People tend to avoid the rainy season in Kenya. They assume that the weather will be dull and cold and that the game viewing will be badly compromised. But is this true or are there benefits to travelling to Kenya during April to June? Lets look at the pro's and con's.
- Its the wet season and it rains. True but how does it rain? All day, everyday? The reality is that the main game reserves and parks are all situated at altitude, lying in the main on the so- called Kenya Dome which is part of the Great Rift Valley geological fault. Being at altitudes of 4,000 feet plus means that the main rains that sweep onto the coast in April do not create blanket coverage of these ages, but tend to build up. There can be days on end when the skies are blue and it is dry. There can be periods where it is overcast and rains on and off during the day. For the most part the clouds build during the course of the day and lead to a thunderstorm in the later afternoon that can continue into the evening, sometimes overnight, leaving the next day clear and bright.
- Roads and tracks can become impassable. With the thundery downpours roads can get damaged and the tracks within the National Parks can become very muddy. It can lead to longer journey and transfer times between the reserves.
- The grass and foliage gets tall and thick due to the rain, making it harder to see the animals.
- Animals no longer have the need to group around waterholes and rivers, therefore becoming more dispersed and harder to track.
- Less dust. During the dry season you get great billows of dust being kicked up by the vehicles. In the wet season there is none making the visibility excellent.
- Less people. You are out of season, therefore there are a lot less people also on safari. You get more time to yourself both in the camps/lodges, as well as while out on game-drives where there are a lot less vehicles.
- Less money. The rainy season is the low season, meaning that you can save a significant amount of money while enjoying the same facilities and services. Sometimes the prices are just over a half of the peak season rates and yet its the same room.
- More photogenic. If you are a keen photographer then its a great time to travel. The foliage is green, flowers are out and there is plenty of water in the rivers and streams.
So, there are the arguments for and against. It is wet although this in itself is not a reason not to go. You will still see plenty of animals, just not as concentrated as in the dry season. Roads may be muddy and slower, but you will be travelling in a 4x4 vehicle driven by an experienced driver, so will get through OK. (Children especially love this, as the vehicles slide from side to side, its a bit like a roller coaster in places...). If its the only time you can travel on a Kenyan safari then don't let the rains put you off. If you want to stay in some of Kenya's finest properties but cannot afford the peak season rates, then go. If you are a keen photographer revel in the vibrancy of the colours.
So the decision is yours. There are great reasons for going and great reasons for staying, depending on your circumstances, interests and requirements.