Kenya rests in the magnificent Great Rift Valley on the east coast of Africa and is the destination of choice for sheer awe-inspiring travel. The equatorial country has an exquisite tropical coastline with white sandy beaches and azure waters, and for some it’s enough to while away the time soaking up the sun on the beaches of Mombasa. Some choose to go snorkelling at the Malindi Marine National Park with its exceptional tropical reefs. Some visit the country to marvel at the Kakamega Rainforest while others prefer climbing Mount Kenya. Mostly, visitors come for the thrill of a Kenyan safari experience with its exceptional natural beauty and world-famous national parks. The focus of the majority of safari tours is to spot the Big 5 within the parks, but there are countless other breath-taking things and species to enjoy. Even off the beaten track, travellers can enjoy an abundance of superb scenery from rolling savannah dotted with Masai herds and wild animals, high Kikuyu moorlands grazed by cattle and sheep, and dense forests full of monkeys and birdsong.

Whatever your preference, we at Ikewana are here to help plan your perfect holiday. Contact our experienced travel consultants and let us know how much time you have and what areas interest you. Together we will create a tailor-made journey that will live on in your heart long after you return home.

Kenya's Climate

Located on the equator, Kenya enjoys a pleasant and tropical climate. In brief, Kenya’s climate has warm and humid conditions along the coastal area, temperate conditions in the central highlands, and it is both hot and dry in Kenya’s north and northeast regions. Kenya is too close to the equator to experience a real winter and summer.

There are two dominant influences on the climate in Kenya: the onshore monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean, and the altitude. The winds determine the onset of Kenya’s two rainy seasons, with the hot northeast monsoon or “kaskazi” blowing dry air in from the Persian Gulf from November to March/April and the warm, moist “kusi” monsoon blowing in from the southeast from April/May to October. It’s the slightly cooler kusi that normally delivers the heaviest rain, a season known as the “long rains”, in late-April, May and early June. The relatively cool season, from late-June to October, has much less rain. There is a second rainy season (the “short rains”), for a few weeks in November and December, followed from about mid-December to March by a dry season of hot, usually rainless, weather. Dry season is from June to December.

Altitude affects regional climatic variations causing temperature drops by about 6°C for every 1 000 m you climb (or 3.5°F per 1 000 ft). Kenya’s daytime temperatures average between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F, but it is warmer on the coast. The coast is hot and humid all year round, but the heat is pleasant and tempered by the monsoon winds.

