Climate of Kenya

The climate of Kenya essentially depends on three major factors: temperature, rainfall and humidity. These three factors are controlled by altitude and generally the higher you go the cooler it becomes.

The main exceptions are the coastal strip and the area along the shores of Lake Victoria. Both are hot with high rainfall and humidity.

The climate of Kenya can be categorized into seven different zones:

1) Hot and wet

This describes the coastal strip and the region around Lake Victoria.

The coastal towns of Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu are in this zone. Temperatures remain steadily hot for most of the year, but on the beach the humidity is kept at bay by the ocean breeze. Average temperatures vary little during the year, ranging from 22°C to 31°C.

2) Very hot and very dry

This describes the semiarid bushlands of northern and eastern Kenya.

The average rainfall is very low and irregular with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 40°C year-round. These regions are sparsely populate by pastoral people who keep camels, cattle and goats. Samburu National Reserve is in northern Kenya and has a pleasant aura of vastness and seclusion.

3) Hot and dry

Rain in these regions falls fairly regularly every year, but in very small quantities. Vegetation is small thorn bushes and scattered huge baobab trees. Examples of these regions are Amboseli National Parks, Meru National Parks and Tsavo National Parks.

Hot and dry for most of the year, but with a reliable and fairly abundant seasonal rainfall.
This climate typically produces the open grassland known as savannah with small acacia and evergreen trees. Cattle-ranching pastoralists inhabit these areas, which support large herds of gazelles, wildebeests and zebras. Examples of these regions are the Maasai Mara, Kedong and Loita plains.

4) Warm with moderate and reliable rainfall

This describes the climate found over much of the higher areas of the country such as Nairobi. When not cultivated it produces open woodland, but most of these areas are today intensely cultivated with tea, pyrethrum, horticulture, maize, wheat, barley and dairy cattle.

5) Cool and wet

This describes the upper slopes of the Aberdares, Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon. There is dense forest with bamboo the dominant plant in many regions. Wildlife found in these areas includes buffalos, elephants, rhino, leopards monkeys and numerous species of birds. Treetops and The Ark are in this zone.

6) Cold and wet

This describes the climate found high above the forest zone on all mountain ranges. It is characterized by moorland with crystal clear streams often stocked with trout. The vegetation is Alpine heather, groundsel and lobelia that grow higher than a man.

Giant Groundsel on Mount Kenya

Climate of Kenya Annual Pattern

Nairobi’s Climate

MonthPrecipitationMax TemperatureMin. TemperatureAverage Sunlight
 incmFCFCHours
January1.53.8772554129
February2.56.4792655139
March4.912.5772557149
April8.321.1752457147
May6.215.8722255136
June1.84.6702154126
July0.61.5702152114
August0.92.3702152114
September1.23.1752452116
October2.05.3752455137
November4.310.9732355137
December3.48.6732355138

Mombasa’s Climate

MonthPrecipitationMax TemperatureMin. TemperatureAverage Sunlight
 incmFCFCHours
January1.02.5883175248
February0.71.8883175249
March2.56.4883177259
April7.719.6863075248
May12.632822873236
June4.711.9822873238
July3.58.9802772227
August2.56.4812771228
September2.56.4822872229
October3.48.6842973239
November3.89.7842975249
December2.46.1863075249

With such a constructive climate; sunny, only moderately wet, not too hot and a great variety of scenery, wildlife, game parks, and good quality communications, Kenya has many attractions enjoyable for both locals and tourists.

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