Six Reasons To Visit Kenya at Christmas

Six Reasons To Visit Kenya at Christmas

Cold, dark and occasionally disappointing, Christmas in the UK can be a tricky time. From the logistics of hosting and making the perfect roast to long car journeys between family members dotted around the country, it can all feel a little overwhelming. But there’s an alternative. If you want to make the most of your annual leave and flee the freezing temperatures for warmer climes, we wholeheartedly recommend Kenya at Christmas. The weather, the wildlife – what’s not to love? Read on for six reasons to spend Christmas in Kenya, for a festive break that’s far from boring.


  1. It’s pleasantly warm
  2. It’s gorgeously green
  3. It’s brilliant for birds and baby animals
  4. It’s not too busy
  5. It has blissful beaches
  6. It’s time to celebrate



It's pleasantly warm

In Kenya at Christmas, it’s warm and dry with average daytime temperatures of 23 degrees. So, if you do spot Santa, he’s likely to be wearing shorts. The weather makes a warming, welcome change from central heating and woolly jumpers. From heading out on safari to sun-worshipping on the sand, those tempting temperatures are ideal for outdoor pursuits – no winter coat needed.


It’s gorgeously green

The first half of December is fairly rainy in Kenya (before the rainfall eases off in the middle of the month). But beneath the newly-blue skies is a landscape bursting into life with lush greenery – providing the perfect verdant backdrop for those all-important holiday snapshots. Kenya is always a beauty, but in those gorgeous green hues it’s even more picturesque. And not a spot of winter frost in sight.


It's brilliant for birds and baby animals

With more than 1,100 bird species, Kenya is one of Africa’s best destinations for birdwatching. Between November and April, the country’s native species are joined by flocks of migratory birds from Europe and Northern Africa, boosting the feathered population. If you’re here in early December, expect to see many species at their most colourful, proudly wearing their breeding plumage. Christmas also falls during birthing season in Kenya so there’s a good chance you’ll spot a number of baby animals finding their feet and frolicking while on safari in Kenya at Christmas.


It’s not too busy

Crowd avoidance is an art that many of us seek to master when planning a trip. December marks the start of one of Kenya’s two dry seasons, which also heralds the beginning of its peak tourist season. However, compared to January and February, it’s generally quieter in Kenya at Christmas. Travelling just before peak season means you can savour all the same things that draw the crowds a few weeks later (dry days, warm weather, abundant wildlife) without the crowds.


It has blissful beaches

Swap the sofa for the sand this festive season and spend Christmas by the coast instead. Kenya’s 333-mile coastline boasts some of the finest beaches in Africa, perfect for a post-safari stay or Christmas with a difference. Imagine idyllic Indian Ocean views, icing sugar sands and soul-soothing sunshine – the polar opposite of dark December days at home. If you tend to get itchy feet during the festive break, there’s plenty to satisfy your fun-seeking side, like snorkelling in Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve or kitesurfing off Galu Beach. Or you could simply sink into the sand, kicking back like Santa after a hectic night of delivering presents.


It's time to celebrate

Besides the traditional festivities of Kenya at Christmas, there are other local celebrations taking place throughout the festive period. Named after the Swahili word for ‘republic’, Jamhuri Day on 12th December marks Kenya’s independence from Britain in 1963. Expect dancing, music and cultural events to honour the occasion. On the last Thursday and Friday before Christmas, the culture of the Abasuba people is celebrated at the Rusinga Cultural Festival. It takes place on Rusinga Island in Lake Victoria, with traditional music and food, sporting activities, street processions and performances. Meanwhile, Beneath the Baobabs Festival takes place on the Kilifi coast over the New Year, a spectacular natural setting for a three-day celebration of East African music, art and culture. There’s not chance you’ll ever be bored when visiting Kenya at Christmas.


Header Image by Olivier Romano.