Best Time to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
Best Time to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
The best time to visit Gorillas in Uganda is in the long dry season from June to September and during the short dry season from December to February.
As Uganda’s climate is tropical, there may still be a shower or two, but it’s generally drier, which makes the ground less slippery.
The dry season also happens to be the best time to enjoy a wildlife game viewing in Uganda, as the bush is less dense, making spotting wildlife much easier.
The dry season is also the best time to enjoy chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, or a thrilling white-water rafting adventure on the historic Nile River in Jinja.
You can learn more in 23 best things to do in Uganda.
Gorilla Trekking Can Be Done Year Round
You can go gorilla trekking in Uganda at any time of the year, with reliable sightings during every calendar month. Uganda has a warm tropical climate.
Daily average temperatures range from 25 to 29°C (77 to 84°F).
There’s also a good deal of humidity. Also, mountain gorillas are a resilient bunch.
These gentle giants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and weather patterns so their movements are largely unaffected by the changing seasons.
And it is important to note that the tropical mountain rainforest jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park where mountain gorillas of Uganda live are wet, even during the dry season.
Their elevations are higher than the national norm, and so average temperatures range from 7°C (45°F at night to only 20°C (68°F) during the day.
And whenever you choose to go for a gorilla trekking tour in Uganda, you should expect a chilly start to your trek (and come prepared, as we discuss in what to wear for gorilla trekking).
In this post, we bring you the different season months and what to expect in terms of weather, hiking conditions, prices and busyness.
Best Time Visit Uganda Gorillas: A Monthly Guide
Like most East African countries, Uganda has two rainy seasons.
The long rains last from the end of February to the end of May. The short rains last from October to mid-December. These periods see frequent tropical downpours.
January (Best Month to Visit Gorillas in Uganda)
January is part of the short dry season in Uganda and one of the hottest months. Days are generally dry and sunny.
It’s an ideal time for gorilla treks as the ground is fairly dry and easier to walk on.
But weather can be a little unpredictable, and rain can come at any time.
If you are planning to add a chimpanzee trekking tour in Kibale Forest National Park, before or after your gorilla safari, January is also a perfect months to do so.
Game viewing in the savannah parks is also excellent as wildlife is lured out of the dry bush in search of water. Please note that January is a popular month to travel to Uganda, so property rates/prices stay peak-season rates.
And gorilla permits need to be booked well in advance.
February (Best Time to Visit Gorillas in Uganda)
February is also ideal for gorilla trekking in Uganda. It is a short dry season month with warm days, yet temperatures can drop at night.
It is a great month to do chimpanzee trekking too and Kibale Forest National Park comes to life with 13 species of primates to look out for.
Boat safaris in Uganda safari parks are brilliant these months, as wildlife tent to gather at the water sources. It is great time for bird lovers with thousands of migratory species.
Gorilla permits need to be booked in advance to ensure availability.
March – Good Month to Visit Uganda Gorillas
March marks the beginning of the long rainy season in Uganda.
Rain is unlikely to continue all day long, hover it can come in heavy downpours resulting int muddy and slippery trekking conditions.
But the treks can be short as there is plenty of food for the gorillas on the lower slopes of the mountains.
While wildlife in the national parks is easier to spot during the dry season, you’ll still see plenty in the wet season.
An added bonus during this time is that you’ll also see many newborn animals, as animals are giving bird to their young.
March is low season, so there are plenty of lodges available and rates are relatively low.
April – Mixed Month to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
April is a mixed month in Uganda. It is usually the wettest month of the year, but that also means it features gorgeously green landscape.
There is heavy rain throught the month.
Forest trails becomes very wet and slippery from rain, and the thicker foliage makes wildlife harder to spot.
Properties have excellent availability and relatively low rates.
Gorillas tend to linger on the warmer lower slopes of the mountains, so your trek is likely to be shorter.
May – Good Month to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
May is the end of the first rainfall season in Uganda.
The rainfall is not quite as much rainfall as April.
Despite the weather being wet in Uganda during this period, this can be a lovely time to trek gorillas in Uganda and explore the surrounding areas.
The landscapes will be lush and verdant. The vegetation will create stunning backdrops for photography.
May is also terrific for chimpanzee trekking and it is when the Murchison Falls is at its most impressive.
June – Best Time to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
June is the first month of Uganda’s long dry season, characterized by clear blue skies and still-lush landscapes.
It is one of the best times for gorilla trekking in Uganda as well as chimpanzee trekking – the ground is fairly dry and easier to traverse.
Gorilla permit can sell out months in advance.
Properties have limited availability during dry season, so it is worth booking your first choice accommodation early.
June is also ideal for game-viewing, as wildlife tends to congregate around waterholes and there is less vegetation to block your view.
July – Best Time to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
July’s warm and dry weather make this a popular time to go gorilla trekking in Uganda, and also translates into easier trekking.
If you travel to the savannah national parks for game drives before or after your gorilla safari, vegetation is less dense, making wildlife easier to spot.
It is also optimum month to see tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
It is peak season for both gorilla permits and accommodation – make sure to plan early and book in advance.
But temperatures can be hot, making it slightly uncomfortable for some for trekking, but Uganda has a tropical climate so there is still a small chance of rain.
August – Best Time to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
August is the end of the dry season in Uganda and a fantastic moth for gorilla treks, chimp treks, and general wildlife viewing.
Also, if you’re planning on making the safari circuit in Tanzania either before or after gorilla trekking, you can catch another great wildlife spectacle in the Serengeti plains: The Wildebeest Migration.
Remember to book your gorilla permit and safari accommodation well in advance, as properties usually has limited availability during this month.
You might like to learn more in Uganda safari lodges, camps and hotels.
September – Best Months to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
September sees the return of rains to Uganda, usually towards the end of the month and accompanied by lots of tropical butterflies.
Until the time the rains start, though, it is almost entirely dry all month, so it is an ideal month to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda.
It is peak month, so availability is still low and prices are high. September is exceptionally good for game drives in the savannah parks.
October – Good Month to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
In October, the rains have returned across many safari destinations in Uganda, but still gorilla trekking is good.
It is a shoulder season month and the weather is unpredictable.
It may be sunny, it may be rainy, it may be cool – when the seasons, weather and animals’ behaviour is changing.
There is good availability of properties and prices are relatively low.
The dry plains start to turn green with the arrival of rainfall.
November – Good Months to Visit Uganda Gorillas
It is likely to rain in November, but the mountain gorillas don’t mind!
However, treks can be challenging in wet weather conditions.
November is also the onset of the birdwatching season (November-April) in Uganda as migratory birds begin to arrive.
If birding in Uganda is something that you are particularly interested in, please tell your guides and they will be able to point out some unique species.
December – Best Months to Visit Gorillas in Uganda
By mid-December, the rains have slowed and trekkers mainly experience only light showers.
The landscape is lush and photograph-ready.
Many international tourists plan their gorilla safari around the Christmas vacation and with Ugandan families also on holiday during this time, it’s a busy time.
If you decide to travel during this time, be sure to book in advance to secure gorilla trekking permits and to ensure that your preferred lodges are available.
Best Time of the Year for Gorilla Trekking In Uganda
Please note that global warming has affected the weather patterns around the world so much that it is increasingly difficult to predict the beginning and end of the rainy and dry seasons.
And it is important to remember that the tropical rainforests where mountain gorillas live are very wet, even during the dry season, so you can’t avoid rain completely.
Be that as it may, there are still a few basic truths for every traveler to consider when planning gorilla safari to Uganda.
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