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Weather in Kenya in December +Travel Tips (By a Local)

Known for its stunning beauty, sustainable tourism, and wildlife management, Kenya is a great vacation destination.

It is globally recognized for its out-of-the-world safari experiences where visitors get to see the Big Five in close range.

For people with a knack for picturesque landscapes, fascinating culture, and water activities, the country abounds in all.

The Cradle of Mankind, as the country is referred to, is full of charm beyond anyone’s imagination.

To get the best Kenya has to offer, a timely visit is necessary.

Granted, you can book your vacation any time of the year but certain activities only happen at specific times of the year.

For instance, the great Wildebeest Migration only takes place from July to October. If you come in January, you will miss this awesome experience.

Let’s talk about the Kenya weather in December.

Should you visit the country during this time? Also, what are some of the things to do and places to visit in December? What about items you should you pack and wear?

We have discussed these and more below.

What’s The Weather Like In Kenya In December?

In general, December is one of the warmest months of the year in all parts of Kenya.

While this happens to be the winter time in other parts of the globe, Kenya, and Africa at large gets to experience more sunshine and higher temperatures—both during the day and at night.

With that said, different parts of Kenya experience different weather patterns.

For instance, the coastal towns of Mombasa, Malindi, Watamu, and Diani are warmer than the capital Nairobi and other notable places such as Maasai Mara, Nakuru, and Mount Kenya.

Nairobi will be around 230C during the day and about 150C at night.

The coastal towns of Kilifi and Mombasa will maintain about 310C during the day and about 250C at night.

Mount Kenya National Park will experience cold days of about 240C and even colder nights of 130C. 

While December is a warm month in Kenya, it is also relatively wet (an average of 34mm of rainfall).

This is especially true for the first half. It is the tail’s end of the short rains in the country.

 If you come between the first day of the month and the 15th, expect light showers during the day and sometimes at night.

But it is possible to go three to four days without any rain at all.

Anticipate about 12 hours of sunshine and 12 hours of intermittent rain. This is a great time to visit the coastal region as it cools off things a little. 

As the month progresses, the showers taper off giving way to dry days full of blue skies.

The landscape will instantly transform into a lush green beauty that takes you into a world of its own.

Humidity stays relatively high at about 73% – 83% throughout the month.

Here’s a table showing December weather in specific regions in Kenya.

LocationTemperature (Day/Night)Rainfall (mm)Relative Humidity (%)UV indexRainfall days  
Nairobi230C/150C26.5883-510
Mombasa320C/230C13.41006-715
Maasai Mara National Park250C/100C22.281615
Amboseli National Park270C/190C18.486617
Mount Kenya260C/140C13.688510
Lake Nakuru220C/100C21.7945.58
Lake Baringo220C/120C13.6482520

Why Visit Kenya In December

There are plenty of reasons to visit Kenya in December. Here are a few of them.

I. Warm weather

If you are looking to escape the harsh December winter in most of the Western world, make your way to Kenya.

No matter your destination, you will enjoy some sunshine and warmth.

The long sandy beaches in the country’s coastal regions will offer the much-needed sun and relaxation.

II. Discounts

December is a rather busy month for the Kenyan tourism sector.

While this may not be a good thing for travelers, there’s a silver lining to it.

Hotels, flight companies, and taxi companies offer deals on their products and services.

If you book your destination earlier in the year, you can get the best rates than during other times of the year. 

III. More Things To Do

During December, most wild animals in parks have newborns.

If you are lucky, you will catch a live birth or a few.

On the coast, it is possible to watch the whale shark off the Indian Ocean shore.

IV. Better Cultural Experience

Like other parts of the world, Kenya comes alive in December.

This especially goes for the last weeks of the month as the year comes to a close.

From New Year celebrations to an array of parties, and traditional festivals, there’s a lot to be a part of during December.

The nightlife scene is also bustling during December as people unwind more.  

What To Do And Places To Visit

1. Game drive at the Maasai Mara Park

Because of the wildebeest migration in July-October, the Maasai Mara National Park isn’t as full in December.

You will get ample time to watch your favorite animals and take plenty of photos.

