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Weather in Kenya in January +Travel Tips (by a Local)

Kenya is a highly sought-after tourist destination in Africa and the world at large.

Not once, not twice, the East African country has been honored globally for being the best safaris destination.

The country is endowed with diverse flora and fauna species, and beautiful landscapes ranging from the white sandy beaches along the coast to the desert plains in the North to the central highlands and the world-famous Great Rift Valley.

Besides the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife abundance, Kenya also boasts a favorable climate and weather all year round, making it a top choice for millions of foreign visitors.

What’s the Weather Like in Kenya in January?

January is normally a low season month for the tourism industry in Kenya, mainly because tourist activities peak in December, and most people resume work in January.

In January, most of the country’s landscape is covered in lush green vegetation that looks so inviting and irresistible.

During this time of the year, the October-November-December (OND) rainy season has just ended ushering in a pleasantly warm dry season that continues all the way to April.

The sky is mostly cloudless and the sun shines for about twelve hours every day.

At night, the moon and the stars can be seen and the best celestial photographs in Kenya are taken at this time of the year.

Humidity is relatively high across the country in January with the highest humidity recorded along the coastal counties of Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana-River, and Lamu as well as the Lake Victoria basin region.

Ultra Violet Indices are usually high at this time due to the high solar intensity and long hours of sunshine.

Below is a summary table of the weather conditions in Kenya in January:

Weather ElementJanuary
Average RainfallLow
Sunshine Hours9-12 hours
Sunrise6:30 AM
Sunset6:45 PM
WindsLight Breeze
Moon VisibilityVisible
Star VisibilityClear
Ultra Violet (U/V) IndexHigh
Sky colorDeep Blue

It’s worth noting that these are the average countrywide weather conditions in January and that the weather in specific locations may vary slightly.

Why Visit Kenya in January?

January has been named among the best months to go on Safari in Kenya. That is because, besides the perfect weather conditions in January, the tourism sector around that time experiences a low season prompting hotels, resorts, lodges, and Air BnBs to charge lower accommodation rates.

Cases of overbookings and unavailability of rooms in hotels and resorts are non-existent in January, meaning one can get the best accommodation deals in top-rated hotels and resorts with ease.

Also, the best tourist destinations in Kenya including the white sandy beaches at the coast, game reserves, and resorts are generally less crowded in January compared to other seasons of the year.

This allows you to explore the beauty of nature more freely and in a more relaxed environment.

In January, you get to experience top-notch hospitality in Kenya on a low budget because most hotels and resorts offer discounted prices during that season.

It’s undoubtedly the best time to get value for money from a vacation.

What to do and Places to Visit in Kenya in January

The places to visit in Kenya in January vary depending on individual preferences, budgetary constraints, activities of interest, and accommodation type.

The Kenyan coast offers the best tourist destinations to visit in January as the weather is good for a wide range of fun activities.

From swimming in the ocean, soaking up on the beach, playing beach sports, canoeing, sky diving, and touring the nearby cities.

The next best option is to embark on a Safari to one of the game parks in the upcountry regions where one can see the big five wild animals, ride hot air balloons and get breathtaking views of East Africa’s highest mountains.

The best national parks and game reserves for these activities are located within the vicinity of Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Some of the parks are Amboseli National Park, also known as the home of the African elephant, Maasai Mara, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Mount Kenya National Park, and Meru National Park.

Even though visiting the Mara in January does not give one the chance to witness the world-famous wildebeest migration, there are other exciting activities to participate in such as hot air balloon safaris, picnics, game drives, and a taste of unique African Maasai culture.

Major Events in January

Apart from the New Year’s celebrations that are held across Kenya at the beginning of January, there is no other major cultural or social event in January.

The rest of the month is usually quiet as most Kenyans resume work after the Xmas festivities and start working towards their New Year goals.

However, that does not mean visiting Kenya in January is boring.

 It is still very possible to have an absolutely eventful tour of the country in January.

What to Pack and Wear

Since the weather is generally warm with lots of sunshine, the best clothing for a January tour of Kenya is light T-shirts, shorts, a safari cap/hat, a pair of sneakers and an umbrella in case of off-season showers.

It’s also recommended to carry a scarf and jacket to keep warm at night especially if you have Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro in your bucket list.

Those regions can have very low nighttime temperatures, especially after showers.

For skin care, remember to pack your favorite sunscreen lotion, deodorant, perfume, and hair oil.

In case you do not have any suitable clothing or skincare products to carry, do not fret as there are many shops in Kenya that sell clothing and skincare items for tourists at affordable prices.

You also need a good backpack bag, a travel bag, and a smaller convenience bag to put your belongings such as mobile phones and cards while you stay at your destination.

Crowds: How Busy is Kenya in January?

Generally, there is less crowding around tourist destinations in Kenya compared to other times of the year.

At this time of the year, there is less tourist activity on the beaches, parks and resorts as the low tourism season begins after the heightened tourist activity in December.

It’s the best time to visit for people who have a disdain for crowded areas.

However, crowding is witnessed in the major cities of Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, and Kisumu as Kenyans troop back to the cities for work after the Xmas break.

FAQs about Visiting Kenya

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding visiting Kenya in general:

I. What are the average costs of a trip to Kenya?

The average accommodation costs vary from one hotel to another and also depending on location.

January to May has been named as one of the cheapest periods to fly to Kenya and stay in a hotel.

The average daily accommodation cost for a solo traveler in the January-May season is $147-$333, $248-$596 for a couple, and $489-$1,185 for a family vacation.

II. What is the best time to visit Kenya?

The month of November is the best time to visit Kenya.

That’s just after the May-October high season and just before the Xmas festivities in December.

 In November, the weather is warm and wet in most parts of Kenya and the accommodation prices are much lower because it’s the off-peak season for tourism.

The weather and low travel costs make November the second-best month to visit Kenya after January.

III. Is Kenya hot or cold?

Kenya is located in the tropics, straddled across the Equator to be precise.

This means the country does not experience the four typical seasons of summer, autumn, winter, and spring.

Therefore, the temperatures do not fluctuate from one extreme to the other and it is relatively warm throughout the year.

The coldest season is between June to August while the warmest season is between January to March.

There are two distinct rainy seasons, namely March to May and October to December.

Is January a Good Month to Visit Kenya?

The answer is definitely yes!

With fair weather conditions, relatively low accommodation costs and less crowding in tourist hotspots across the country, it is guaranteed that you will enjoy your visit to Kenya in January.

Book your reservations for your January 2024 visit to Kenya as early as today!

Kenyalogue Contributor


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