There are many reasons why most tourists consider Rwanda their favorite destinations, and include among others gorilla trekking, wildlife safaris and hiking adventures. But when is the best time to visit Rwanda? Located in the heart of Africa, Rwanda is interestingly an iconic destination and attracts visitors each year who come to enjoy the best of hiking, wildlife and gorilla trekking safaris.
The best time to visit Rwanda to most travelers is during the dry season. The months that fall outside rainy season are favorable for gorilla trekking, hiking and game safaris as they are characterized by low or no rains. There are 2 phases of dry season that Rwanda experiences each year: June, July, August to September while the second phase starts from December, January to February.
Whereas mountain gorilla trekking adventures in the Volcanoes National Park are done throughout the year, there is need for you to differentiate between the dry season and wet season if you to have lifetime experiences in Africa.
There is exact time to visit Rwanda as all seasons occur in varied months. In the tropical part north of the Equator, the dry season starts from the month of December to February. In the Northern Part of Rwanda, the dry season is experienced from June to August and towards the extreme south, least amount of rain fall is received with some warmth around May, September and October. In the Equatorial area, rains are experienced all the year around and they start reducing from January to February and June to July.
Best Time to Go on Gorilla Safari
Visitors on gorilla safari are encouraged to first understand variations in seasons in the Volcanoes National Park. This park has two wet seasons-the short wet season which starts from October to November and the longer rains are received from March to May. The rainy season mainly acts as the low season which also comes with few trekkers. However, note that the low season doesn’t mean that no gorilla trekking adventures conducted in the Volcanoes National Park. Treks can still be conducted even during the wet season as soon as the rains stop. The disadvantage with the wet season is that the habitat and steep slopes may turn to be slippery and muddy making it very challenging for trekkers to embark on gorilla trekking. The advantage with wet season is that it is the only time that there is much food for the gorillas to feed on and this makes it easier for visitors to track gorillas at the base of the park.
However, majority of visitors prefer visiting the Virunga Region during the dry season which starts from the months of June to September to February. This season is characterized by low rainfall amount and the gorilla habitat is kept a bit dry and trekkers can hike through the jungles and steep slope to look out for the gorilla family that will be assigned to them. It is also in the month of December that the Volcanoes National park experiences its peak season and it is described as one of the busiest months through out the year. With this information, you realize that the region also experiences two dry seasons that are very important when it comes to gorilla trekking safaris. This falls in the month of January and February; from June to September. During these months, the jungles at the Virunga are clear and visitors have an upper hand to enjoy and take several pictures of not just the mountain gorillas but also the spectacular landscape views of the park.
To ensure that you are not affected by this kind of seasonality, visitors need to pack appropriate items to suit the weather conditions of the place. Around the equatorial/tropical areas, visitors should have light clothing mostly depicting the natural vegetation, sweaters, long sleeved shirts or T-shirts, rain jackets, hiking shoes, hiking stick, hat, gardening gloves and others.
All in , the Volcanoes National Park can be visited through out the year for gorilla trekking. The peak season which starts from June to September is the most popular time and you should be aware that gorilla permit availability during this time is low!