2. Beach fun at the Kenyan coast

Here, there are plenty of things to do. You can head over to Malindi to snorkel and participate in water fun activities or simply relax by the pool in one of the many Kenyan beach resorts in Mombasa.

Diani, located in the southern part of Mombasa, has a fine assortment of sandy beaches for beach lovers.

Mombasa town itself is bustling with tantalizing Swahili street cuisines, historical buildings, and fine-dining eateries.

3. Visit one of Kenya’s lakes

While the Indian Ocean is a go-to destination for many Kenyan tourists, the Kenyan lakes also offer an experience worth sampling.

The country has more than 10 lakes – each with a charm of its own. For instance, Lake Nakuru boasts beautiful flamingoes that fill up the shores in December making it a picturesque location.

Lake Baringo in the Rift Valley is famous for its hot springs among other things.

Lake Victoria in the western part is where most of the fishing happens.

If you want to see how local fishermen carry their trade, this would be a great location to visit.

Related: 15 Most Beautiful Lakes in Kenya to Add To Your Bucket List

4. Tour Kenya’s parks

Maasai Mara is one of Kenya’s famous wildlife parks.

However, there are a few more to visit for a game drive.

These include Nairobi National Park, Amboseli National Park, Mount Kenya National Park, Tsavo National Park, and Lake Nakuru National Park.

Major Events In December

Here are some of the events to look out for in December in Kenya.

1. Jamhuri Day celebrations

Kenya commemorates the day it became a republic on 12th December – a day called Jamhuri Day.

As such, the day is filled with parades, parades, and huge parties in selected stadiums.

Nightclubs and hotels sometimes also throw parties to celebrate the same.

2. Christmas and New Year celebrations

As is the case in other parts of the world, Kenyans also celebrate Christmas and New Year in style.

Homes, shopping joints, eateries, and churches decorate their spaces with beautiful flowers, balloons, and greenery.

New Year’s Eve is marked with breathtaking fireworks displays across the country.

 There are a ton of concerts in Nairobi on the same night as well.

3. Beach Life NYE

Every year, Diani hosts glamorous New Year’s Eve parties in different locations.

You get treated to graceful performances, plays, music, and good food among many things at the region’s warm sandy beaches.

What To Pack & Wear

Being a relatively warm month, tourists en route Kenya in December need to pack plenty of light clothing.

Shorts, swimsuits, light dresses/shirts, and cotton pants are great.

You also want to bring your sunglasses and hats to protect your skin from the harsh UV rays.

 Since rains are to be expected, a few warm clothes are also necessary.

Carry one or two jackets/sweaters, warm pants, and heavier tees to keep warm when temperatures dip.

 As for shoes, sandals for the coastal vacation are good.

Closed shoes are a must if you are headed to the colder regions of the country.

Don’t forget to pack other essentials such as sunscreen, mosquito repellents, and personal effects.

Crowds: How busy is December in Kenya

December is no doubt a busy month.

Local and international tourists flock to vacation spots in search of fun and entertainment after working hard all year long.

The coast is especially full this time of the month.

If you dislike crowds, consider visiting during the first half of the month.

The last two weeks (especially just before Christmas through the New Year) can be really hectic.

Thankfully, the National Parks are less crowded than the coast.

FAQs

A. Which Is The Best Month To Visit Kenya?

July-October would be great for people hoping to see the great Wildebeest migration at the Maasai Mara Reserve.

Else, January to June is the low season.

You will get a great experience without paying a pretty dollar for it.

B. How Much Does It Cost To Visit Kenya?

It really just depends on where you hope to visit in Kenya.

A game drive at The Mara will cost a lot more than a visit to the Kenyan rift valley.

Similarly, a visit to Diani’s sandy beaches will set you back less than spending days lounging in beach resorts.

On average, expect to spend about $1,500 if you are alone and $2500 for a couple.

A family of 4 will spend an average of $3,500.

Final Verdict: Is December good to visit Kenya?

December is a good month if you don’t mind big crowds, warm and wet weather, and great deals on accommodation and flights.

However, consider visiting Kenya when the crowds have dropped – from January to June.

Still, if you truly want to tour the country in December, by all means, go for it.

Just plan your trip early enough to get a bang for your buck!

Kenyalogue Contributor

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