Many people probably think of warm, hot days upon thinking about a visit to Nairobi, Kenya. Nevertheless, it depends on the time of year to consider the weather conditions. Nairobi can have mostly short, warm days in the summer months, but it can be cool, overcast, and dry in the winter months. One of the nice parts about visiting Nairobi is that no matter what time of the year you visit, there are no excruciatingly hot days compared to other parts of Africa, making it a great location to visit year-round due to the moderate temperatures.
Summers are a fantastic time to visit due to mild temperatures ranging from the low 70s F to the low 80s F. The warm season actually lasts for around two months, from mid-January to mid-March, with an average high of near 80 F. The cooler season lasts from June until August, with average daily high temperatures in the low to mid 70s F. No matter what time of year you visit Nairobi, it’s a great time to explore the bustling city. Here’s what you should know when planning your trip to Nairobi.
Fast Climate Facts:
- Hottest Month: February (81 F)
- Coldest Month: July (71 F)
- Wettest Month: April (3.4 inches)
- Windiest Month: December (11 mph)
Nairobi has two different rainy seasons, one occurring in spring from March to May and another between mid-October to mid-December. The spring rainy season is the longer occurrence, with April being the wettest month during this period offering up to eight inches of rain in total. During the shorter rainy period in the winter months, visitors can expect to see around five inches of rain in total during the month in a heavy rainy period in November. On average, Nairobi gets near two inches of rain per month throughout the year.
Summer in Nairobi
Due to Kenya being dissected by the equator, Nairobi's seasonal variations are pretty small compared to other place’s summer and winter months. The city generally has cooler temperatures during its summer months, from December through March. Due to its altitude, temperatures are pretty pleasant during the day while being cool in the evenings. In the summer months, lows can be in the low 50s F with highs in the upper 70s F close to 80 F. Even though there is only a little rain in the summer months in Nairobi, it can be quite cloudy yet cool in the evenings.
What to Pack: Bring a lightweight sweater or jacket for the cooler summer evenings out and about. Don’t forget to pack your sunglasses also as most days are sunny.
Fall in Nairobi
The fall season, starting from September to mid-October, is one of the best times to visit Nairobi. It’s a perfect time to enjoy outdoor tourist activities due to temperatures between 65 F and 80 F and little to no rain. Even though there is little rain in September, there is an increase in cloud cover. Almost half of the season's days are overcast—but it actually makes the temperatures outdoors feel quite pleasant.
Tourists can enjoy an array of outdoor activities during this time thanks to minimal rain in September and October. The sun sets around 6:45 p.m. in the fall and makes for long days to enjoy outdoor activities such as safaris and hiking.
What to Pack: Bring a floppy, lightweight hat for the outdoors on safari or hiking to shield yourself on sunny days.
Winter in Nairobi
Winters in Nairobi generally are very short, dry, and partly cloudy. The winter months are from June through September and are a bit cooler, granted there isn’t a huge variation in temperatures from summer to winter. The average highs are in the lower 70s F, with lows in the lower 50s F. June offers the calmest time of the year regarding wind speeds, with an hourly average of 6.7 miles per hour. It makes it a great time of year to enjoy certain outdoor activities such as boating and visiting the Nairobi National Park due to the calm winds and pleasant temperatures. It is one of the best times to visit Nairobi due to the cooler temperatures and dry, long days.
What to Pack: Lightweight but warm clothes are suggested things to pack during the winter months. Bring a warm jacket for the cooler nights and days as a "just in case."
Spring in Nairobi
Spring brings about April showers as it is the rainiest month of the year, and the long rainy season occurs during the spring months from March through May. It can be the perfect season to enjoy more indoor activities, such as the array of museums in Nairobi like the Karen Blixen Museum. The daily temperatures during the spring months are in the mid-70s F during the day, with lows in the low 60s F in the evenings. Even though there can be a bit of rain in the spring months, the afternoons bring about pretty clear to only partly cloudy skies. There is also not much humidity either, making it feel quite pleasant during most of the even rainy days.
What to Pack: Since the longer rainy period occurs in the spring, it is a good idea to pack a small umbrella and rain jacket for time outdoors.
Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours
|Average Temp.||Rainfall||Daylight Hours|
|January||79 F||1.1 inches||12 hours|
|February||81 F||0.8 inches||12 hours|
|March||78 F||2.0 inches||12 hours|
|April||76 F||3.4 inches||12 hours|
|May||74 F||2.5 inches||12 hours|
|June||73 F||0.5 inches||12 hours|
|July||71 F||0.1 inches||12 hours|
|August||73 F||0.2 inches||12 hours|
|September||78 F||0.2 inches||12 hours|
|October||77 F||1.5 inches||12 hours|
|November||75 F||2.5 inches||12 hours|
|December||77 F||2.0 inches||12 hours|