Best time to visit mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda

March 28, 2022
News Journeys Uganda

Visiting the habituated mountain gorilla families of Uganda and Rwanda has always been a favorite activity for most tourists. For tourists planning to do gorilla tracking in Africa, the first choice must lie between Volcanoes national park of Rwanda, Mgahinga gorilla national park, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park of Uganda. Rwanda and Uganda mountain ranges where the gorilla live have the same average temperature which can be to daily maximums of 22 degrees Celsius and daily minimums of 9 degree Celsius averagely. The level of rainfalls in the country each year is between 1000-2000mm which is appropriate to generate and maintain the forest which the gorillas rely on thus the growth and increase in the numbers which are sufficient to be trekked from year to year.

Uganda is among the most and attractive destinations in Africa. The rainy season in Uganda is divided into two seasons that is in between the months of October-November and another one from mid-March to the end of May. The rest of the months are taken as the dry season. Lately, the world and Uganda in particular have experienced some climate changes probably due to global warming which has made it difficult to know the weather and seasonality’s as it were years back. This is also important to note that Volcanoes, Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park are tropical rain forests so at any time of the day and year rains are expected even in the dry seasons, so it is difficult to know when is the best time to visit the mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda unless the tourist come up with their criteria and choice to guide the safari planning process.


Therefore, tourists are always advised to carry the recommended gear for gorilla trekking so that they complete their dream of seeing the endangered unique primates instead of focusing on the weather.

High season.

The high season is known as the dry season in all-mountain gorilla and other safari destinations within countered near and straddled by the equator and this happens between the months of June-August and December- February. During this season, there is little or no rainfall. Therefore, the best time to enjoy mountain gorilla trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda are the months between June-August and December-February when the hiking trails are not too muddy and slippery which makes this activity excellent thus enabling tourists to trek easily during the dry season.

In addition, December is also considered as the busiest month of the year, this is because most of the travelers in the whole world prefer getting a long holiday or vacation when the year is ending. So, if you’re planning to visit or to do gorilla trekking at such time, plan earlier and book your gorilla permits in advance at least 4month back the gorilla tracking dates to avoid inconveniences as they are sold on a first come first served basis. Also note that this is generally a more expensive period for travel, gorilla permits are difficult to get, it is also hard to gorilla trek if you have hopes of a simple hike as there are many people to be assigned nearby groups and lastly first time travelers will not enjoy the beauty and the green in these countries.

Low season.

Tourists who travel during the rainy season, usually experience real adventure to the fullest. This is because during this season the mountain gorilla destinations receive few people in the forest, you will find that out of the 8 per group in the peak season here you 2 or 3 people per group, if you combine the gorilla safaris with birding, this is the breeding time for many species and the jungles are full of activity. Also, most of the accommodation facilities offer discounts as few travelers come for gorilla tracking and the hotels and lodges are in less demand than the high season. You can also book your gorilla or chimpanzee permits at the last minute because they are always available during this season.  However, in the rainy season, most of the hiking trails used are slippery and boggy which makes gorilla tracking more challenging.  However, gorilla tracking cannot be cancelled because of rains, we have had some of our clients describe it as more adventurous irrespective of the rains and dirt paths.


It is important to note that the above 2 seasons do not affect the movement of the gorilla so they can be tracked throughout the year, rains in Uganda or Rwanda cannot last the whole day like in Europe or North America, at most it could last three hours and the sun appears again allowing gorilla tracking to go on irrespective of the rains, therefore, do not be so selective on which month to go for you gorilla trekking adventure though at Journeys Uganda, our client’s reviews have surpassed our expectations when they visit after the rainy season when the country side is lush green and as earlier mentioned, getting these right times is becoming cumbersome since global warming has affected seasonality’s in Africa making it hard to predict the beginning and ending of any season, conclusively, the decision for your gorilla adventure in Uganda or Rwanda remains with you and Journeys Uganda is there to identify the gains and drawbacks of visiting in each of the seasons.


Items necessary for gorilla trekking.

While coming for gorilla trekking, you need to prepared ahead to face the challenges that happen when searching for mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. These are items one should carry to enable a great and memorable trekking gorilla experience;

Rain Jacket, mountain gorilla destinations are tropical rainforests so, at any time of the year, it can rain, so remember to carry a rain jacket just in case it rains.

Long-Sleeved Shirts, you are advised to wear clothes that cover the full body to protect you from, leaves, branches, ants, flies and tropical insects that can react once in contact with your body.

Hat and Sun Glasses are also important, especially in the dry seasons.

Insect repellents, it is used to avoid tropical insects that may affect your body like mosquitos, the flies that follow the gorillas can be a menace.

Mountain gorilla trekking begins very early in the morning so you are advised to carry some snacks, and energy drinks, you may get hungry and thirsty and you need a packed lunch, enough drinking water, and energy drinks. Your lodge should provide a packed lunch.

Binoculars:  your also advised to carry a pair of binoculars mostly bird lovers because mountain gorilla natural habitats are also home to other wildlife such as birds, small primates, butterflies, moths, antelopes, forest hogs, and much more.

Tourists are also provided with a walking stick free of charge at the starting point or at your reserved hotel to support you in the muddy and slippery trails on your gorilla hike.

Porter fees, you can hire an experienced porter who will help you in hiking long distances. The services for porters can cost a minimum of $15.

In conclusion, mountain gorillas of Uganda or Rwanda can be visited all year round, and each season offers an unforgettable experience. You are always advised to prepare yourself enough mostly psychologically and physically coupled with important items that will help you to do and enjoy this activity whether in dry or wet seasons. Another important thing is that always focus on your interests, with that, mail Journeys Uganda now so that we can help you get a permit for a mountain gorilla trekking tour to Uganda or Rwanda at a low price and enjoy an unforgettable experience.


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