Kenya in October: Transitional Period Travel Tips


Kenya in October is a month of seasonal change. It is when the country’s weather shifts from dry to wet while the famous animal migration across its savanna reaches its climax. School holidays are over by this time of year and the beaches along the Indian Ocean coast become more relaxed and sparsely populated.

By October-end, wildlife will be harder to spot as the undergrowth starts to grow taller and thicker, but for the most part of the month, this is the best time for a safari experience in Massai Mara and other parks across the country. The savanna grasslands are still at their shortest and many watering holes are dry, which means you will have a better chance of spotting Kenya’s rich wildlife that congregates at the remaining water sources.

Kenya Weather in October

Sunset in Savannah in Kenya in October
Savannah provides an amazing view of the African sunset.

Kenya’s weather undergoes a rapid transition from dry season to wet starting mid-October. Expect a daily high of 26℃ and a low of 15℃ in Nairobi. Plus, if you are in the city towards the end of the month, you should expect some rainfall.

Coastal Kenya is still balmy and sunny though. In Mombasa, the temperature ranges from 22℃ to 30℃. In Nakuru, in the country’s west, the mercury hovers anywhere between 11℃ and 26℃. The highlands around Mount Kenya are often cloudier than the rest of the country during this time of year. Temperatures in this part of the country sway between 14℃ and 22℃.

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

Weather in Kenya in October - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)262827252423222326272524
Avg Nightly (°C)131314151412111111131413
Avg Daily (°F)78.882.480.67775.273.471.673.478.880.67775.2
Avg Nightly (°F)55.455.457.25957.253.651.851.851.855.457.255.4
Avg Rainfall (mm)406090130120301010204011080

Why Visit Kenya in October

Tropical coasts of Mombasa in Kenya in October
The tropical coasts of Mombasa in Kenya are sparsely crowded and allow relishing the beautiful beaches.
Wideneest migration, Kenya in July
Every year millions of wildebeests make the dangerous crossing when migrating between Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya.

Enjoy the last month of the dry season in Kenya in October, which also happens to be the best time to explore the country’s wild and exotic attractions. Below are some experiences you can have during your stay in Kenya in October: 

  • Best safari experience: A million and a half wildebeests migrate north across the Mara River from the Serengeti between the months of July and October. Be there to witness the spectacle. Your chances of spotting the Big Five in Maasai Mara are also much higher during this month, as these animals frequent the few remaining watering holes and the wetland fringes of the Mara River.
  • Hell’s Gate and Lake Naivasha: This small national park west of Nairobi has a large antelope and hippo population. Similarly, Lake Naivasha abounds with many bird species. October is the best month to explore the highlights of Lake Naivasha and Hell’s Gate National Park.
  • Hit the beaches: Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline has some of East Africa’s best beaches, which receive fewer visitors during October. Holidays in Mombasa and Malindi are popular among visitors, and you might want to add them to your itinerary.

Where to Go and What to Do

Ecological diversity in Lake Nakuru Kenya in October
Enjoy the ecological diversity and witness the varied wildlife inhabiting Lake Nakuru and its picturesque ridges.

Traveling to Kenya can be a bit expensive in October, but the month also offers the best chances of witnessing the country’s unrivaled spectacle in the form of wildlife migrations in Maasai Mara. Places such as Mara Serena Lodge, the riparian forests along the Mara and Talek rivers, the Oloololo Escarpment, and the Mara Triangle are the best places to spot Kenya’s rich wildlife and bird populations.

October is also the month to visit Nairobi as the Kenyan capital hosts the annual Safari Sevens, widely regarded as Africa’s premier rugby tournament. Fans from across East Africa descend on the city to watch the games at the RFUEA Ground and in bars and restaurants all over the city. Attending this sporting festival is a great way to meet people from all over East Africa and make new friends.

To escape October showers, you could sip a cool drink and swap tall safari stories at the Terrace Bar of Mayhouse 680 Hotel (a favorite watering hole of hunters and safari guides). You might also want to visit the Karen Blixen Museum, Nairobi National Museum, and the Matbronze Art Gallery and Foundry to check out their collections. Going souvenir shopping at the Maasai Market is also a good idea while you are in Nairobi.

Straddling the Equator in the heart of East Africa, Kenya’s diverse range of climates and landscapes provide an opportunity to spot some of the continent’s most iconic animals. Despite the higher prices for flights and accommodation, October is the best time to explore and experience Kenya and its vast wilderness.

If you need help with planning a customized trip to Kenya in October, you can always reach out to our local travel experts who can devise a tailored itinerary for you. You can also check out our guide on how many days to spend in Kenya to craft an itinerary that best fits your requirements. For more information and instant inspiration, you can browse through our Kenya trips in October.

Create your custom-made trip to Kenya

Traveling to Kenya? Chat with a local travel specialist in Kenya who can help organize your trip.

  • Thea Gillingham
    Thea Gillingham
    Travel Expert in Kenya & Tanzania
  • Leonie Taylor
    Leonie Taylor
    Travel Expert in Kenya & Tanzania
  • Victoria Erskine
    Victoria Erskine
    Travel Expert in Kenya & South Africa
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