When to come

When to come

Kenya is on the equator, so the seasons do not differ greatly. Conditions are usually at their best from June till October, and December to March. Outside these months the grass tends to be long and the chance of rain is higher.

Temperature is determined more by altitude than time of year. Samburu/ Buffalo Springs/ Shaba is at around 3000 ft above sea level; the Aberdare range rises to over 13,000ft, while the floor of the Rift Valley around Nakuru is at about 5000ft and Bogoria 3000ft. The Mara is over 5000ft.

The concentration of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle in the Mara known as “the Migration” is typically highest from June onwards. Numbers often dwindle by the end of October. In some years big herds remain on the plains of the Mara all year round. In December to March the Mara often has a “billiard-table” carpet of short green grass, which particularly favours predator viewing, and reasonable herds of plains game are always to be found.

In Samburu, and the surrounding parks, conditions are often best at and after Christmas, though game viewing is usually good throughout the year.

We normally have seasonal camps in Samburu and the Mara from December to March, and again from June till October.

So … take your pick. Even in the normally rainy months conditions are usually favourable for game viewing, but with the added risk of a rainstorms.

Temperature

There is little variation from month to month. In general June, July and August tend be a little cooler, and Feb and March a little warmer than average.

Samburu year round max. and min. temperatures
Min night temp. 12 deg C (53 deg F)
Max day temp. 35 deg C (96 deg F)

Aberdare year round max. and min. temperatures
Min night temp. 6 deg C (43 deg F)
Max day temp. 29 deg C (85 deg F)

Rongai year round max. and min. temperatures
Min night temp. 9 deg C (48 deg F)
Max day temp. 32 deg C (90 deg F)

Mara year round max. and min. temperatures
Min night temp. 9 deg C (48 deg F)
Max day temp. 33 deg C (92 deg F)

Bear in mind that the temperature can feel colder than you would expect from the figures, especially in the early mornings, if there is a breeze blowing.

Bring a good windproof jacket, and a medium weight jumper for morning game drives

Rainfall

Rainfall patterns vary greatly from year to year. In general April and May are the wettest months, and January to March the driest. However in El Nino years January to March can also be wet.

Samburu Annual average about 600mm (23in)

Aberdare Annual average about 1100mm (40in)

Rongai Annual average about 900mm (35in)

Mara Annual average about 750mm (30in)

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