Best Time to Visit Uganda

Find out the best time to visit Uganda, so you get the very best wildlife experiences. At Wildlife Trails we scientifically plan all our safaris, using the latest information on weather patterns affected by global warming and regular updates about wildlife sightings; to put our valued clients in the right place at the right time to maximise their wildlife encounters when taking a Uganda safari. Obviously, gorilla trekking is the big draw in Uganda and the weather can have a big effect on the trek and physicality of the tour. Because we have visited the country multiple times at different times of the year, we are perfectly placed to offer first-hand advice and help you plane your perfect gorilla trekking holiday in Uganda.

January – January is the dry season in both the north and south of Uganda and temperatures can reach into the 30’s Celsius. It is one of the best months for gorilla trekking in Uganda, as the chance of heavy rain is fairly small and when the thunderstorms do arrive, they come at night due to the build up of heat during the day. The dry conditions are also good for chimp trekking in Kibale and visit to the savannah national parks of Murchison and Queen Elizabeth. There will be less vegetation, which will mean spotting leopards and lions will be easier and the condition of roads in between your safari destinations will be good. We recommend our Shoebill and Gorillas bespoke private safari.

February – Another excellent month for viewing primates and other mammals in the national parks of Uganda. Although precipitation can increase in the south east of Uganda around the gorilla trekking area of Bwindi impenetrable forest, the rest of the country is relatively dry and a road trip covering the best national parks in Uganda including Murchison, Kibale Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi and Lake Mburo, will be an epic way to celebrate the beauty and diversity of this lush green and red country. We recommend our chimps and gorillas Uganda wildlife holiday for this month.

March – People sometimes talk about March being the start if the rainy season in Uganda, but I think this has to be put into the context that a heavy shower can arrive in this Equatorial country at any time. That said, if there are several days rain in Bwindi Impenetrable forest, the trails are going to be slippy and this definitely has an effect on the difficulty of trekking; especially if the gorilla families are found a long distance from the start of the railhead. Uganda is an epic destination for birds and March marks the last month where you will see the full splendour of both resident and migratory birds.

April – This is the most intense period of the first rainy season in Uganda and this will definitely affect your ability to travel between destinations by road, as many of the roads are unsealed in Uganda and in the gorilla trekking areas can be quite steep. If you find yourselves here on business, or visiting friends and family, we recommend sticking to the sealed roads and maybe including a quick safari break to Lake Mburo; around 5-6 hours by car from Kampala. There are some stunning wildlife lodges to visit here like our favourite, Mihingo Lodge, and all that rain will see the landscapes transformed and many of the antelope species preparing to give birth.

May – Although still considered the rainy season, the rains are less intense than in April and two national parks in particular are worth considering for your Uganda safari. There are excellent roads between Entebbe/Kampala and Queen Elizabeth national park, which is home to lions, leopard, elephants, buffalo and many different antelope species. There are many stunning elevated wildlife lodges in Queen Elizabeth and one of our client’s favourites, is the charming Katara Lodge. All the beautiful cottages have private views of the park stretched out before them and the infinity pool and restaurant are simply magical. You can combine a visit with Queen Elizabeth with some chimp trekking in Kibale, or head down to Lake Mburo, which is also starting to experience the dry season.

June – June is one of the best months to go gorilla trekking in Uganda as the entire country now enjoys relatively dry conditions and you do not yet pay top dollar for the international flights. Everywhere is accessible and still lush after the earlier rains and this is one of the best times of the year for clear mountain views in the country. See the stunning backdrop of the Rwenzori mountains as you drive towards Queen Elizabeth national park or enjoy the view of 8 Volcanoes from the Nteko ridge, as you go gorilla trekking in Nkuringo. We recommend our adventurous gorilla trekking holiday travelling between Buhomo an Nkuringo by trekking and also including 2 gorilla treks and the option to climb the Volcano Sabinyo.

July – That dry weather continues across the country and all gorilla trekking and photography will be easier without that threat of rain, although an occasional heavy shower in the late afternoon is always possible. This is the summer holidays period in the US and Europe, so expect an increased number of tourists. Uganda is definitely a family location, especially for English speaking nations, as the welcome is so friendly and warm from all the lodge staff and your English speaking naturalist is sure to leave your children wide eyed with amazing natural history facts. Children can only go gorilla and chimp trekking from 15 year or older, but there are so many other activities they can be involved in during a Uganda safari, that you should definitely put it on the family wish list.

