Climate and Geography
Climate and geography
Kenya is located on the southern hemisphere, so for most tourists this means their summertime is winter in Kenya. Luckily, Kenya does not experience 4 seasons the same way most European countries do, and it rarely dips below 20°C.
The geography of Kenya is diverse. Kenya has a coastline on the Indian Ocean, which contains swamps of East African mangroves. Inland are broad plains and numerous hills.
Central and Western Kenya is characterised by the Kenyan Rift Valley home to two of Africa's highest mountains, Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon. The Kakamega Forest in western Kenya is relic of an East African rainforest. Much larger is Mau Forest, the largest forest complex in East Africa.
Total: 580,367 km2 (224,081 sq mi)
Land: 569,140 km2 (219,750 sq mi)
Water: 11,227 km2 (4,335 sq mi)
Border countries: Ethiopia 861 km (535 mi), Somalia 682 km (424 mi), South Sudan 232 km (144 mi), Tanzania 769 km (478 mi), Uganda 933 km (580 mi)
Kenya’s climates are dependent on the geography. In Nairobi and the surrounding highlands, the average temperatures range between 19°C and 24°C. This temperate clime is mainly due to the fact that the highlands lie about 1.500 meters above sea level. It can get chilly in the mornings, mainly in the colder months of June, July, and August.
In Mombasa and along the rest of the coast, the temperature is a fairly constant 27°C year round, paired with tropical humidity. The dry heat on the savannahs and arid hinterland ranges from 21°C to 27°C, depending on time of year and height above sea level.
Kenya expiriences 2 rainy seasons: a 10 week “long rains” period in April and June, and the 5 week “short rains” in November and December. The rain falls mostly at night, and it comes short and torrential, lasting perhaps half an hour to an hour. When the sun comes back out, the wet ground will be dry in a matter of minutes.
June, July, August, September & October are the coldest months. Temperatures vary significantly per region and with their difference in altitude. Daytime temperatures are usually around 23°C/73°F at higher altitudes, like the Masai Mara, and 28°C/82°F at lower altitudes, like the coastal areas. During the dry season the sky is clear and days are sunny.