Climate in Nairobi, Kenya

According to andyeducation, Nairobi, the capital and largest city of Kenya, is located in the highlands of the East African Rift Valley. Its climate is often described as a subtropical highland climate, although it exhibits some characteristics of a tropical savanna climate due to its proximity to the equator. Nairobi’s climate is characterized by mild temperatures year-round, distinct wet and dry seasons, and relatively consistent day-to-night temperatures. In this comprehensive description, we will explore various aspects of Nairobi’s climate, including temperature, precipitation, seasons, and notable climate-related characteristics.


Nairobi’s highland location at an altitude of approximately 1,795 meters (5,889 feet) above sea level contributes to its moderate temperatures, despite its proximity to the equator. Nairobi experiences relatively stable temperatures throughout the year, with minor variations between seasons.

  • Summer (December to March): Nairobi’s summer months are relatively warm and dry. Daytime temperatures typically range from 22°C to 26°C (72°F to 79°F), occasionally reaching 28°C (82°F) on hot days. Nighttime temperatures are cooler, ranging from 10°C to 13°C (50°F to 55°F). These months are characterized by sunny weather and low humidity.
  • Winter (June to August): Nairobi’s winter months are cooler and drier compared to the summer. Daytime temperatures generally range from 19°C to 23°C (66°F to 73°F), with nighttime temperatures averaging between 9°C to 12°C (48°F to 54°F). The winter season offers mild and pleasant weather for outdoor activities.
  • Transition Periods (April-May and September-November): The transition months between the wet and dry seasons typically have temperatures that fall between those of the two main seasons. Daytime highs range from 20°C to 24°C (68°F to 75°F), and nighttime lows range from 10°C to 14°C (50°F to 57°F).

Nairobi’s moderate temperatures make it a comfortable place to live and visit year-round, with no extreme heat or cold.


Nairobi experiences distinct wet and dry seasons, with a pronounced variation in rainfall throughout the year. The city’s rainfall patterns are influenced by its highland location, as well as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the nearby Indian Ocean.

  • Wet Season (March to May and October to December): Nairobi’s primary wet season occurs in two phases: March to May and October to December. The long rains typically arrive in March and continue through May, while the short rains arrive in October and extend into December. During these periods, the city experiences frequent rainfall, occasional thunderstorms, and cloudy skies. Monthly rainfall totals can vary significantly but often range from 100 to 200 millimeters (3.9 to 7.9 inches) per month.
  • Dry Season (June to September): The dry season spans from June to September. Rainfall is minimal during this period, and the city enjoys sunny, clear skies. Rainfall totals during the dry season are often negligible, with occasional isolated showers.

The alternating wet and dry seasons are a defining feature of Nairobi’s climate and have a significant impact on various aspects of life, including agriculture, water resources, and daily activities.


According to existingcountries, Nairobi’s climate can be broadly categorized into two main seasons:

  1. Wet Season (March to May and October to December): The wet season is characterized by increased rainfall, occasional thunderstorms, and cloudy skies. It supports lush vegetation and agricultural activities in the region.
  2. Dry Season (June to September): The dry season features minimal rainfall, clear skies, and lower humidity. It is a period of reduced precipitation and is associated with lower agricultural productivity.

Climate-Related Characteristics:

Nairobi’s climate has some notable characteristics and considerations:

  1. Agriculture: The wet seasons are crucial for agriculture in the region, supporting the cultivation of crops such as maize, tea, coffee, and horticultural products. Farmers rely on the rainy season for irrigation and plant growth.
  2. Elevation: Nairobi’s highland location contributes to its mild temperatures year-round. The altitude also means that visitors may need some time to acclimate to the thinner air.
  3. Tourism: Nairobi’s climate, with its mild temperatures and pleasant weather, makes it an attractive year-round destination for tourists. The city’s national parks and wildlife reserves offer opportunities for safari and outdoor exploration.
  4. Water Management: The seasonal variation in rainfall necessitates effective water management practices, including reservoirs and irrigation systems, to ensure a stable water supply for the city’s residents and agricultural activities.
  5. Wildlife: Nairobi National Park, located just outside the city, is home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, giraffes, zebras, and rhinos. The climate plays a role in the park’s ecosystem and the timing of wildlife migrations.

In conclusion, Nairobi, Kenya, experiences a subtropical highland climate with mild temperatures year-round, distinct wet and dry seasons, and relatively consistent day-to-night temperatures. The city’s climate plays a significant role in supporting agriculture, influencing water management practices, and shaping the timing of wildlife migrations in nearby national parks. Understanding and adapting to the seasonal variations are essential for residents and visitors to make the most of Nairobi’s climate and the opportunities it offers for both urban and outdoor experiences.