It is best to avoid the two rainy seasons of Kenya, although it is possible to hike Mt Kenya year-round. Kenya’s dry season is from June to October, it has a wet season called ‘short rains’ in November and December, another dry spell in January and February, followed by the ‘long rains’ in March, April and May.
Temperatures vary greatly and the higher you go, the more the temperature will drop. Especially at night, the temperatures drop and at the summit they are well below freezing at night.
Come prepared for mud on the trails, and any type of weather. Hiking boots and gaiters are an excellent way to be able to walk through most of the mud. Rain jackets, rain trousers, gloves and a woollen hat are also essential items on the mountain.
Mt Kenya is an important water tower for most Kenyans and it is important to keep its environment clean. Use the toilets at the huts where possible and bury any human waste well away from campsites, lakes, and waterways. Do not leave your toilet paper on the mountain as it degrades very, very slowly and will be there for many years. Carry out what you carry in, including all rubbish.
January and February, as well as August and September, are most reliable for good weather.
During the rainy season the chance of getting wet and cold in Mt Kenya NP are high. This is the low season as most people prefer not to hike in the rain as visibility can also be reduced. It is worth noting that rain can happen any time of year on Mt Kenya and you always need to be prepared for it.
Best time to climb Batian, the highest peak of Mt Kenya
To climb the highest peak of Mt Kenya, a technical climb involving multiple pitches, you need to ascend the North Face. This is usually done in June, July, or August. You can also still consider September and October. During these months the sun will be hitting the north face, making it warmer and easier as there will be less ice and snow on the climb.
Best time to climb Nelio, the second highest peak of Mt Kenya
Climbing Nelion, the second highest peak of Mt Kenya, is usually done in January or February. This allows access to the peak via the South East Face where the sun hits during this time of the year. The sun exposure means less ice and snow on the climbing route and will also keep you warmer. Late December or early March can also be considered.