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Best Time to Visit The Mountain Gorillas & Uganda

The best time of the year to Visit Uganda &  Go For Gorilla Trekking

Uganda is known as a whole round travel destination to any tourist planning to travel. This is due to its climate and location to the equator. The other factor making Uganda a travel destination throughout the year is Lake Victoria and its unique weather patterns to the climate. Uganda mainly has two rainy seasons; the short season starts from October to November and the long rainy season starts from Mid-march to the end of May. The best time to  visit Uganda for Uganda safaris.

Therefore, the best time of the year when you should visit the gorillas is June, July, August and September. If that is not possible, January and February should be relatively okay.

The average temperatures of Uganda are at 21.5 C and 71 F, these also drop at night time to around 54 F which affects the altitude. Rainfall in Uganda ranges between 1000-2000mm every year. However, throughout the year the skies in Uganda are clear which supports most safari vacations. These climate changes have brought about changes in weather patterns hence making it harder to predict the seasons of the tourism year.

With the best months to visit Uganda, many tourists choose to travel from May to September to February since in these months, the amount of rain has reduced and it’s sunny in most of the destinations. December is one of the busiest months of the year in most national park and it’s advisable to book the accommodation in time to avoid disappointments. During the Christmas season, most Uganda plan to take vacations to national parks so it’s always a peak season in the month of December.

Visiting in low season is okay to many tourists since accommodation is cheap to encourage many tourists to travel even though it’s a rainy season. Visiting in this season also means that you will enjoy the jungle with relatively low crowds. It’s also said that February and September are good months for a safari vacation in Uganda since there are less tourists visiting and the lodges are not fully booked as such in the high season.

The rainy season in Uganda affects people’s travels but that doesn’t mean that they don’t completely travel since this season is combined of both rains and sun shine. This means that the sun comes out as soon as it has just rained and most safari activities are able to be carried out without any disturbance. Mountain gorilla trekking as well as chimpanzee trekking goes on even during the rainy season and the national parks are fully in operation.

During the low season of March to May and October to November, most of the lodges reduce their rates to attract more tourists to book with them and this is an added advantage since even the gorilla permits are reduced to attract more tourists to Uganda.

More so, Uganda has got a raised topography and this means that its climate is cool, however, if you are planning to come for a gorilla trek, it’s really important to notice the easiest trekking conditions despite the low rates in the low season, this means that the best time to come for gorilla trekking is during the two dry seasons of January and February and from June to September.

Game viewing in all the national parks of Uganda is perfect in the dry season; from February and March, September and beginning of October.  This is mainly because the wildlife species are concentrated around water bodies within those parks. Bird watching as an activity is best carried out between November and April when the migrant birds are present in the country but can also be carried out all year round. Tourists are however advisable to avoid taking vacations during the heavy rain months of April and May to be able to enjoy their vacations in Uganda.

 

GUIDE TO UGANDA’S TOURISM SEASONS

 

HIGH SEASON MONTHS: JUNE – SEPTEMBER

DECEMBER – FEBUARY

LOW SEASON MONTHS: MARCH – MAY

OCTOBER TO NOVEMBER

What is the best time to track gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?

Although tracking mountain gorillas can be conducted all year round in these two countries due to the somewhat damp seasons experienced by the national parks in which these gorillas stay, the majority of tourists prefer visiting from June to September as well as from December up to February.

This similarly applies in Uganda although there the rains begin in March up to May. Certainly the rains although not very heavy make it challenging to trek the sheer landscape. During that time the rain falls for just one to two hours in about 3 days of the week and fro the rest the sun is out. However even in the dry months of Uganda, there are some little showers experienced in Bwindi.

The seasonality of the trackers can as well be accredited to the overall weather back in the home countries. During summers for instance in Europe, the number of gorilla safari trekkers is high and then in winter it greatly lowers. Also there are some trekkers who take advantage of the seasonal discounts offered on the gorilla tracking permits. For example not long ago the Uganda wildlife Authority lowered the cost of permits by thirty percent for all non Ugandans for the months of April and May in 2014 so they will go for $350. The other months the gorilla tour permit will go for $600 with effect from 1st January.  A number of accommodation facilities in the areas where the gorillas are found as well will offer discounts in these months.
Within Rwanda, the initial rains are experienced at the end of February, March, April as well as May, and for that reason most of the tourists don’t visit during that time since it is muddy and pretty wet while tracking the mountain gorillas. but during these very months, since it is raining, there is a lot of food for the gorillas on the lower slopes and also the temperatures are lower on the lower slopes. Because of that, the gorillas stay on the lower slopes since food is easily accessible and it is warmer. Therefore if you choose to track in these months, you  won’t have a very long trek and actually most trackers find the gorillas just after two hours of trekking meaning by 2:00pm they are back at their lodge.

 

No matter what your explanation is, experience reveals that gorilla trekking can be enjoyed all year round and you will surely enjoy a great experience.

Best Time to Visit Rwanda
Best Time to Visit Kenya
Best Time to Visit Tanzania

 

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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Michael T 06/June/2021

TripAdvisor
Above & Beyond
Review of: 3-Day Gorillas trekking and Batwa Experience
Sedrick went above and beyond to accomodate our request for an itinerary alteration due to our compressed time in Uganda. He also compeltely took care of scheduling our covid 19 testing and drove us to the site on arrival.

Our driver/guide Ben was also outstanding!

**We highly recommend using a porter during gorilla trekking as their are some complex parts to the trail/terrain. This also benefits the local people by providing them work.**

David 24/June/2021

TripAdvisor
Seeing Lots of Animals and Uganda
The schedule suited my time in Uganda exactly and was a great opportunity to view some of the top wildlife and natural wonders of the country. Lodgings range from mid-range to near upscale and are in beautiful locations. Food is good and ample. My driver, Stanley, was expert at spotting wildlife and, very importantly on the Ugandan roads, a careful and skilled driver. You see various parts of the country on this tour, and due to distances, be aware you'll spend quite a few hours on the road. One thing they might add is an itinerary going into more detail ahead of time on each day's activity and suggested things to bring. I was concerned about the needed COVID test for return home, but they took care of arranging that, and it turned out successfully. Overall the tour was a real highlight and is highly recommended.

Justo Nov 18, 2019

Safaribookings
I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .
 
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