Overview – Kenya

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Kenya is a top wildlife destination, recommended especially for those booking a first-time safari. The Masai Mara offers excellent big cat encounters and is the setting for the yearly wildebeest migration. Palm-lined beaches offer a perfect place to relax after an action packed safari.

Rates (USD) $120 to $519 pp/day
Best Time to Go June to October, January to February
High Season July to November, January and February
Size 580,367km² / 224,081mi²

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent wildlife viewing, including the annual wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara
  • A wide variety of habitats and scenery
  • Beautiful beaches with plenty of resorts to choose from
  • Traditional indigenous cultures
  • Excellent service and well-run tourism industry
  • The main tourist attractions are often crowded with tourists

Kenya Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Except for lions, big cats generally aren’t as common as other sizeable wildlife in Kenya, such as the giraffe, hippo and elephant. The one place where you can see plenty of them, along with an abundance of other wildlife, is Masai Mara. The rhino is another less-common animal, as is the African wild dog, though you never know your luck on safari. Of course, it’s the wildebeest and zebra who really put on a show here, with the incredible annual migration.

Weather & Climate

Kenya’s equatorial location rules out a distinctive summer and winter, but it does have clear-cut Wet and Dry seasons. The wetter months (November to May) are characterized by very warm temperatures of around 30°C/86°F, with the addition of sticky humidity down along the coast. The drier months (June to October) have cold nights and mornings, and fairly pleasant afternoons. The other big climatic influence is altitude, with temperatures dropping about 6°C/3.5°F for every 1,000m/1,000ft the higher you go.

Best Time to Visit

The Dry season (June to October) is your best bet for wildlife watching. This is when the bush thins out, making animals more visible as they head for the nearest waterhole. This is also when the wildebeest and zebra pass through. The Wet season (November to May) has its attractions as well. These include fantastically green scenery, lots of newborn animals, and cheaper low-season rates.

Premier Parks and Reserves

Want to Visit Kenya?

Kenya Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Kenya – middle earth
4/5

Kenya should be the world’s finest safari destination. It has every natural advantage. Wrapped around the equator, it has the most extraordinary range of landscape, from the Indian Ocean to the Turkana Desert, the Great Rift Valley to the...

Latest User Review
Kenya | Magic
5/5

Amazing country, people and wildlife. We will be making this an annual trip for sure.