  • The Great Wildebeest Migration Nowhere in the world is there a movement of animals as immense as the wildebeest migration in Africa, circling the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. It is a safari experience like no other with neither start nor finish to the animals' endless search for food and water.
  • Dhow Safari Take a lateen sailed Dhow to explore the archipelago with its small fishing villages, ancient ruins, and deserted beaches around the calm waters of Lamu. It’s a wind-powered voyage and passes by stunning slivers of sand, remote coral islands and reefs teeming with fish – a romantic experience no less.
  • Big 5 Safaris Kenya provides some of the continent’s most impressive venues to view the Big 5 (lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros – both black and white). Kenya introduced a comprehensive hunting ban around 40 years ago which means that the wildlife’s fear of humans is greatly reduced.
  • Rhinos in abundance Solio Reserve is a premier rhino breeding sanctuary in Kenya and has been dedicated to rhino conservation for the last 40 years. It has been such a success that 93 black and 52 white rhinos, from Solio, have stocked game reserves all over Africa.
  • Breakfast with Giraffes At Giraffe Manor, enjoy the company of giraffes who happily inspect your breakfast through open windows.
  • Cross the equator As the country lies on the equator, there are many roads crossing it and many opportunities for a photograph.
  • Elephant Conservation Elephant calves, orphaned by poaching, are taken into by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT). Here they receive specialised rehabilitation treatment and 24-hour care before eventually being reintroducing back among wild herds.
  • Cultural encounters The Maasai people, with their traditional red shukas, brilliant smiles and overwhelming presence, add a depth of warmth to any trip into the Mara region.
  • Capital: Nairobi
  • Language: The official languages are English and Swahili.
  • Electricity: In Kenya the standard voltage is 240 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The plug type used in Kenya is the 3 large flat prong (UK). If your appliances are compatible with 220V – 240V electrical output, an adapter is all that you will need; if not, a voltage converter will be necessary.
  • Currency: The Kenyan shilling is divided into 100 cents. Banknotes are available in 1 000 shillings, 500 shillings, 200 shillings, 100 shillings, 50 shillings, and coins as shilling, 40 shillings, 20 shillings, 10 shillings, 5 shillings.
  • Airports: Kenya has three international airports: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Moi International Airport in Mombasa and Eldoret International Airport in Eldoret. These airports service numerous international carriers including the national airline Kenya Airways. The country has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, USA and Africa. Nairobi has two airports for domestic and regional flights: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airport. Kenya has over 150 domestic airports and airstrips and there are daily flights to the most popular destinations. In addition to the scheduled airlines, several private charter companies operate out of Wilson Airport.
  • Getting around: Main roads between the major cities and towns are generally in good condition, and easily navigable in a normal saloon car. Most highways in the south are paved, but not necessarily in the north. Smaller roads may have pot holes and deteriorate quite substantially in the rainy season. Vehicles are driven on the left side of the road. Should you choose to rent a car, you will need a driving licence from your home country (and a translation if this is not in English) or an International Driving Permit. Third-party insurance is mandatory when hiring a car and it’s recommended to take out the additional collision damage waiver. A valid credit card is also needed. It is not possible to rent motorbikes or mopeds but some of the beach resorts hire out bicycles.
  • When to go: There’s no simple "best time to visit Kenya" as good conditions vary across the country and visitors find something positive about the weather for the majority of the year. For safaris, go between January and the end of March when the climate is mild, mostly dry and game-viewing is at its peak. For the Wildebeest Migration, go between July and October, with consideration for the fact that it is not guaranteed that the wildebeest get to Masai Mara. However, as the Masai Mara is an all year round destination, there is always something to see and December to February are a particularly good time to view the big cats, as it is drier. For beach destinations, all year round.

    What to wear: In Kenya's major cities the dress code is conservative but not overly formal, and jeans and decent tops for women are fine. Swimsuits are acceptable on the beach but you’ll need to cover up in public places. For Safari: wear lightweight, comfortable and casual clothing. But for the early morning game drives, we recommend that you wear layered clothing that can be removed as the sun has a chance to warm up the air. Items to pack include khaki pants with zip-off legs, shorts, long pants, cotton shirts, t-shirts, a wind-breaker, a warm sweater or fleece jacket for the cool nights. And of course sunblock, a sun hat, a comfortable pair of walking shoes or tennis shoes and a pair of sandals.
  • Area: The total land area of Kenya is 569 140 km2 (219 746 sq. miles) which makes it only slightly smaller than the state of Texas in the United States. It is located in East Africa and is situated on the equator. Kenya is bordered by five countries: Somalia to the northeast, Ethiopia to the north, Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the east. Kenya has a wide range of topographical features – from the low plains found along the coast, bisected by the Great Rift Valley (the wide, steep canyon that cuts through the highlands) to the fertile plateau in the west. The Great Rift Valley is home to a number of lakes, arid and rugged landscapes, and volcanic landforms with areas of active hot springs and geothermal activity. Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, is located along the border between Kenya and Tanzania, but falls entirely within Tanzanian soil. The highest point in Kenya is Mount Kenya at 5 200 metres (17 058 feet). Kenya shares Lake Victoria with Tanzania and Uganda. It is the largest lake in Africa and the main source of the Nile River. The highland areas of Central Kenya provide fertile ground for farming, making Kenya one of the most agriculturally productive countries in Africa. The north of Kenya, however, is largely desert land scattered with thorn bush. This contrasts greatly with the Kenyan coast, which features many beaches, coral reefs, creeks and coral islands.
  • Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Lewa Wildlife Conservancy engages in several initiatives to increase thriving habitats for wildlife which involves and benefits communities. Protecting and managing several wildlife species, promoting and supporting community conservation, hosting community development programmes and educating neighbouring areas on the value of wildlife, their investments have immense influence in the prosperity of the area.

    Unforgettable scenery of free-roaming wildlife, including several endangered species at the foot of Mount Kenya, coupled with the hosts’ passion for the environment and communities is a truly inspirational experience that will linger long after you have left.

Destinations in Kenya