August – Another great month to visit Uganda on a gorilla safari and although rainfall increases a little in both Kibale and Bwindi compared to July, it is still considered a good time to visit the country. For those with a little more time to explore on their Uganda wildlife holiday, we recommend a visit to the Big 5 of Murchison, Kibale forest, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi Impenetrable and Lake Mburo. This really is a joy to drive in your 4X4 and with an expert naturalist, who will become a firm friend by the end of the trip. We recommend a minimum of at least 3 nights at Murchison, as it is a long drive from Entebbe airport and another long drive to reach Kibale – bit, its worth it. Take the classic ferry to Murchison Falls and get off to enjoy the easy hike to the top of the falls and witness them from the top

September – This is a transition month in Uganda, especially with recent climatic changes due to global warmings. If it stays dry the heat can build up and you will notice more of a haze, where once clear mountain views were visible. Whereas if the heavier rains come early, then both chimp and gorilla trekking activities may be more challenging. We recommend a Uganda gorilla safari visiting Kibale forest, Queen Elizabeth national park, Bwindi Impenetrable and then enjoying some superb chill out time at BirdNest lodge next to the stunning Lake Buyonyi. There are some great activities to be enjoyed here, including mountain biking, canoeing and visiting the many beautiful islands.

October – October is the start of the second rainy season in Uganda and the last time we travelled there, we took the risk to plan a very adventurous camping and simple lodge safari, which including the famous Nkuringo walking safari and a climb of Mount Sabinyo. There was rain, but in the main, it arrived late in the afternoon and did not affect our vehicle or walking safaris that much. As a photographer the one thing I noticed was that the cold camera equipment I had from camping at 2000M quickly fogged up in the dense forests of Bwindi Impenetrable. We manged to fit in all the major national parks, including Murchison and Queen Elizabeth and really enjoyed our Nkuringo trek.

November – The rains will peak across Uganda in this month and if you are tempted by the significant discounts on gorilla trekking permits, please consider the logistics of getting to the gorilla safari locations. It may even be worth checking gorilla trekking options in Rwanda, which although more expensive, have fairly easy access to the trails from the capital Kigali.

December – So imagine to be able to say to your friends you are going gorilla trekking in Uganda for Christmas; that would be pretty cool. The rainfall is less than in November and in particular there are relatively dry conditions in Kibale forest for chimp trekking and savannah safaris in Queen Elizabeth. The lush plains of Queen Elizabeth will attract large herd of antelopes and many migratory birds will have arrived and be breeding. This is a colourful and peaceful time to visit and why not finish off your Ugandan safari with a luxury lodge stay near Lake Victoria for Christmas and New Year?

Related Articles

Best Time to Visit Uganda for Gorilla Trekking

We have put together a month by month guide, to the best time to visit Uganda for your gorilla safari. Whether you want to save money by travelling in the 'wet season', or ensure dry feet while gorilla trekking in the 'dry season'; with our expert guide to the weather in Uganda, we make sure you are well informed; so you can make the right decision.

My First Encounter with a Mountain Gorilla

The year was 2005 during the month of July and the location was the small community of Buhoma; starting point for gorilla treks into the magnificent Bwindi Impenterable forest. A spectacular and ancient remnant of an extensive forest which used to cover the entire south west of this green and vibrant country. Many of the best wildlife lodges in Uganda have direct views into the forest and a few very lucky visitors even glimpse sightings of the resident gorilla families from their own private balconies; before the official gorilla trekking has even begun

Silverback Gorilla Facts

Silverback gorillas are a magnificent sight in the wild and for anyone who has been lucky enough to go gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda a chance to photograph the largest and strongest primate in the world is top of their wildlife travel bucketlist. Uganda wildlife is rich and varied but almost all visitors to this beautiful country choose to take a gorilla safari in the west of the country, which borders the Congo and Rwanda.

Crater Lakes, Tree-Climbing Lions, Gorillas and 8 Volcanoes!

Travel slow and travel deep in Uganda and you will be rewarded with a variety of scenery, activities and accommodation, that you could never have imagined. It was with this in mind that on our return to Uganda we decided to explore new locations and tackle some activities that few other visitors allow time for. The result was an adventerous camping road trip, where we also stayed at some truely unique lodges and managed to go walking through the Bwindi Impeneterable forests, go gorilla trekking at Nkuringo and climb a volcano over 3500M high!

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda – A Step by Step Guide Through this Wonderful Country!

Detailed blog about Gorilla Trekking in Uganda; one of the ultimate wildlife experiences in Africa! Gorilla trekking in Uganda - Beautiful, friendly people, stunning scenery and the ultimate wildlife experience of Gorilla Trekking. Find out more about this very special Gorilla Safari in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Uganda takes you to the ‘Pearl of Africa’ and in this case that bold statement completely hits the mark.