The best time to visit Uganda, Kenya/Tanzania/Rwanda/DRC
Uganda as a tourist destination is visited all year round because of its equatorial climate, it sits just on the equator with an average altitude of around 1,000m, which spleens the heat, however, the best time to visit is during its relatively drier seasons, mainly between December to March and June to September. The best wildlife viewing months in Uganda’s savannah parks when wildlife is concentrated around water sources.
Uganda also has high relief especially in the western part of the country which means a cooler climate compared to the equatorial climate. Gorilla trekking and other primate walk in the forests are one of the most significant activities of any Uganda Safari in Uganda. These primates are found in forested highlands which receive quite a lot of rainfall in March-May and October-November they tend to be slippery because of the wet ground. The recommended best time to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking is during the two dry seasons. If you’re planning a gorilla safari, it’s important to know when to go to visit Uganda for the easiest trekking conditions, however, the good news is that Gorilla trekking is known to be done all year round. Even in the rainy season, gorillas are still snooping in the mist after the heavy rains, the sunshine tends to open up the skies a bit, trekking in the rainy season is slower since you have to take the precaution of the wet surface to avoid sliding
Uganda is also a bird-watching destination in the world, it has numerous birding spots, this activity is done all year round. However, the peak months are between November and April when migrant species come to Uganda from different parts of the world especially Europe.
Accommodation facilities tend to lower their rates during the rainy season because of the limited number of tourists who travel to Uganda. In case you are a budget tourist you can take advantage of this season and explore Uganda.
Kenya reclines on the equator with a favorable, tropical climate. Its altitude and temperatures have resulted in changes in weather hence the higher you go the cooler it becomes. The coastline and the shores of the lake are not affected by the above since they are hot with plenty of rainfall and humidity.
Kenya can be also visited all year round depending on some national parks, the type of activities one intends to do and also when looking to explore Kenya on a budget, you may want to avoid peak season (dry season) altogether, as there are fewer visitors, the accommodation facilities rates tend to lower. Tour package prices tend to be cheaper more so you can admire the striking green vegetation and unique seasonal adventures.
Kenya is a safari destination in Africa with lots of wild game to view, the best time to visit Kenya on safari is during the long dry season late June to October when the climate is balmy and the animal actions are untamable. The dry season months lie with the famous wildebeest migration which reaches the Masai Mara in July and remains until October when they move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania.
The wildlife sighting is possible all-year-round, animals usually have babies towards the end of the year with babies and Tourists who are interested in bird watching, it also done all year round however from September to April is when numerous migratory bird species fly to Kenya.
For tourists who love mountain climbing, the appropriate and safest time to climb Mount Kenya is during the dry seasons. January, February, and September are the most reliable month in terms of weather where you expect to experience clear, sunny days with just enough warmth to take you through cool nights brought on by high altitude.
As mentioned above, the coastline isn’t affected by relief and temperature, the weather on Kenya’s coast remains hot and moist throughout the year. However, from March to May, the rainfall can be worse. There is also a short dry season from January to February the hottest, however, the cool coastal breezes play a big role in making the heat endurable. Tourists who intend to travel to Kenya and want to combine wildlife viewing which includes the Wildebeest migration and visiting Mombasa (coastal towns) are advised to travel in August or September. The prospective mountain climbers of Mt. Kenya that would also like to relax at Malindi after hiking the best month is January or February.
Tanzania lies within the tropics its temperatures range between 77°F and 86°C. It has a tropical climate, however, its regions have climatic variations due to the relief of the country. The coastal towns are hot and cool, northwestern highlands are cool and temperate while the central plateau remains dry and arid all year round.
Tanzania is among the leading safari and adventure destinations in East Africa endowed with wild game and another breathtaking natural, historical attractions. The best time to visit Tanzania much depends on the region you intend to visit and what you would like to experience during your stay. Different people want different things from their time in this breathtaking East African country. However, there are particular months which are highly recommended for a tour to Tanzania that is; late June through October when the country is at its driest point.
It matches with the same months the wildebeest migration takes place in the western corridor and August to September in the north of the park. This wildebeest migration event is much recognized in the tourism and hospitality industry globally.
In the same months, the other parks also offer amazing wildlife sightings. Animals are easier to see since vegetation is not so thick and they tend to concentrate around water points such as rivers. During this period it is very sunny with insufficient rains, minimal chances of contracting malaria since the mosquitoes are few. A number of animals tend to converge at the park’s serene area which gives an opportunity to the tourists to spot their favorite wildlife at a short distance.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is best done between July and October or January to March the surface is dry enough to enable you to reach the peaks. However, you should also consider days of the full moon in the above mentioned months.
