The best time to visit Uganda...
Sitting on the equator in East Africa, Uganda is a country that is becoming increasingly popular to visit as it offers such as diverse experience in Africa. Uganda receives abundant rainfall, so the country is always green. This is what it is known for, especially as the rest of East Africa is in such contrast with dry landscapes.
The temperatures are warm throughout the year but there are better times to visit than others. The period of June to September is regarded one of the best as it is the dry season, so the wildlife is reliable and offers good trekking conditions for the chimpanzees and gorillas.
Another good time to visit is Uganda is December to January, also offering dry and warm temperatures. The tropical climate of Uganda is mild depending on altitude. February tends to be the hottest month (around 28’C) and July the coldest month (but still around 24’C on average). The period of March to May is the rainy season in Uganda, and many of the lodges around the country are closed.
No matter what time of year you travel to Uganda, the packing list is the same. Some of these items include comfortable, lighting clothing, garden gloves for gorilla treks, waterproof jackets and trousers, sunglasses, sun cream and lip protection (factor 20+) and binoculars. Click here for a packing list.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
You can do gorilla tracking throughout the year but there are certain times to avoid in our opinion. The months of April, May, November and December are the rainy months in Uganda. The rains are very intense in the forest and consequently, it makes the hiking very slippery and difficult. Although you will have your porter to help, it does make the overall hike longer. The rain can also make it difficult to photograph the gorillas, especially if they are out in the open with no protection from the rain. The period of June to October is the best time to see the gorillas but this is also the peak travel season so make sure you book in advance if you are wanting to stay in a particular lodge. For more information about Bwindi, please click here.
Kibale National Park
Similar to gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking can be done all year round in Kibale Forest. The dry seasons are June to October and then again from December to February. During these times, the forest is less dense and the chimpanzees are much easier to find and observe. There are also very few or no mosquitoes at all, as well as other bugs. Because it is peak season, there are a number of tourists, so it will likely be full when you get to the briefing area before the trek. This is not an issue as such because you will be allocated your own small group of a maximum of 8 people and you will have your own guide per group. During the wet season, the forest and paths are slippery which makes the hike harder. This time however, is the best for those keen on birding as there are a lot of migratory birds that come into the forest during the wet seasons. For more information about Kibale Forest, please click here.
The best time to visit Murchison Falls National Park is during the dry seasons from Decembr to February and again from June to September. The weather is warm and clear which makes it an enjoyable time to travel. The dry season also means that the animals congregate around river and water bodies making them easier to observe. The best time for bird watching is January to April which tends to have plenty of bird activity with fewer tourists. For more information about Murchison Falls, please click here.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Like much of Uganda’s destinations, the park can be visited at any time of the year but the best experience, in terms of the game, is between the months of June and September. The months of December to January are also good times to go, as these are the dry seasons so the wildlife is more reliable as it tends to congregate around the permanent water sources. The park is easy to combine with other destinations in Uganda, such as gorilla trekking in Bwindi, chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest, or to fly up to Murchison Falls in the northern region of Uganda. For more information about Queen Elizbaeth National Park, please click here.
For inspiration or ideas for your Uganda itinerary, please look here.