Why July, August is the best time of year to visit Kenya

Kenya game safari.
Kenya is a great all year round destination for safaris. PHOTO/COURTESY
Kenya is one of the greatest travel destinations in Africa, with the classic savannah safari topping the list of tourist attractions in the country for decades.

The East African country is also endowed with spectacular beaches at the Mombasa coastline offering tourists unequalled opportunities to relax and unwind African style.

Thanks to its perfect climate defined by equatorial temperatures, Kenya is a great all year round destination for both safari and beach holidays.

That said, the best time to visit Kenya is determined by the natural cycle of wet and dry seasons. The hot and dry seasons fall in January and February and July to October while March to May and November to December experience the long and short rains respectively.

The dry seasons are the best time for safaris around Kenya national parks and reserves. This is because it is easy to spot animals since there is little vegetation in addition to seasonal water sources drying up forcing the animals to congregate around the few permanent watering holes.

It is the best season for those who wish to witness one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the great wildebeest migration from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya which happens from mid July to August. The convergence of these animals attracts predators such as lions, cheetahs and leopards which are normally difficult to spot.

Coincidentally, the peak season concurs with the long summer school holiday in America, Europe and other western countries making it ideal for family safari vacations.

The season is also ideal for those who love camping expeditions since there are fewer mosquitoes due to lack of precipitation and stagnant waters.

However, there is a bit of crowding in most popular parks during this season and hotels and tour rates are at their highest.

For bird lovers, the best time to visit is just before the onset of rain due to abundance of algae in the lakes which attracts many birds.

Thousands of flamingoes flock Lake Nakuru in February just before the long rains while the ideal time to catch them in Lake Bogoria is in October before the arrival of the short rains.

The month of October all through to April also sees the arrival into Kenyan lakes and vast wilderness of migratory birds escaping the northern winter hemisphere.

The Kenyan coast along the shores of the Indian Ocean as well as its islands offer a myriad of fun aquatic sports and marine life. The breathtaking sunny beaches are perfect for sunbathing and strolls on their white sands.

Indian Ocean waters are clearest in March and November making them the best months for snorkelling and scuba diving. Several marine species migrate through the region at different times of the year such as marlins which arrive in December and stay until March and humpback whales which can be spotted from July to December.

Avid mountain climbers can have the time of their life scaling Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in the country and the second highest in Africa. The mountain has several routes which pose a worthy challenge ranging from easy hikes to ambitious climbs.

The best month to navigate the northern side of Mount Kenya is in August and September while the southern side is best tackled in January and February. It is advisable to engage the services of trained and capable guides.

The rainy seasons should not be ruled out by those who are unavailable during the peak season. They are advantageous since there are fewer tourists which translates to better rates in terms of tour and accommodation rates in addition to getting the undivided attention of tour guides.

During the wet season, the scenery is green and beautiful with plenty of new born animals and wildlife though not as easy to spot as during the dry period.

December being a festive season comes with numerous safari and beach tour deals and packages from attraction sites, hotels and tour firms.