Best Time to Visit Rwanda to see gorillas
Best Time to Visit Rwanda to see gorillas is an experience around Rwanda a beautiful country known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” also the home to see the famous mountain gorillas.
The best time to visit Rwanda largely depends on your preferences and the activities you plan to engage in. The country has a relatively temperate climate throughout the year due to its high elevation, but there are some variations to consider.
The dry seasons in Rwanda are generally considered the best time to visit, as they offer more stable weather conditions and clearer visibility for activities like gorilla trekking and wildlife viewing.
The dry seasons occur from June to September and December to February. During these months, you can expect less rainfall, lower humidity levels, and pleasant temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).
However, Rwanda’s rainy seasons also have their unique attractions and benefits. The long rainy season typically runs from March to May, while the shorter rainy season occurs from October to November.
Although it can rain heavily during these periods, the landscapes are incredibly lush and green, and you may encounter fewer tourists. Additionally, bird watching enthusiasts will find the rainy season particularly rewarding as migratory birds arrive during this time.
Ultimately, the choice of the best time to visit Rwanda depends on your preferences and the experiences you seek. If you prioritize clear weather and optimal wildlife viewing conditions, consider visiting during the dry seasons.
However, if you appreciate the vibrant greenery and are open to occasional showers, the rainy seasons can offer a unique and rewarding experience.
In Rwanda, the best time to visit for game viewing and wildlife experiences can vary depending on the specific national parks and the animals you wish to see. Here are some classifications based on different game parks in Rwanda:
Volcanoes National Park (for gorilla trekking):
For gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, the best time to visit is during the dry seasons. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
Dry Season (June to September):
This period is generally considered the best time for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. The weather is relatively dry, and the trails are less muddy, making the trekking experience more comfortable. The chances of encountering rain during your trek are lower, and the visibility is usually better. The temperatures range from around 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F).
Dry Season (December to February):
The dry season from December to February is another excellent time for gorilla trekking. The weather is warm and mostly dry, creating favorable conditions for trekking through the forest. The landscapes are lush and green, and you can expect pleasant temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F).
During these dry seasons, it’s essential to note that although rain is less frequent, there might still be some showers. Therefore, it’s advisable to come prepared with appropriate rain gear and suitable hiking attire.
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is a highly sought-after activity, and permits are limited. It’s crucial to secure your permits well in advance, regardless of the time of year you plan to visit. Working with a reputable tour operator can help you with permit reservations and organize your trekking experience.
Remember that gorilla trekking requires physical fitness and stamina, as the hikes can be challenging due to the rugged terrain. Hiring a porter is highly recommended, as they can assist you during the trek and carry your equipment, allowing you to fully enjoy the experience.
Lastly, always follow the guidelines and regulations provided by park authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of the gorillas and yourself.
Akagera National Park (for savannah wildlife):
For experiencing the savannah wildlife in Akagera National Park, the best time to visit is during the dry season. Here are the details:
Dry Season (June to September):
The dry season from June to September is considered the prime time for visiting Akagera National Park for savannah wildlife. During this period, rainfall is minimal, and the vegetation becomes drier, which makes it easier to spot animals.
As water sources shrink, animals tend to gather around remaining waterholes, increasing your chances of witnessing wildlife interactions and predator-prey dynamics. The weather is generally pleasant, with temperatures ranging from around 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F).
In addition to June to September, the shoulder months of April, May, and October can also be rewarding for game viewing in Akagera National Park. Although there might be some rainfall during these months, the landscapes are lush and green, and you can enjoy a quieter experience with fewer tourists.
During the dry season, it’s common to spot a variety of wildlife in Akagera National Park, including elephants, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, and a rich diversity of bird species. The park’s open plains and rolling hills provide an ideal habitat for these animals.
It’s important to note that Akagera National Park is located at a lower elevation compared to other parts of Rwanda, and the climate is generally warmer. It’s advisable to bring lightweight and breathable clothing, along with sun protection, such as hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
To make the most of your visit, consider going on guided game drives or boat safaris, as they offer excellent opportunities to observe and learn about the park’s wildlife. Working with a knowledgeable guide or joining a reputable tour operator will enhance your experience and maximize your chances of wildlife sightings.
Nyungwe Forest National Park (for primates and birdwatching):
For experiencing primates and birdwatching in Nyungwe Forest National Park, the best time to visit is during the dry seasons. Here’s more information:
Dry Season (June to September):
The dry season from June to September is considered one of the best times to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park for primate encounters and birdwatching.
During this period, rainfall is relatively low, and the trails are generally less muddy, making it easier to navigate through the forest.
The weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from around 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). These conditions provide optimal opportunities for tracking chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and other primate species.
Dry Season (December to February):
The dry season from December to February is another excellent time to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park. Similar to the June to September period, the weather is relatively dry and comfortable for trekking. This season also offers good chances of primate sightings and birdwatching opportunities.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to 13 species of primates, including chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and owl-faced monkeys. Bird enthusiasts will be thrilled with over 300 bird species, including several Albertine Rift endemics. The forest’s rich biodiversity and dense vegetation make it a haven for nature lovers.
It’s important to note that Nyungwe Forest National Park receives rainfall throughout the year, even during the dry seasons. Therefore, it’s advisable to come prepared with appropriate rain gear, sturdy hiking shoes, and comfortable clothing suitable for hiking and trekking.
To maximize your chances of primate encounters and birdwatching, it’s recommended to go on guided treks and walks led by experienced guides. They can help spot wildlife, identify bird species, and provide valuable information about the forest ecosystem.
When visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park, be respectful of the wildlife and follow the guidelines provided by park authorities. Minimize noise, maintain a safe distance from the animals, and avoid littering to preserve the park’s pristine environment.
All parks for bird watching:
Bird watching in Rwanda can be a rewarding experience, and several national parks offer excellent opportunities for bird enthusiasts. Here’s an overview of the best times for bird watching in all parks in Rwanda:
Volcanoes National Park:
While Volcanoes National Park is primarily known for its gorilla trekking, it is also home to a variety of bird species.
The best time for birdwatching in Volcanoes National Park aligns with the general dry seasons from June to September and December to February. During these periods, you can explore the park’s surroundings and spot various forest-dwelling birds.
Akagera National Park:
Akagera National Park’s diverse habitats, including savannah grasslands, lakes, and wetlands, attract a wide range of bird species.
The dry season from June to September is an ideal time for bird watching, as many migratory bird species arrive during this period. You can observe waterbirds, raptors, and numerous other bird species in the park’s varied ecosystems.
Nyungwe Forest National Park:
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers, boasting over 300 bird species. The best time for birdwatching in Nyungwe Forest aligns with the dry seasons from June to September and December to February.
During these periods, you can explore the forest trails and catch sight of the park’s numerous Albertine Rift endemics and other unique bird species.
It’s important to note that Rwanda’s rainy seasons, from March to May and October to November, also offer rewarding bird watching opportunities. During these periods, the forests are lush and vibrant, and you can observe resident species as well as migratory birds.
To enhance your bird watching experience, consider hiring an experienced birding guide or joining organized birding tours. They can help identify bird species, locate specific habitats, and provide valuable insights into the avian life of each park.
Carrying a good field guide, binoculars, and appropriate birding gear is essential for bird watching in Rwanda. Additionally, remember to respect the birds and their habitats by maintaining a safe distance and minimizing disturbances.
Please note that bird migration patterns and specific species sightings can vary from year to year. It’s advisable to consult with us for the latest information on bird watching in Rwanda before planning your visit.