August is one of the coolest months of the year in Kenya. Temperatures in Nairobi average 68 to 80°F during the daytime, dropping to around 52 to 60° at night. It's warm and pleasant but doesn't feel sweltering. Along the coast, the beaches tend to be hotter. The southern town of Mombasa, for example, sees daytime highs of 82 to 88°F and even the nighttime temps only drop to about 71°F. The breeze from the ocean, however, makes it feel cooler and it's a fantastic time weather-wise to explore the coast.
There's virtually no rain anywhere in the country during this period, except for in the mountains. In places like Mount Kenya and Hell's Gate National Park, you'll find rain about half of the time.
Crowds and Costs
The drawback of the excellent weather conditions in August is that it brings crowds with it, along with increased prices. It's a huge month for tourism and it's common to find the museums packed with people and the wildlife reserves full to capacity. If you take a shared safari, it's likely you'll have a number of other people joining you. Similarly, you'll find increased costs, especially at hotels. Many lodges will be charging high season rates this time of year which can sometimes be double the low-season rates. Airfare will also be pricier.
Where to Go
The sky's the limit in Kenya in August. It's a time when you can practically throw a dart at a map and land on a destination that's warm, sunny, and full of wildlife.
Maasai Mara doesn't get better than it does in August. The wildebeests migrate from the Serengeti National Park during this time and the vegetation is thinner which makes cats and other game animals easier to spot. The lack of rain causes the elephants to congregate at swimming holes to cool off and other animals come as well to drink water. Similar conditions hold true at places like Lake Nakuru where the pink flamingos flock, or at the picturesque Samburu National Reserve.
The beaches are also fantastic in August. Head to Mombasa or Malindi to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine. Walk along the ivory sand beaches or sip cocktails by the crystal blue water. Temperatures will be in the mid-80s—as ideal as they get—and the gentle sea breeze will help keep you cool.
In Nairobi, you'll discover markets bustling with activity—it's a great month for people-watching. The weather is pleasant enough to stroll through the city without feeling hot and sticky, and the evenings cool off substantially (you'll even want to bring a jacket and long pants).
Hell's Gate National Park offers hiking and biking opportunities through its natural geysers while Amboseli National Park delivers breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro (although the dust can sometimes make it difficult to see this time of year). Mount Kenya National Park will be chilly toward the tops of the mountains and likely a bit rainy; however, it's a great time to summit the peak if that's on your bucket list since the ground is still relatively dry.
What to Do
Head to Maasai Mara to see the Great Wildebeest Migration. A safari into the savannah will offer views of the giant creatures moving en masse, along with zebras, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, elephants, and other animals. Take one of the hot air balloon tours at sunrise which soar over the park and serve unique champagne breakfasts.
In Lake Nakuru, soak up the sight of the giant pink flamingo flocks on the water, offering spectacular photo opportunities. Or head to Samburu National Reserve on the Ewaso Ng'iro River where you can observe gazelles, cheetahs, leopards, hippos, giraffes, and other fascinating wildlife.
On the coast, visit Mombasa and Malindi, both of which offer stunning white sand beaches and rich turquoise waters on the Indian Ocean. Go snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, sea kayaking, or any number of other ocean-based activities. There are also dolphin-watching boat tours and guided trips to the Mombasa Marine National Park. In Malindi, check out Watamu Beach or visit the Falconry of Kenya bird center.
In the capital city, you have a huge array of options. Shop for cultural items at the colorful Maasai Market or stroll through the more modern Village Market. There are tons of museums and art galleries to choose from, too, including the Nairobi National Museum, the Banana Hill Art Gallery, and the Matbronze Art Gallery and Foundry. For wildlife encounters, head to the black rhino sanctuary just outside town at Nairobi National Park.
Events in August
Maralal Camel Derby: Every year in August, Kenya hosts the Maralal Camel Derby, an international event that draws prestigious camel racers to compete. Alongside the races, there's music, food, and festivities. It's a fun, colorful event that's a lot of fun to watch, even if you're not participating.
Traveling to Kenya in August? Check out this great itinerary
Kenya Wildlife Safari - 10 Days: This 10-day trip is the perfect August adventure. It takes you on a tour of the most beautiful natural parks in Kenya, all of which are at their best this time of year. The fun-filled itinerary includes visits to Maasai Mara, Amboseli National Park, Hell's Gate National Park, Mount Longonot, Lake Nakuru, and Lake Bogoria, among other attractions.