Masai Mara Weather by Month(Jan – Dec)

Whether Mara is indeed blessed with rains, as the Toto Rock band proclaimed “I bless the rains down in Africa,” or not, the Masai Mara Reserve has diverse and dynamic weather patterns. In this guide I have shared month-by-month details of temperatures, rainfall, sunshine and all you need to know about Masai Mara weather.

Below is what you should know before you even plan what to pack.

Mara Climate:

The Masai Mara Reserve boasts a subtropical climate, characterized by distinct dry and wet seasons. These seasonal variations significantly influence the reserve’s vegetation, wildlife behavior, and overall tourist experience.

Mara’s climate is pleasantly warm, with cool nights throughout the year. Temperatures are slightly higher from October to March, while they become slightly cooler from June to August. Nights can be a tad chilly, with temperatures dropping below 10 °C (50 °F), especially during June to August.

Most people assume that the savanna with few trees is scorching hot. Surprisingly, the Masai Mara’s altitude contributes to a cooler and wetter climate than one would anticipate. With an elevation ranging from 1500 to 1900 meters, visitors can expect pleasantly warm daytime temperatures and refreshingly cool nights. So, remember to pack a sweater for those early morning game drives.

Its climate is on the equator, giving Masai Mara two rainy seasons. The “long rains” occur from March to May, while the “short rains” fall between November and December. These precipitation patterns are influenced by the Indian Ocean’s monsoon winds that bring moisture and cool air into the reserve.

Masai Mara Weather by Month:

Jan and Feb:

Known as the dry months, these are the warmest of the year with temperatures averaging around 30°C (86°F). The skies are clear, making it easier to spot wildlife. According to average precipitation for the last five years, January and Feb receive 14% of the annual precipitation (195 mm).

Mar to May:

These are the long rainy months, with temperatures dropping to around 25°C (77°F). Roads may become muddy and impassable, but this is also when the reserve’s greenery is at its most vibrant. During this long rainy season, which peaks in April, rainfall is frequent but not continuous throughout the day. In the early morning, game drives are now a bit cooler, with average temperatures around 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit).

April is the pinnacle of the rainy season, boasting the highest precipitation levels with an average of 23 rainy days. While slightly cooler than March, it remains pleasantly warm with maximum highs averaging at 26C. However, the abundance of rainfall makes the roads challenging to navigate and prompts the closure of some lodges. As a result, April is considered one of the least favorable months to visit the Masai Mara. Read the best time/month to visit the Mara here.

In May, following the long rains, the plains come alive with an enchanting sight. The grasses, now reaching remarkable heights, sway gracefully in the gentle breeze. A captivating red tinge blankets the landscape as the red oat grass begins to seed, signaling the imminent arrival of the wildebeest migration. The days are embraced by warmth, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 31 degrees Celsius. Rain showers typically grace the late afternoons and evenings, adding a touch of refreshment to the air. It is during this time of year that we embark on lengthier game drives, venturing out with delightful picnics in tow.

Jun to Aug:

During this period, Mara experiences dry and cool season, characterized by daytime temperatures ranging from 23-27°C (68-77°F). The average daytime temperature hovers around a pleasant 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). Nighttime lows settle at around ten degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Expect mostly sunny and dry conditions, with occasional, passing rain showers.

Sept to Oct:

As the dry season draws to a close, temperatures gradually rise, reaching highs of approximately 28-39°C (82-86°F). While the “short rains” may make an appearance during this period, they typically have minimal impact on game viewing and activities. Expect occasional rain showers, but overall, the weather remains mostly dry. Following rainfall, the temperatures may cool down slightly. Keep in mind that early morning game drives can be quite chilly, with temperatures hovering around twelve degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit).

Nov to Dec:

In November and December, the Maasai Mara National Reserve experiences an average temperature range of 80°F (27°C) during the day to 59°F (15°C) during the night. This delightful climate can be described as pleasantly warm, with a touch of humidity and a refreshing coolness.

During these two months, Mara experiences the lighter of the two rainy periods. You can expect occasional, short rain showers throughout these two months but the rain isn’t that much to make game driving or outdoor activities impossible. In fact, the cool temperatures and green scenery make it a popular time for tourists to visit.

Rainfall in Masai Mara by Month:

The Masai Mara receives an average annual rainfall of approximately 1405 millimeters (55.3 inches). The driest month is July with only 60mm of rainfall, while April sees the highest precipitation at 210mm.

Based on the charts below, the Masai Mara has two distinct rainy seasons: a short one in November and December, and a long one from March to May. April typically experiences the heaviest rainfall, but flooding can occur during both rainy seasons.

Below is a table from Climatestotravel.com showing average month-to-month precipitation in the Mara;

MonthMillimetersInches
January953.7
February1003.9
March1455.7
April2108.3
May1556.1
June953.7
July602.4
August803.1
September953.7
October1003.9
November1556.1
December1154.5
Year140555.3

JAN
FEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC
Max °C282827262525252527282727
Min °C121212131213121111111212
Max °F828281797777777781828181
Min °F545454555554525254545454

JAN
FEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC
in mm9510014521015595608095100155115
in inches3.73.95.78.36.13.72.43.13.73.96.14.5

JAN
FEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC
hours / day998778778888

Temperature

Temperatures in Masai Mara experience a slight increase from October to March, while they tend to be slightly cooler from June to August. During the night, it can get chilly with temperatures dropping below 10 °C (50 °F), particularly from June to August. Below are the average temperature ranges from January to December

MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)
January122820548268
February122820548268
March122719.5548167.1
April132619.5557967.1
May132519557766.2
June122518.5547765.3
July112518527764.4
August112518527764.4
September122719.5548167.1
October122820548268
November122719.5548167.1
December122719.5548167.1
Year1226.519.253.679.766.5