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Climate of Kenya

Kenya has a tropical climate. It is hot and humid at the coast, temperate inland and very dry in the north and northeast parts of the country. The country receives a great deal of sunshine all the year round and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. However, it is usually cool at night and early in the morning. Also given that Nairobi is at a high altitude, it can be quite cold even during the day between June and August. The long rain season occurs from April to June. The short rain season occurs from October to December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The hottest period is from February to March and coldest in July to August.

The annual animal migration - especially migration of the wildebeest - occurs between June and September with millions of animals taking part. It has been a popular event for filmmakers to capture.

In Mombasa, Malindi and around the coastal regions, it is humid and hot. The city of Malindi, for instance, receives an average rainfall of 1,050 mm (41 in) per year, with average temperatures and weather forecasts ranging from 70 to 90°F in January and 68°to 84°F in July.
The low plateau area is the driest part of the country. There, the town of Wajir receives an average annual rainfall of 320 mm (13 in) and experiences average temperatures ranging from 66° to 99°F in January and 66° to 93°F in July.

Nairobi, the capital city situated in the temperate Kenyan highlands, receives an average annual rainfall of 790 mm (31 in) with average temperatures ranging from 48° to 84°F in January and 45° to 79°F in July.

Areas of higher altitude within the highlands receive much larger amounts of rainfall. The Lake Victoria basin in Western Kenya is generally the wettest region in the country, in particular, the highland regions to the north and south of Kisumu, where average annual rainfall ranges from 1,740 mm (70 in) to 1,940 mm (80 in). Average temperatures in this region range from 57° to 93°F in January and 57° to 86°F in July.
The average annual temperatures and climates in Kenya's main areas are:

  • Nairobi: Max 77°F , Min 55°F
  • Mombasa (coast): Max 86°F, Min 72°F
  • North plains: Max 93°F, Min 73°F

Kenya Weather and Rainfall

Rainfall is seasonal throughout most of Kenya. The coast, eastern plateaus and Lake Basin experience two rainy seasons: the "long rains" extend from March to June, while the "short rains" occur from October to December. The highlands of Western Kenya have a single rainy season, lasting from March to September.
All parts of the country are subject to periodic droughts, or delays in the start of the rainy seasons. Kenya's climate has had a profound effect on settlement patterns as, for centuries, the population has been concentrated in the wettest areas of the country.

If you're coming to 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.

 

Currency

The currency is the Kenyan Shilling (KES), which can be divided into 100 cents. As of November 2011, 1 USD = 90.32 KES, 1 EUR = 120.45 KES, and 1 GBP = 139.98 KES.
1 Kenyan shilling = 0.6239 Indian rupees as on 18 october 2012

 

 

Clothing

Guests are requested not to wear bikinis or swimming trunks in the hotel dining rooms. At breakfast and lunch, shorts and T-shirts are the norm, whilst at dinner men should wear a shirt and long trousers.

Please note that topless bathing and nudity on beaches and in public areas is prohibited.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Kenya located?

Kenya is located in East Africa, nestled between Somalia to the north west and Tanzania to the south. Neighbouring countries include Ethiopia and Sudan to the north and Uganda to the west.

How big is the area of Kenya?

  • Amboseli National Park - 390 km² (150 mi2) in size at the core of an 8,000 km² (3,000 mi2) ecosystem
  • Lake Nakuru National Park - 168 square kilometres
  • Masai Mara - 1510 square kilometres
  • Samburu National Park - 104 square kilometres
  • Tsavo East National Park - 11,747 square kilometers, one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya
  • Nairobi - 684 square kilometers

How big is the Population?

The population of Kenya consists of 32 major indigenous African groups, five of which making up 70% of the entire population. These groups include Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kamba and the Kalenjin. Ethnic minorities include Arabs and Asians.

What is the time zone of Kenya?

The standard time zone in Kenya is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. No daylight saving time in 2007.

What is the Capital City of Kenya?

Nairobi (pronounced /naɪˈrəʊbɪ/) is the capital and largest city in Kenya, and popularly known as the ‘Green City in the Sun’. Nairobi is also the capital of the Nairobi Province and of the Nairobi District.
Nairobi is located on the Nairobi River in the south of Kenya and is the most populous city in East Africa, with an estimated population of 4 million. Nairobi is also the fourth largest city in Africa.

