When is the best time to visit Mombasa?


The Kenyan coast is one of Africa top beach destination for its beautiful coastline, stunning coral reefs, hot overhead sun and a wide range of water sport activities. Mombasa is also at a close distance from some of the top safari destination in Kenya some accessible by road from the port city. One thing you will definitely consider when visiting Mombasa is the most ideal time to visit for an experience that match your needs. In this guide we shall make a month by month account of the experiences in the Kenya coastline.  


January marks the beginning of the short dry season and is therefore one of the best time to visit Mombasa for sunbathing. The average day temperature may go up to 32o c with the water remaining at over 25o c and therefore also a perfect time to go for diving. In the month the northern Kaskaz wind are still blowing and is still a favorite moment to go for surfing. Over this period the north coast beaches are the best destination for wind based activities as the winds are strongly blowing averaging at 17 – 25 knots. January is still a good month for tourists who would like to combine their beach vacation with a safari drive in the coastal circuit. 


This is the hottest month in the short dry season and the best for guests seeking to a perfect escape from the winter in Europe. During this period the Kaskaz winds are peaking and more kiters, sky divers and paddlers are flocking both the north coast and south coast beaches. The winds are more stronger in the northern beaches. In some instances, watamu coastline get clogged by seaweeds which are bad for sporting. This leaves kilifi as a better alternative in the north coast. With daytime temperatures going to over 33o c water are warms making it the perfect time for a dive in both north and south coast. This month is the peak of the migration of the quite sociable whale sharks and you have the best opportunity of getting up-close with the big fish.  

During this period game viewing in the coastal circuit destinations is at its very best making February also a good choice for guests who would like to go for a combined safari and beach holiday.  


March marks the beginning of the long rains in Mombasa. Though the rains normally start in the second week of the month in some instances the rains could start earlier. The most alluring thing in the month is the sudden emptiness of the coastline contrasting the bustling crowds in February. The Kaskaz winds are fading and you still have a chance to enjoy the surfing in the north coast especially in the start of the month. However, there are higher risks the rains in the last weeks will start in a heavy down pour that could lead to you staying in doors. The month also mark the end of the whales shark migration with the last group diving out in the first two weeks of the month. If you are interested in a combined game safari and beach holidays, the first two weeks are still a great time to go for safari drive in the coastal circuit destinations.  


The first weeks of April may still be experiences heavy downpours that may completely limit your beach experiences. However, the rains would moderate as the month end with occasional rains in the afternoons. Travelling in this period gives you one of the most desolated experiences with the beaches completely empty and authentic. There are however no significance winds blowing and therefore not an ideal period to go for wind dependent activities. It is also not a good month for game drives.  


May is still a rainy season. The month is the at the peak of the off season. It is the most affordable month you can go for a holiday in Mombasa as most of the hotels are offering discounted rates. The only problem with travelling in the month is that the rains are still unpredictable. There is still no wind based activities taking place. May is also the worst period you could go for a safari drive.  


June could be dry or the rains could go on till the end of the first week. The month falls on the transition period to the dry period which makes it the perfect time to visit Mombasa and enjoy the profound emptiness and still be able to have good time on the beach with little distractions from the rains. The month also mark the beginning of the south easterly Kusi winds and make it a good period for kiting especially in the south coast Diani beaches.  Tourist who would like to extend their tour to the destinations in the coastal circuit game safari are improving though there are still low numbers of tourists visiting.  


July mark the begin of the long dry season with the south easterly tradewinds, KusI or Kuzi winds increasing in both the south coast and north coast. Though not as consistent as the Kaskaz tradewinds the winds could blow to a strength of up to 22 knots with waves of between 1.5 m and 3 m hence a perfect season for surfers. July also mark the start of migration of the humpback whales and is the best opportunity for divers to spot the gigantic, gentle and intelligent creatures. July is also one of the best months to go for a combined safari and beach holidays with game viewing at top level in the coastal circuit and the start of the migration in Masai Mara in the last two weeks of the month.  


August is still dry in Mombasa this makes it a perfect choice for tourists who would like to go for sunbathing, swimming and diving. This is also the best month to track the migrating humpback whales with their numbers having increased drastically throughout July. The Kusi trade winds are still strong in both the north coast and south coast and therefore still a perfect time for wind activities. It is the most crowded month in the long dry season. August is the best month to go for a combined beach holiday and safari drives with the mara migration peaking. Game viewing is still at its best in the Coastal circuit.  


The crowds are still big in the coastline though not as big as in August. September is still warm with average daily temperature going up to 29o c and therefore still a good time to go  for diving, swimming and sunbathing. The winds is still strong and reliable though calmer than in June, July and August. Kite surfing, stand up paddling and sky diving is still at it best in both the north coast and south coast. Game viewing is still excellent in the coastal circuit as the dry season peaks.  


October is still hot and humid with the average day temperatures going to over 30o c. There may be some downpours towards the end of the month. The Kusi winds are still blowing over the coastline though almost twice less strong as in June, July and August. The winds fade as the month end. October is however, the least crowded month in the long dry season making it the perfect time to go for water sports amidst profound emptiness. The month is still an ideal period to go for a combined beach holiday and coastal circuit safari.  


November marks the beginning of the short rains and there is a sudden emptiness along the coastline. Even though there may be heavy and continuous downpour as the rain begins, you are more likely to have hot and humid morning hours followed by afternoon. The temperatures could  still go to over 30o c making it an ideal time for sunbathing and diving. The wind is however, not good with average hourly wind speed at one of the lowest rates ( 9.0 miles / hour). It is therefore not recommendable to go surfing in November. Due to the rains, we also don’t recommend for a combined safari drive and beach holiday.


The short rains are still on but are likely to subsidize in the first week of the month. December is the most crowded season in Mombasa as it coincides with Kenya school long holiday and the festive seasons. The month marks the beginning of the Kaskaz winds though not as strong as in January and February. The average daily temperature would go up to over 31o c and the sea remains relatively calm making it an ideal time to go for diving. Kiters are building up in the northern coast.