July offers a winning combination of warm and dry weather. Temperatures are pleasant and sunny without being scorching hot, and with the exception of the mountains (Mount Kenya and Hell's Gate National Park, etc.), there's almost no rain or precipitation. The capital city of Nairobi ranges from 73 to 77°F during the daytime, providing the perfect atmosphere for strolling through the markets or visiting the botanical gardens. At night, it cools down to roughly 55°F, so be sure to bring a jacket.
The coast is warmer, although not stifling hot, with average daytime highs of about 82 to 88°F. The sea breeze that comes off the water keeps the air pleasant and even with the increased temperatures, you can wander through town comfortably without sweating to death. The water is warm and generally speaking, it's an ideal time of year for sunbathing and beach activities.
Crowds and Costs
The weather in Kenya in July is near perfect but it comes at a price. The crowds are larger crowds and costs are significantly higher. It's peak season countrywide which means that hotels are typically charging special high-season rates (which can sometimes be double the low-season prices). Airfare is also more expensive this time of year and it's tough to find deals or promotions. The tourist spots are full of people and if you book a shared safari, it's likely to be filled to capacity.
Still, it's a great time to be in Kenya and, given that group sizes are often small anyway, the crowds aren't quite as big of a deal here as they are in other tourist destinations.
Where to Go
Kenya is a wonderful place to visit just about everywhere in July. In Nairobi, the warm, pleasant temperatures create an ideal climate for sightseeing, whether you're wandering through the vibrant markets or observing the colonial architecture. Unlike other times of the year, you won't feel sweltering hot the whole time and, although the evenings cool off considerably, they're still warm enough to walk around without being cold.
The southern coast is another place that ranks among the best July destinations. With temperatures in the mid-80s, you couldn't paint a more perfect atmosphere for lying on the white sand beaches or swimming in the warm, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Head to beach towns like Mombasa or Malindi to take advantage of these ideal conditions.
If you're up for a wildlife safari, Maasai Mara is at it's best this time of year. Late in the month, the Great Wildebeest Migration begins in full, offering stunning views of these massive herds of creatures crossing the Mara River in unison. Although there's always some degree of migration occurring, the large numbers begin in mid to late-July and provide the most impressive photos. You're also likely to see zebras, lions, giraffes, elephants, and other wildlife.
Lake Nakuru, which is famous for its giant flocks of pink flamingos, is wonderful this time of year, too. The grass is short which allows you to catch the best views of the birds. Plus, the weather is ideal and the ground will be dry so you don't have to worry about your vehicle getting stuck or encountering impassable roads.
Other national parks that are spectacular this time of year include Hell's Gate National Park (where you can hike and bike without fear of predatory animals), Amboseli National Park (which is crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro towering in the background), and Mount Kenya National Park (full of volcanos and geysers). Just keep in mind that the mountainous parks will have rain about a third of the time so bring a waterproof jacket.
What to Do
In Nairobi, use the pleasant weather to check out cultural souvenirs at the Maasai Market or go shopping at the more upscale Village Market. Stroll through art galleries such as the Banana Hill Art Gallery or the Matbronze Art Gallery and Foundry, or learn more about Kenya's history at the Nairobi National Museum. If you want to see wildlife, take a day trip to the black rhino sanctuary at Nairobi National Park, or drop by the AFEW Giraffe Center.
If you head to the coast, check out the towns of Mombasa and Malindi. These scenic beach destinations, which are situated on ivory sands overlooking the warm, blue Indian Ocean, are ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and other water-based activities. In Mombasa, take a dolphin-watching boat tour or explore the Mombasa Marine National Park. In Malindi, visit the stunning Watamu Beach or take a trip to the Falconry of Kenya bird rehabilitation center.
Another option is to book an adventure safari through Maasai Mara to see the wildebeests migrating, or take a hot air balloon ride over the vast national park (enjoying a champagne breakfast after sunrise). In Lake Nakuru, witness the pink flamingos gathering on the picturesque water. Or, take a mountain biking tour of Hell's Gate National Park. There are no predatory animals in this park so you can cycle or hike freely, stopping to observe zebras and elephants amidst the stunning volcanic gorges.
Events in July
Eid al-Adha: Toward the end of the month, Muslims in Kenya celebrate the "Festival of Sacrifice," known as Eid al-Adha or Eid Qurban. The event, which involves feasting, chanting, and prayer, commemorates the time when Ibrahim sacrificed his son for God.
Traveling to Kenya in July? Check out this great itinerary
Kenya Wildlife Safari - 10 Days: If you'd rather someone else planned all of the logistics, this spectacular 10-day nature safari is an excellent itinerary for a July vacation. It includes visits to some of the most stunning parks in Kenya and encounters with its most popular wildlife. Highlights include Amboseli National Park (home of the awe-inspiring Mount Kilimanjaro), Maasai Mara, Hell's Gate National Park, Mount Longonot, Lake Nakuru, and Lake Bogoria.