The best time to visit Kenya for a beach holiday is from October to January, especially during November. This period is usually considered the best time to visit Kenya’s beaches, as these months offer the perfect conditions for diving and snorkelling. If you’re after the opportunity to swim with whale sharks, then pay a visit to the coast of Kenya between October and April, as the best whale shark sightings occur between January and March.
Kenya's Indian Ocean coastline is generally humid and hot all year round. There is a chance of rain on the coast throughout the year though, and the country is at its wettest and hottest during the mid-March to late May rainy season – we’d recommend avoiding Kenya’s coast at this time.
Month by Month Guide for Travelling to Kenya’s Beaches:
Travelling to Kenya’s Beaches from January to March
Kenya is hot during January but there will always be the odd shower to cool things down later in the day. Down on the coast the days are warm, and the ocean visibility is at its clearest making this the best time to visit the best Kenya beaches for a vacation – particularly for scuba diving. The surrounding landscape is lush and green from all the summer rainfall in December and November.
February is the last real month of summer before the long rainfall season begins in March. This is an ideal time to visit the coast of Kenya for a beach holiday as daytime temperatures are high, and there is plenty of sunshine – sunscreen is a necessity. For divers and snorkellers, this is a great time of year to swim with whale sharks and encounter large marine life like giant manta rays, dolphins, turtles and various other species of shark while on a dive in Kenya’s clear waters.
March is usually the start of the long rainy season but it’s one of the hottest months of the year, especially on the coast. This is one of the best times to visit Kenya for diving, as the coastal areas have clear visibility in the waters during this time.
Visiting Kenya for a Beach Vacation from April to June
The coast is very hot during the day in April and warm in the evenings. Rainfall along the coast tends to arrive in short showers in the late afternoon and it can be unpleasant on the beaches. April is one of the wettest months along the coast and is not the best time for a Kenya beach holiday.
The beach regions are warm during May and incredibly humid. This is one of the wettest months in Kenya with a monthly rainfall which is sometimes more than 300 millimetres (12 inches). This month is not the best time for a beach holiday in Kenya, with decreased visibility in the ocean and fewer sunshine hours.
June is the start of the dry season across the country and the beaches of Kenya can enjoy sunny weather, but with occasional rain showers. The tourist crowds are yet to arrive in Kenya this month, and you can enjoy a quieter atmosphere while sunbathing, swimming in the ocean, and exploring beautiful coral reefs. Kenya has some of the best beaches in Africa.
Travelling to Kenya’s Beaches from July to September
July is cool along the coast of Kenya. Watamu Beach and the popular Diani Beach have warm temperatures and are popular Kenya beaches to visit during this month for sunbathing and exciting water activities.
August is a great time for a seaside vacation and the best time to visit Kenya beaches if you would prefer to avoid the safari crowds of the peak season. While herds of wildebeest are migrating inland during this time of year, the humpback whale migration starts off Kenya’s coast. The Watamu Protected Area is a hotspot for whale sightings in August, as these majestic marine giants make their way to the east coast of Africa to give birth to their young.
September is the first month of spring in Kenya and the weather is pleasant, but the coast can be extremely hot especially in the southern parts of Malindi and Mombasa. This is not quite peak season, but it can be expensive at this time of year if you are planning a beach vacation to Kenya.
Visiting Kenya’s Beaches from October to December
October is the start of the short rainy season, but this is the start of fantastic beach weather in Kenya. October is warm and an ideal time to experience the white-sand, palm-fringed beaches.
November is the best time to go on a beach holiday in Kenya and the annual Mombasa Carnival takes place on the coast. This is the biggest carnival on the country’s calendar and hosts two parades filled with music, dancing, and elaborate costumes, really bringing the beaches of Mombasa to life just before the summer season.
December is a festive time of year, and this is not just peak season for tourists but is another best time to visit Kenya for a beach vacation, especially for snorkelling. With seagrass underwater meadows and extensive coral reefs, Kenya is one of the most popular destinations for snorkellers off mainland Africa. Sea turtles, colourful starfish and clownfish are just a few of the many species that you will encounter.
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