What is the climate like in Kenya?

Kenya lies directly on the equator and has a tropical climate. It is hot and humid in the coastal areas and temperate inland and very dry in the north and northeast parts of the country.

What is the best time of the year to visit Kenya?

Kenya is a great year round destination, with the main tourist season being in January and February. During this period the weather is hot and dry and is generally considered quite pleasant.

This is also a time when flocks of birds arrive in the Rift Valley, offering a kaleidoscope of colour and sound. Between June and September the weather is still dry, with the rains coming from March to May. During the rainy months things are quiet, with hotels and lodges having many rooms available and prices tend to decrease.

What type of Government does Kenya have?

Kenya is a democratic republic and is governed by the current president Mwai Kibaki, who is both head of government and head of state. Executive power is put into effect by the government and legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

What is the local currency?

The official currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES), comprising of 100 cents. Coins are in denominations of 5c, 10c, 50c, 1 and 5 shillings. Banks notes are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 shillings.
Foreign currency being imported into the country is unlimited and does not have to be declared on arrival, however, the importation and exportation of Kenyan shilling is illegal.

What are the Bank Opening Hours?

Banks are usually open from Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 14:00pm (16:30 in bigger cities). Banks at the airport stay open until midnight.

How much should I Tip?

Most of the major hotels and restaurants in Kenya include the tip in their service charge. Tipping is not essential, but appreciated, and entirely at your discretion. Porters at airports, hotels or lodges can be tipped about $1 per piece of luggage.
At restaurants, it is customary to tip waiters and waitresses 10% of the bill. On safaris, however, tips are expected and considered almost part of the pay. Tip your guide $2-$5 per person per day.

What safety issues should I consider while traveling in Kenya?

Always stay alert when walking or driving through the major cities, especially Nairobi. If possible, always ensure that you have a guide with you when exploring these areas. Nairobi has been nicknamed ‘Nairobbery’ as even daylight muggings in crowded areas are not uncommon.
Avoid walking after dark and displaying your wealth, including carrying cell phones, MP3’s, laptops and camera’s in full view. The bus from the airport to downtown is a well known target for pickpockets. Women travelers should avoid traveling alone.
The North of Kenya has a reputation for lawlessness, becoming more dangerous the closer you get to the Sudanese, Ethiopian and Somali borders. Armed robberies and abductions by bandits on the roads are frequent in these areas. If possible, avoid travelling to these areas. The towns of Lodwar, Lokichokio and Moyale are best avoided by tourists.

What is the Country Dialing Code of Kenya?

In major cities, international direct dialing should be available, but quite expensive. Local and international phone calls can be made from public phone boxes, although they are hard to find. The number for the international operator is 0196.

Can I use my Cell/mobile phone in Kenya?

In Kenya you will be able to buy prepaid (pay-as-you-go) SIM cards that are cheap and easy to use. Top-up or refill vouchers are widely available in all hotels, newsagents, supermarkets and shops. North American and Japanese phones may not work in Kenya.

Is there internet connectivity?

Most of the lodges, resorts and hotels will have internet access.

What other public communications media is there?

Kenya has a good communication system. Telephone, fax and email services are available in the cities, but could be slow and time consuming.
The post system of Kenya is quite effective, taking a week to 10 days to send a post overseas. Post and telephone offices are usually open Mondays to Fridays from 08:00am to 13:00pm and from 14:00pm to 16:30pm. Some may be open on Saturdays.

What plugs and power voltage is used in Kenya?

The local electricity supply is 220/240 volts AC, 50HZ and plugs are 3 point square. Please bring along voltage and plug adaptors if you intend bringing electrical devices. Major hotels usually provide hairdryers, irons and other electrical equipment on request.

What are the weights and measures in Kenya?

In Kenya distances are measured in kilometres and weight is measured in kilograms.

What are the Visa and Passport Requirements?

Please check with your local Kenya embassies regarding visas and passports as they could change without prior notice.

 

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