Kenya Travel Guide: When to Go and What to Do

Kenya has long been a hotspot for tourists with a sense of adventure. From wildlife safaris to mountain climbing and watersports, in addition to a vibrant capital city, Kenya has much to offer.

In fact, with so much to see and do, some sightseers can’t squeeze everything into the 90-day Kenya eVisa allowance. The great news is that if you do find you need more time in the African nation you can apply for a visa extension. Get more information about Kenya visa renewal here.

This short guide will help you plan your trip to Kenya including when to do it, what to take, and what to see and do once you get there.

best kenya safari tours

When Is The Best Time of Year to Visit Kenya?

There is no simple answer to this question. Rather, the best season to visit Kenya depends on your itinerary.

If you’re going on safari, consider visiting during the long dry season from July to October. The lack of rainfall means that wild animals gather around wet spots to drink, herbivorous creatures stay close to permanent water supplies and, of course, the predators follow close behind.

One of the most spectacular natural events of the year, the Masai Mara – Serengeti Wildebeest Migration, takes place towards the latter part of the dry season, from mid-August to October.

Kenya also offers a welcome escape from the cold and wet winters of the US and Europe. January and February in Kenya are great months for a beach vacation, with average temperatures of 73– 76F (22– 24ºC).

What’s more, water clarity is at its peak at this time of year and sea temperatures hover above 20ºC, excellent conditions for diving and enjoying Kenya’s plethora of marine life.

What to See and Do in Kenya

An African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see animals such as lions, elephants, and rhinos in their natural habitats, and there is nowhere better to get up close to wildlife than in Kenya.

Tourists can take a guided safari tour of many of the country’s incredible national parks. Opt for Masai Mara National Reserve if you want to see the Great Migration to and from the Serengeti whilst Lake Nakuru National Park is home to over a million pink flamingos.

In contrast, Nairobi is Kenya’s buzzing capital city. A commercial hub home to major businesses and important buildings, Nairobi is bustling and energetic. The Kenyan capital is great for shopping: pick up everything from authentic souvenirs to designer clothes at one of several malls dotted throughout the city.

Nairobi is also famed for its nightlife. Cool bars attract locals and visitors alike whilst the vast range of nightclubs cater to all musical tastes to keep you dancing late into the night.

You can probably name Africa’s highest mountain (Kilimanjaro) but did you know that the continent’s second-highest peak is found in Kenya? Mount Kenya is just over 17,000 feet (3,800m) high– those who complete a guided trek to the top are rewarded with breathtaking views.

Packing for Kenya: What to Wear and Take With You

Not sure what you’ll need to take on safari or the best type of clothes for the city? 

When heading out on safari or exploring Nairobi, the most important consideration is to be comfortable and protected from the sun. Clothes should be loose-fitting and ideally long-sleeved, to prevent sunburn and insect bites.

Pack your most comfy footwear such as trainers or walking shoes. Lightweight fleece or jacket is recommended to keep warm in the evenings when temperatures drop.

Whilst most smartphones have decent cameras these days, for the best shots of wildlife take a camera with a zoom lens to capture shots of wildlife grazing in the distance.

Sunscreen is also non-negotiable for a trip to Kenya, as are sunglasses and a hat with a brim or peak. Don’t forget insect repellent and reapply regularly.

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