Tanzania has a number of coastal towns which have a rich unique history and attractions such as Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Kilwa, Mafia, Pemba, Fanjove, Lazy Lagoon, Mnemba, Chumbe and Chapwani its islands and Zanzibar which is known for cultural festival like Sauti za Busara in February or the Zanzibar Film Festival in June between August and October.
Chimpanzee trekking in the Western Circuit Parks of Gombe and Mahale is best done during the dry season that starts from late May to early October but peaks in the months of June to September.
Tanzania is also among the leading Birding destinations in Africa, this activity fits best between November to May mostly done at Lake Manyara, Lake Magadi, and Tarangire National Park. This is the time when migrant birds are also present in Tanzania.
The rainy season (low season) has also some offers especially for those that plan budget tours and who do not like crowded destinations. The accommodation facilities rates low since few travelers are on board, tour destinations are not crowded they tend to take advantage of this time and have a blissful, affordable experience.
The DRC lies on the equator and has a tropical climate. However, there are variations in the climate due to the topography of the country. The southern highlands are cooler and drier and the eastern highlands are cooler and wetter while the equatorial river basin is mostly hot and moist. Seasons depend on your location within the DRC. The rainy season starts from April to October in the North of the equator, the dry season is between December and February in the South of the equator, these seasons are reversed.
DRC is blessed with numerous tourist attractions the main one being Mountain and Lowland Gorillas in Virunga and Kahunzi Biega National parks respectively. It also has the largest river in Africa: River Congo, Congo basin the second largest rain forest in the world after Amazon Forest in South America, Nyiragongo Volcano with the world’s largest lava lake, rich culture, and history.
DRC can be visited all year round depending on the destination one plans to tour and activities to get involved in. However, there are recommended best times to travel to the DRC and that is during the dry season, the weather is slightly less moist hence the roads are safe to use since they will be in better conditions. There are also minimal chances of catching malaria disease because mosquito’s population is low. The months which are considered as dry season are; December, January, and February, preferably for Virunga National Park as one of the leading tourism destinations in DRC as earlier mentioned. However, it is not limited to tourists only in the dry season even with some rain here and there, Virunga is still visited all year round.
The best time to climb Nyiragongo Volcano with the World’s largest lava lake would certainly be from June to September. During these months it is moderately cooler, and the surface is dry enough to enable you to hike with less difficulty.
Congo is an amazingly undiscovered destination for birding. It has a listing of different bird species. The best time to do birding is from November to June.
Note that there are lots of discounts to Congo travelers who travel during the rainy season and when there’s a slight break in the rains. The Park accommodation facilities give discount rates, the gorilla permit is reduced to $200 from $400. This is the best travel season for budget tourists, there are few people at the tourist destinations. You are advised to travel with rainy season protective gear like; long-sleeved clothes, raincoats, jackets, sweaters, light hiking boots, and warm socks, among others.
Rwanda also is known as the land of hills delights in its tropical highland climate is moderately hot and cold throughout the year. Rwanda’s high altitude is significant in the regulation of temperatures throughout the year it never gets extremely hot irrespective of its location south of the equator. Kigali average temperatures 21°C or 70°F year-round, with variations usually no more than 10 degrees above or below that number the east of Rwanda, including Akagera NP, shares the warm climate of Kigali.
Its climate and weather are also marked by frequent rains experienced in the better part of the year. The heavy rain seasons are from January through April and from October through December.
Rwanda is known as an all year round destination depending on the activities to be done. However, there are 2 reasons to consider when planning a successful Rwanda safari experience; the rainy and dry season.
Volcanoes National park home for the mountain gorillas is best visited from mid-May to mid-October, this is the long dry season and has perfect conditions for tracking gorillas. You can track gorillas year-round in Rwanda, however, you will want to bear in mind that the rainier months will make tracking more difficult with muddy conditions.
The best time for wildlife viewing in Akagera National park is during the drier months of the year June to Mid-September and December to February this because the park is easily accessed and most of the animals gather at the remaining water sources.
In contradiction to the above Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest is ideally better in the Wet season, this is the time when the fruits in the forest ripen and the chimpanzees are obviously seen on the tree branches enjoying a meal in large groups. However, the slippery ground kind of hinders the activity making hiking and other primate walks generally best in the Dry season.
Then if you are planning to experience birding safari the best time to travel is from December – February. An appropriate time for birding when local species are in their breeding season. Most of the migrant birds flock into the area especially the wintering and Palearctic migrants. Nyungwe Forest, Nyabarongo, Rugezi, Cyamudongo swamps, rivers, lakes, Akagera National park, and Volcanoes National park are the most popular birding spots in the. It is noted that birds can also be seen all year round, but there are certain times of year that are more productive for birders interested in seeing a wide range of species.