In southwest Kenya, the Masai Mara boasts one of the best climates of the African continent. The weather is generally very pleasant, with warm days and cooler nights all year round. It’s surprisingly cooler and wetter than many expect this close to the equator. This is due to variations in altitude (from 1,435 to 2,143m).
Located on the equator, there’s no real summer and winter here. Instead, the year is divided into the rainy and dry seasons. Here’s a summary of the Masai Mara seasons, followed by an outline of the typical seasonal patterns in further detail below.
March marks the beginning of one of two ‘wet seasons’ in the Masai Mara. This is when the Kenyan wet season begins but don’t let the term ‘rainy season’ deter you from visiting at this time. Spring-like conditions with intermittent rains, as well as warm temperatures by day and cooler conditions at night, make it a very comfortable time of year to explore the Masai Mara.
April – May
Heavier rain arrives in April, lasting until May and this is known as the Masai Mara’s ‘green season’. Temperatures fall from March-time to now, with highs of around 23 degrees Celsius. It’s wise to visit during these months. Occasional storms are burned off by tropical sun and your reward is beautiful, verdant landscapes, stunning sunsets (made better by towering storm clouds). An added bonus when visiting at this time of year is that you’ll be sharing the Reserve with fewer fellow visitors.
There are two ‘dry seasons’ in the Masai Mara and this one is known as the cooler of the two. From June to September/October, daily temperatures reach highs of 25 degrees Celsius.
October marks the beginning of the short rains and the second of Kenya’s green seasons. Intermittent showers and rising river levels make this an exciting time to visit, with much to see for bird lovers in particular. Temperatures can reach 25 degrees Celsius.
Known as the ‘hot dry season’, temperatures can reach 29 degrees Celsius or 84 degrees Fahrenheit from December to February and there’s an equivalent of just two weeks of rain in three months. During the dry season, the skies are clear and the days are sunny. Hence, the Masai Mara can provide a welcomed dose of sun and warmth, while countries in the Northern Hemisphere are in the depths of their winters.
As you travel across the changing altitude and terrain of the Masai Mara, the expected rainfall and temperatures also fluctuate, which is an important factor to bear in mind when planning and packing for your holiday. (Temperatures drop by around 6.5°C for every 1,000m you ascend.) Read our recent blog post for information on in terms of game viewing.
For more information on wildlife spotting during these seasons, read our recent blog post, The best time of year for a safari in the Masai Mara.
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