Kenya Travel Guide

safarigo   Kenya  

Incredibly diverse and known for its stunning beauty, Kenya has long been one of the most sought-after wildlife destinations, especially popular among visitors looking to book a safari trip for the very first time.

The breathtaking 
Masai Mara stands as one of the biggest attractions for wildlife enthusiasts, offering unforgettable big cat encounters as well as a front-row seat to the majestic wildebeest migration. If you’re looking to sit back and relax after your action-packed safari, Kenya is also just as famous for offering gorgeous white sand, palm-lined beaches to visitors looking to get the best of both worlds.

In this comprehensive Kenya travel guide, we’ll walk you through the best times of the year to visit, what the most popular safari routes are, and everything else you need to know before packing your bags and heading to one of the best safari destinations in Africa!

What Is the Best Time to Visit Kenya?

If you’re looking to experience the rich wildlife of the country in all its glory, the best time to visit Kenya is definitely during the dry season, spanning from late June to October. Making for the best wildlife viewing months, late June to October is also the best time to experience the majestic wildebeest migration.

These incredible animals tend to reach the vast plains of the Masai Mara in August and move back to the Serengeti as October comes around, so while you’ll be able to experience breathtaking wildlife beauty all year-round, it’s best to be prepared in advance to make the most of your stay.

Here’s a breakdown of the key pros and cons you can expect when visiting Kenya for the first time, whether you’re booking your trip for the dry season or the wet season!

Traveling to Kenya in the dry season (June to October)

  • Wildlife is much easier to spot during this season, as wild animals tend to gather around water sources to beat the heat

  • This is the best time to experience the wildebeest migration in all its glory

  • The skies are clear and the days sunny, with very little chance of rain

  • You can expect fewer mosquitoes

  • As a minor con, you can expect bigger crowds in the most popular parks and higher prices compared to the wet season

Traveling to Kenya in the wet season (November to May)

  • The scenery is much lusher and filled with vibrant greens

  • Rains are usually limited to a short shower in the afternoon, with the exception of the March to May period, when they’re more consistent and often lead to camps closing off entirely

  • You can expect much lower rates compared to the more popular dry season

  • You can take bird-watching to the next level thanks to the large presence of migratory birds from September to April

  • You might be able to experience the beauty of seeing newborn wildlife

Kenya Weather & Climate

So, besides drier months and rainy months, what kind of weather can you expect when visiting Kenya? Lying exactly on the equator and offering a tropical climate year-round, Kenya’s climate is largely influenced by altitude and by the different regional climatic variations found throughout the country.

Generally speaking, you can expect to find daytime temperatures averaging between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F, with no significant differences between the summer and winter. You can also expect to find a warmer climate on the coast where world-class beaches attract thousands and thousands of visitors each year.

The weather you’ll experience will, ultimately, depend on whether you’re finding yourself in Kenya during the dry or wet season.

Dry Season

The dry season is characterized by clear and sunny skies, with higher daytime temperatures found at higher altitudes and very little rainfall.

For most of the season, you can expect daytime temperatures to reach approximately 23°C/73°F in higher-altitude areas like Masai Mara, with coastal areas experiencing average temperatures of about 28°C/82°F.

The coldest months of the season are June, July, August, September, and October. During this time, you can expect early morning temperatures to go as low as 10°C/50°F in high-altitude regions, so packing some warmer clothing to bring along with you on open vehicles is highly recommended!

Wet Season

At the very start of the wet season, November to December, you can expect short afternoon showers to fall in the late afternoon or evening. While these unpredictable showers might sometimes be quite heavy, they are usually limited to short periods of time and are quite unlikely to impact your safari experience.
January and February are usually considered the drier months of the season, while the last leg of the wet season, March to May, is characterized by longer showers and cloudy skies, especially in the highlands. On top of the persistent rain spells, you will also experience higher levels of humidity, especially in the coastal regions.

In terms of temperatures, you can expect daytime temperatures at higher altitudes to stay between 24°C/75°F and 27°C/81°F, while at lower altitudes you’ll find temperatures hovering around 30°C/86°F. Mornings are usually quite cool when out in the Masai Mara or other high-altitude regions, so remember to pack a jacket to enjoy your early morning game drives in complete comfort!

