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Weather and Temperature in Kenya During Winter

The winter months in Kenya are from June to September. During this time, temperatures tend to be mild and dry but can vary depending on the location. Coastal areas such as Mombasa typically experience temperatures between 24°C (75°F) to 30°C (86°F) during the day and 18°C (64°F) to 22°C (72°F) at night. Inland areas such as Nairobi can experience cooler temperatures, with daytime temperatures ranging from 19°C (66°F) to 25°C (77°F) and nighttime temperatures dropping to around 10°C (50°F) to 15°C (59°F).

Winter in Kenya is typically the driest season of the year, with little to no rain in most regions; however, some areas, such as the highlands, may experience occasional winter showers.

Month June July August September
Avg high 23°C (73°F) 22°C (72°F) 23°C (73°F) 26°C (79°F)
Avg low

12°C (53.6 °F)

11°C (52°F) 11°C (52°F) 11°C (52°F)
Rainfall (mm) 30 10 10 20

For a more detailed seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Kenya.

Related articles:
Kenya in July
Kenya in August
Kenya in September

Why Visit Kenya in Winter?

One of Kenya's ingenious tribes performing their cultural dance.
Enjoy the cultural demonstrations by several indigenous tribes in Kenya during the Turkana Cultural Festival in winter.

Winter in Kenya means ideal weather for a plethora of activities, from wildlife watching and exploring bustling cities to relaxing on the beach. There are many reasons why visiting Kenya in winter is a good bet, and here are a few of them:

Outdoor adventures: Kenya’s winter is sunny and warm and perfect for enjoying outdoor activities without breaking too much of a sweat or the chance of rain. These conditions are ideal for getting outside, hiking, walking or climbing Mount Kenya. The rugged wilderness of Tsavo National Park offers walking safaris to look for the famous red elephants of Tsavo, along with Cape buffalo, leopard, and Masai giraffe. To see giant big-tusked elephants, head to the barren, open wildernesses of Samburu and the spellbinding Amboseli region for outdoor guided game drives.

The Great Wildebeest Migration: Don’t miss one of the world’s greatest spectacles when millions of wildebeests gather on the banks of the Mara River in a jostling mass to cross the swirling waters. The Great Wildebeest Migration typically starts in July and ends in September during winter in Kenya. This is a spectacle in itself to see, as vast numbers of animals push each other towards the water in nervous anticipation of crossing the waters to reach Maasai Mara in Kenya. Take a hot air balloon ride over the golden plains of the park and watch the show of a million wildebeests and zebras migrating from a bird’s eye view!

The cultural festivals and events: Winter in Kenya sees several special festivals where you can learn more about the rich culture and history of the country. Enjoy the three-day Turkana Cultural Festival at Loiyangalani in Marsabit County, where all the nomadic communities in Northern Kenya come together to celebrate. Another fantastic winter festival not to be missed is the International Camel Derby and Festival, held on the outskirts of Maralal town in northern Kenya every August. Camel riders come from all over the world to race over several days in the semi-desert regions. It has a fantastic vibe and is a must if you want to immerse yourself in Kenya’s tapestry of culture.

Top Destinations to Visit During Winter in Kenya

Kenya is packed with incredible destinations to enjoy in winter, from world-class national parks to beautiful beaches and vibrant cities. Here are some top destinations to consider for a winter trip to Kenya:

1. Maasai Mara National Reserve

Hot air balloons over a herd of wildebeests as seen in Maasai Mara.
Take a hot air balloon ride in Maasai Mara during winter to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration.

A Maasai Mara National Reserve tour in winter gives you the quintessential African safari experience. Home to what some sources say is the highest concentration of wild animals on the planet, Maasai Mara’s thin vegetation during the dry season in winter makes spotting wildlife from leopards to gazelles to lions, elephants, crocodiles, and hippos in the park more convenient. The limited watering holes in the park during winter provide stops for creatures following the Great Migration. If you’re traveling with a tour guide, they’ll even lead you to the exact spotting areas of the big five. 

Major Attractions: The Great Wildebeest Migration, wildlife viewing, hot air balloon safaris, Maasai cultural experiences, scenic landscapes, birdwatching, and night game drives.

Pros:

  • The Great Migration generally runs from July to October.
  • Enjoy hot air balloon rides without the worry of rainfall.

Cons:

  • Winter is the peak tourist season, which means that prices for accommodation, tours, and activities tend to be higher than during other times of the year. It also may get crowded!

2. Lake Nakuru National Park

Flamingos in Lake Nakuru National Park in winter.
Witness thousands of flamingos from all over Kenya move to Lake Nakuru National Park during the drier months in winter.

If you're looking for an incredible wildlife experience, then a Lake Nakuru National Park trip should definitely be on your radar. Winter is an excellent time to visit Lake Nakuru National Park. The dry season means that the park's many water sources are concentrated in one area, making it easier to spot the abundant wildlife that calls the park home.

