What to expect of Kenya's climate and weather patterns

By and large, Kenya's climate is warm all year round, with plenty of sunshine, cools nights and mornings.

But while most parts of Kenya exhibit more or less the same climatic conditions, when traveling across different parts of Kenya, you will experience varying weather patterns due to Kenya's differing topographical dimensions.

In most parts of the country, the coolest season falls between July and August with temperatures dropping to the low 50's(°F). In as much as Kenya does not have summer in particular, the months between February and March are known to be the hottest season with temperatures going as high as 93°F.

Here’s a guide to Kenya’s weather, a roundup of the climatic conditions of some key destinations to help you figure out what you need to pack to stay cool and comfortable in the hot and cool temperatures.

Weather in Mombasa and the coastal region

Famed for being one of the top tourist destinations in the Kenya, Mombasa is characterized by a distinctive hot and humid climate. It is hot for the better part of the year despite the heavy downpours between April and May and the occasional showers towards the end of the year. Mombasa basically has the same climatic pattern as most parts of the coast, such as Malindi and Lamu.

In general, the coastal region records highs of 88°F and lows of 80°F, representing a very small range. This explains why the coast of Kenya is hot for most parts of the year.

Weather in Nairobi, central highlands and its surroundings

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, perhaps exhibits one of the best climates in the country. Unlike most, the temperatures in Nairobi are moderate. Better yet, the temperature fluctuates between highs of 84°F in January and lows of 45° in July, presenting a taste of extreme ends.

The rains typically come between the months of March and May. November and December have light showers. It’s this cool climate and ever green vegetation that gave Nairobi its long-standing name; the "green city under the sun".

Weather in Kisumu, Lake Victoria Basin and Western Kenya

The western part of Kenya arguably records one of the highest rainfalls in the country with parts like Kisii famed for their evergreen farms. Kisumu, which is the heart of the Lake Victoria region, exhibits the most unique climate in the area. It records temperatures as high as 95°F. Despite the scorching sun that shines for the better part of the year, the city receives a lot of rainfall with weather analysts recording annual rainfall of 1200mm and above.

Weather in Eldoret, Kitale and surrounding areas

Eldoret like most parts of the Rift Valley has a relatively cool climate. Average temperature on an annual basis comes at an average of 62°F. Kitale has more or less the same climatic patterns as Eldoret. Like most parts of Kenya, the coldest months in both Kitale and Eldoret are in the months of July and August with temperatures dipping as low as 48°F.

Weather in Nakuru, the Central Rift and surrounding areas

Nakuru is cool for the better part of the year. It experiences light showers from time to time particularly so in the cold months of July and August. Heavy downpour usually comes after the dry and hot months of January February and March. These rains, that pour between April and May, are usually very heavy and often last a whole day.

Weather in Kitui and surrounding areas

Kitui lies in the semi arid eastern part of Kenya and has a reputation for its high temperatures and low rainfall amounts in any given year, receiving an average rainfall of 500 - 1050mm per annum with 40% reliability. Rainfall is highest from May to June. Temperatures in Kitui range between 57°F in cool months to a maximum of 94°F during the hottest months.

Weather in Turkana, Wajir and surrounding areas

Found in the Northern section of the Rift Valley, Turkana is one of the driest parts of Kenya. Rainfall rarely goes past an annual level of 400mm and the sun is ever high and shining. In fact, temperatures rarely dip below 75°F. This persistent hot and dry climate condition is one of the core contributing factors to famine in Turkana.

The low plateau area is the driest part of the country. The town of Wajir receives an average annual rainfall of 320mm and experiences average temperatures of 66° to 99°F in January and 66° to 93°F in July.

Rainy Seasons in Kenya

Rainfall is seasonal throughout Kenya. When it comes to rain, the highlands of western Kenya have one rainy season that spans from March to September. Eastern plateaus, the coast and the Lake Basin have two rainy seasons with the short rains coming from October to December and the long rains extending from March to June.

If you're visiting Kenya on a vacation or holiday, you will enjoy the weather because most of the Kenyan tourist destinations have near perfect temperatures. It's neither too hot, nor too cool, with long, sun-filled days. All you need to pack for your travel is warm clothes for the night, light clothes for the day so you’re cool and comfortable and probably a light-to-medium jacket for those cold days that may come out of nowhere.

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