - it's the middle of the short rains, with some camps closed (particularly in the north) and some open. Where camps are open, wildlife viewing remains very good, with high bird numbers present.