The Most Popular Safari Routes in Kenya

Now that you know when the best times to visit are, we finally get to the meat of our Kenya travel guide: What are the best routes to experience the best that Kenya has to offer?

Thanks to its relatively compact nature and ease of travel, visitors can usually fit as much as they can into a tight schedule, mixing different destinations depending on their interests. As Kenya is home to some of the most stunning national parks in Africa as well as some of the most gorgeous white sand beaches in the region, you’ll definitely be spoiled for choice!

Most people fly into Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) and plan out their connections from there.

Southwest Safari Circuit (half week-1 and a half weeks)

The southwest offers some of Kenya’s most popular wildlife viewing, with the stunning Masai Mara National Reserve being the country’s main attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.

Here are the highlights you can look forward to when visiting the popular southwest circuit:

  • The famous Masai Mara in Narok (2 to 4 days), the hotspot for experiencing the majestic wildebeest migration and visiting the surrounding Maasai villages.

  • Lake Nakuru National Park (1 to 2 days), located in the scenic Rift Valley and known all around the world for its populations of black and white rhino.

On top of these essentials, you’ll also get the chance to visit:

  • The Hell’s Gate National Park and Lake Naivasha for world-class cycling among the native wildlife.

  • The Amboseli National Park for unforgettable views of Mt Kilimanjaro and large elephant herds.

  • Lamu Island for a taste of authentic Swahili culture, plus a healthy dose of relaxation by the tranquil beach.

  • Lake Bogoria National Reserve and Lake Baringo for experiencing a bird watcher’s paradise, including flocks of flamingos.

Southeast Safari Circuit (half week-1 week)

The southeast circuit is the most recommended route for beach lovers looking to mix their safari adventure with the ultimate beach holiday relaxation.
All the major parks found on this route can be reached by car from any of the popular beach resorts in Malindi, Mombasa, and Watamu or from the capital, Nairobi.

Here are the highlight destinations you’ll find:

  • The Tsavo East National Park (2 to 3 days), Kenya’s biggest park separating the savannah from the northern semi-desert, know for its rich wildlife and breathtaking open spaces.

  • The Amboseli National Park at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro (2 to 3 days), known for excellent elephant viewing.

If you wish to make the most out of this popular circuit, you can also extend your journey to these destinations:

  • The Masai Mara National Reserve, the most popular park in Kenya for seeing the wildebeest migration and spotting some of the region’s most beautiful big cats.

  • The gorgeous Diani Beach near Mombasa, perfect for sunbathing and surfing.

  • The Simba Hills National Reserve, known for being one of the very few places where you can spot the rare sable antelope.

Before You Go (Visa and Vaccination Requirements)

If you’re ready to book your next trip to Kenya and experience the beauty of its pristine white-sand beaches and world-class safari circuits, now there’s only the visa and vaccination question to answer before you’re all good to go!

At the moment, Kenya requires visitors to show a QR code on arrival to confirm they have completed their 
Travelers Health Surveillance Form, as well as a negative Covid-19 test conducted 96 hours prior to travel.

As of January 1st, 2021, visitors to Kenya coming from countries that need a visa to enter are required to get an 
e-visa prior to boarding their flight, with a single entry visa available to be purchased online for 51 US. You can check the official website to find out if your country is on the exempt list!

In terms of vaccinations before arrival, Kenya does not have mandatory vaccination requirements, and only requires visitors to have been vaccinated for yellow fever if they are coming from 
countries where the disease is endemic. 

Getting There

Ready to pack your bags and hop onto your flight to Kenya?

Then you will likely be flying to Kenya's main and busiest airport Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), located 15km/9mi southeast of Nairobi.
The second international airport, Moi International Airport, is located 9km/6mi west of Mombasa, and it is primarily used for domestic and charter flights.

If you’re looking to travel from Nairobi or Mombasa, you can either fly with a domestic connection out of the smaller 
Wilson Airport or take a scenic drive between reserves. But don’t worry — no matter how you choose to travel, your local tour operator will take care of all the details and arrange a hassle-free pick-up as part of your safari package!

And where else better to find your dream tour operator and package than heading over to Our convenient platform is your go-to destination for making your safari dreams come true and explore all the beauty that Kenya has to offer.