One of the main draws of Lake Nakuru National Park is its large population of flamingos. Although these migratory birds are found year-round in the park, their number increases dramatically during the drier months when they move to the park from different parts of the country. Seeing these iconic birds in their thousands creating a pink blanket on the lake's surface is a truly breathtaking sight! The lovely winter weather is ideal for exploring the park on foot, by vehicle, or even by bike, and there are endless opportunities for adventure and discovery. Take a guided safari tour and get up close and personal with the wildlife, or simply soak in the stunning views from one of the park's many viewpoints.

Major Attractions: Birdwatching, wildlife, Rhino Sanctuary, Baboon Cliff lookout, Makalia Falls, hill climbing, Flamingo Island. 

Pros:

  • The park becomes a haven for hundreds of species of migratory birds, including flamingos, pelicans, and many other waterfowl in winter.
  • Winter is an excellent time for wildlife viewing, as the animals are more active during the cooler temperatures, and the park's vegetation is thinner, making it easier to spot the animals.

Cons:

  • While temperatures are generally mild in Lake Nakuru's winter, they can be cooler than during the warmer months, particularly at night.

3. Malindi

A beautiful resort in Malindi.
Plan a beach vacation in Malindi during the winter to relax in the warm weather and admire the crystal clear waters.

Malindi is a popular coastal destination in Kenya located on the Indian Ocean, famous for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and vibrant marine life.

Winter is an excellent time to visit Malindi, as the temperatures are generally cooler and more pleasant than during the hotter months of the year. The town's beautiful beaches offer plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, such as snorkeling and diving. The coral reefs off the coast of Malindi are home to a diverse array of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and dolphins.

Major Attractions: Malindi Marine National Park, Gede Ruins, Vasco da Gama Pillar, Marafa Depression, Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, Watamu Beach, and Falconry of Kenya.

Pros:

  • The cooler temperatures in winter make it an ideal time to explore the town and its attractions on foot.
  • The beaches and coral reefs off the coast of Malindi offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving, with high water visibility.

Cons:

  • Some parts of Malindi, particularly the beaches, can be affected by seaweed and pollution, which can impact the quality of the water and marine life.

Top Things to Do in Kenya in Winter

Elephants spotted in Tsavo National Park during winter.
Embark on a Tsavo National Park safari during winter in Kenya to spot the big five.
A man exploring the Hell's Gate in Kenya during winter.
Hike to Hell's Gate in Kenya during winter to explore the vicinity without breaking a sweat.

 There are many amazing things to do in Kenya during the winter months, from wildlife safaris to cultural experiences. Whether you're interested in wildlife, culture, adventure, or relaxation, Kenya has something for everyone. Here are some of the top things to do in Kenya in winter:

  • Wildlife safaris: Kenya is known for its incredible wildlife, and a safari is a perfect way to get up close during winter. Track wildlife on guided forest trekking, savannah game drives, boat river safaris, or hot air balloon rides over the plains. Head to the Masai Mara National Reserve, Tsavo National Park, or Lake Nakuru National Park to spot big game like lions, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, and lesser-known creatures like the black-backed jackal, African wild dogs, and even the pangolin! Embark on a camping trip to Amboseli National Park to see its famous elephants roaming against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Hiking and trekking: Kenya is home to many spectacular landscapes and hiking trails, and the warm winter weather with little to no rainfall is perfect for enjoying them. Climb Mount Kenya for a challenging trek, or explore the beautiful scenery around Hell’s Gate in the Rift Valley Lakes. Wander through the Chyulu Hills between Amboseli National Park and Tsavo West National Park. Unsafe hiking or trekking conditions is the last thing you have to worry about during the dry winter months from July to September.
  • Soak up the winter sun on Kenya’s beaches: Kenya has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and a winter beach vacation is the perfect way to unwind after a wildlife safari. The coastal towns of Mombasa or Malindi offer idyllic winter escapes with luxury resorts, spectacular beaches, and warm, clear waters. Spend sunny winter days snorkeling and scuba-diving along tropical reefs.

Travel Tips for Visiting Kenya in the Winter

  • Pack for the weather: Kenya's winter months can be cooler than you might expect, especially in the evenings and early mornings. Make sure to pack warm clothing and layers, as well as sunscreen and a hat for sunny days.
  • Malaria risk: Even in the winter months, Kenya is a malaria-endemic country, so it's important to take preventive measures such as taking anti-malaria medication and using insect repellent. Consult with a healthcare professional before your trip.
  • Road conditions: Kenya's roads can be rough and bumpy, especially during the rainy season. While winter is dry, the roads may not be in great condition. Be prepared for long drives and consider booking flights to certain destinations.

Visiting Kenya in the winter is an incredible experience that you won't forget anytime soon. With its warm weather, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse wildlife, Kenya is truly a gem in Africa that you don't want to miss.

Whether you're a nature lover, adventure seeker, or cultural enthusiast, there's something for everyone in this beautiful country. With friendly locals, delicious cuisine, and rich history and culture, Kenya is sure to capture your heart and leave you longing for more.

Ready to go? If you need help planning a customized trip to Kenya in winter, you can always contact our travel experts, who can devise a tailored itinerary.

Kenya tours in Summer
Published by Supriya Rayamajhi, updated on November 22, 2023

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