Kenya Travel Guide

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Cindy Teune

Nairobi: When To Go

The cosmopolitan capital of Africa is surely not to be missed at any time of the year. Nairobi sits in the middle of East Africa , and its high altitude (about a mile above sea level) makes for a mostly mild climate year-round. Tourists will not encounter the searing heat of other parts of Africa, such as Morocco and Egypt .


Kenya has four distinct seasons: mid-December to mid-March (hot dry season); mid-March to mid-June (long rainy season); mid-June to mid-October (cool dry season); mid-October to mid-December (short rainy season).   February has the most sunshine and ten hours of day light, but in August the sunshine time is cut in half, just five or six hours. The wettest months tend to occur between March and June, with April often having up to eight inches of rain. However, no season is always wet or dry – rainfall can occur during any month, and sometimes seasons fail to occur. The average highs in the summer months are in the upper 70s and lows are in the mid 50s;   in the winter months the average highs are in the upper 60s and lows in the low 50s. In short, it’s best to go during the dry seasons to avoid being rained out on your safari or hike. But be aware of the crowds.


Most safaris and tours in and around Nairobi happen year-round, but here are a few specific dates, each with their own celebration in the capital: Madraka Day (June 1), Shujaa(Heroes) day previously known as Kenyatta Day(October 20) and Jamhuri Day/Independence Day (December 12). The Gallery Watatu and theNairobi National Museumoften hold arts festivals at the beginning of March.   Early April is the time to see rugby matches and horse races.


This professional travel guidelists specific events happening at different times of the year (scroll down to see the calendar of events on the right side of the page). But keep in mind that many events only occur when there is funding available. No matter what time of year you come, there will always be festivals, performances, and museums to attend.


The best year-round events include:


David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Center, an orphanage that takes care of long-lost wildlife, is located in Karen, a small town right outside the capital.


The Nairobi National Park, full of wild animals such as lions, rhinos, and zebras against a backdrop of skyscrapers, can be visited at any point of the year.

The Kenya National Museumshowcases everything from native plant life to the country’s native ethnic groups. Each gallery is devoted to a specific aspect of Kenyan life, such as Swahili art and pottery and stuffed artifacts. Other galleries are devoted to geology and science. Attached to this museum is Snake Park, which consists of lizards, crocodiles, mambas, and vipers, among other reptile-life

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